Members of the automotive media got an up-close look at the 2015 Mercedes-Benz Sprinter van at the automaker’s van reassembly plant in Ladson, S.C. Attendees were also given the chance to rumble around in the new Sprinter 4x4 on a dirt track.
Crosswind Assist-equipped Sprinters were also driven through 90-mph winds generated by air boats. The feature is now standard on all Sprinters.
Another new Sprinter feature for the 2015-MY is the optional super ultra-low emission vehicle (SULEV) engine, which is offered for four-cylinder Sprinters. According to Claus Tritt, general manager of operations of the Commercial Vans division of Mercedes-Benz USA, it is the only SULEV diesel engine in the world.
The 4x4 option will be offered for the Sprinter beginning in the first quarter of 2015, while the standard Crosswind Assist and optional SULEV engine are currently available.
The BlueTEC diesel engine is standard for both the four-cylinder and six-cylinder Sprinters. The 2.1L four-cylinder produces 161 hp and 266 lb.-ft. of torque, while the 3.0L V-6 generates 188 hp and 325 lb.-ft. of torque.
According to Tritt, half of Sprinter sales (which totaled 17,725 from January through September 2014, a 19-percent increase over the same period in 2013) consistently come from the fleet industry. And, about half of those purchases are by fleets with more than 250 vehicles.