They play a key role not only on the roads of Europe and further afield, but also in off-road applications on dirt tracks and rough road surfaces as well as in excavation pits: Mercedes-Benz vans and large-capacity vehicles come up trumps also with their all-wheel drive and superior leading-edge technology. The comprehensive range offered by the all-wheel-drive quartet from Mercedes-Benz Vans covers the complete spectrum from comfortable large-capacity vehicle to sturdy large-volume van.
All-wheel drive for all – vans and large-capacity vehicles from Mercedes-Benz
Whether it’s the Vito, Sprinter, Vario or Viano – all vans and large-capacity vehicles from Mercedes-Benz Vans are available also with all-wheel drive. The product range includes the elegant and smartly equipped Viano 4Matic, the rugged Vito 4×4, the versatile Sprinter 4×4 and the indestructible Vario 4×4. When one adds together the different length and roof variants, gross vehicle weights, engines and transmissions, the result is an impressive three-digit number of basic models.
What unites all these vans and large-capacity vehicles is their extremely high traction and unsurpassed off-road driving safety as well as their ride comfort, which is on a par with the original rear-wheel-drive model. They also have plenty in common in terms of their technology: three out of the four model series come with the 4ETS Electronic Traction System, albeit in sometimes very different configurations to suit the particular application.
The demands of the various applications could scarcely be more different: the businessman or mother with children both need to get safely to their destination in winter, just like the guests at the hotel up in the mountains. Holidaymakers in a camper van want to be certain in the knowledge that they can leave their wet camp site in summer. The construction-company driver must be reliably able to extricate his way out of the excavation pit in his laden tipper. The mechanic must make it through wind and rain to the wind power plant in his panel van. Each of them requires a vehicle with all-wheel drive. Yet that vehicle must be tailored to each user’s specific needs.
Viano 4MATIC: all-wheel drive in its elegant form
For businesspeople, families and camper-van holidaymakers, there is the comfortable Viano 4MATIC, either in its smart Ambiente version, in the form of the tastefully appointed Viano Trend, the lively Viano Fun or the compact Viano Marco Polo camper van. Each features permanent all-wheel drive with plentiful reserves of traction combined with maximum operating comfort. The hard work is done by the 4ETS Electronic Traction Control system and the automatic transmission. Whether off road or in snow, the driver simply needs to step on the accelerator and focus on the road ahead. Powerful and economical CDI diesel engines with 100 kW (136 hp) or 120 kW (163 hp) and the as-standard BlueEfficiency package have sufficient reserves in hand for coping with any situation: be it a snow-covered pass or a long-distance journey.
Vito 4×4: all-wheel drive in a rugged design
Although the technology is the same, this is a different type of van: the Vito 4×4 exudes ruggedness. As tough as they come, it’s ideal for tradespeople and service technicians as well as for mail delivery drivers in remote areas. That is, it’s a van for working people while at the same time being compact and manoeuvrable. The toughest jobs on board are shared between the all-wheel drive with 4ETS Electronic Traction Control, the powerful yet economical CDI diesel engines and the comfortable automatic transmission – the drive technology is identical to that in the Viano 4MATIC. Also in this case, the driver is free to concentrate fully on the road ahead.
Sprinter 4×4: all-wheel drive in customised variants
The Sprinter 4×4, too, employs the tried-and-tested 4ETS Electronic Traction Control system, with power being distributed automatically between the wheels. As an all-wheel drive for the professional van user, however, the Sprinter 4×4 is equipped with some additional functions. For instance, the all-wheel drive can be engaged as and when required at the press of a button on the dashboard. The all-wheel‑drive technology is identical to that in the Viano 4MATIC and Vito 4×4. The Sprinter 4×4 is optionally available with a gear reducer box, which reduces the speed by around 40 percent while increasing the torque by the same amount, allowing the Sprinter 4×4 to negotiate the most challenging of off-road situations. Alongside the economical four-cylinder diesel engines, the Sprinter 4×4 is also available with an impressive V6 power plant with 140 kW (190 hp). Even more important is its ample 440 Nm of torque. Two weight and numerous body variants as well as chassis for special bodies provide the potential for a truly customised Sprinter.
Vario 4×4: all-wheel drive for when the going gets tough
The Mercedes-Benz Vario large-capacity van unites elements of van and truck to form a unique synthesis. Thanks to its ruggedness, the indestructible Vario delivers an ideal platform for a gritty 4×4 capable of handling even the toughest of challenges. The hallmarks of this model are its permanent all-wheel drive together with engageable mechanical interaxle and interwheel differential locks. Its highly rugged truck-based technology for engine, transmission and frame have allowed the Vario to evolve into a living legend over a period far in excess of a decade. Building contractors, local authorities, forestry enterprises and other demanding users value the outstanding capabilities of the Vario, which, in the form of the Vario 4×4, delivers impressive tractive power in off-road applications. The Vario is the workhorse among all-wheel-drive vans and is available also in a 7.5-tonne high-payload version.
Source: Daimler AG