Mercedes-Benz Sprinter  -  Photo: Paul Clinton

Mercedes-Benz Sprinter

Photo: Paul Clinton

Mercedes-Benz unveiled its third-generation Sprinter today in Duisburg, Germany, at the junction of the Rhine and Ruhr rivers, as a versatile full-size van with a factory telematics service that will arrive in the U.S. later this year.

The new Sprinter will bring an array of updates, including a gasoline engine, more than 1,700 configurations worldwide, telematics offering Mercedes Pro, and available driver assistance systems such as a self-cleaning rear-view camera in the rear-view mirror. 360-degree-view parking camera system, and sensor with Wet Wiper system that improves visibility in the rain.

Mercedes-Benz will begin selling the new Sprinter in Europe this June, with a starting price of 20,000 euros ($24,754).

Mercedes-Benz showed the van to a group of journalists at its new logistics center on Mercator Island, which was named after a 16th century cartographer who lived in the city.l

"The inland port of Duisburg stands for globalism and modern logistics at the highest level," said Volker Mornhinweg, head of Mercedes-Benz Vans. "It is therefore the perfect environment in which to present the new Sprinter."

In the U.S., Mercedes-Benz will begin selling the vehicle at its commercial vehicle centers and Van ProCenters by the end of 2018. Mercedes-Benz is still determining whether to offer Worker model versions of the new Sprinter.

Mercedes-Benz will provide additional details about powertrains, pricing, trim levels, packages, and specifications closer to launch. Most models will be built in Charleston, South Carolina at a new plant, except for the cab and chassis model, which will come from the Ludwigsfelde factory near Berlin.

The non-U.S. model of the next-gen Sprinter will offer several additional features, including front-wheel drive and an electrified version called eSprinter. Mercedes Pro won't be available on the Canadian Sprinter at launch.

The Sprinter first appeared in the U.S. in 2001 as a Freghtliner. In 2003, DaimlerChrysler offered a Dodge Sprinter that carried a lower price. Daimer AG phased out the Dodge nameplate in late 2009 and offered the Mercedes-Benz Sprinter as a replacement.

There are now 289 Sprinter dealers in the U.S. Of those, 247 are Mercedes-Benz Vans dealers and 42 are Freightliner dealers. Mercedes-Benz has 381 passenger car dealers.

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