Snow depth: almost two metres. Temperature: minus 15 degrees Celsius. On top of that, an icy wind blows across the Timmelsjoch pass. Here in the Tyrolean Alps at an elevation of 2500 metres, Mercedes-Benz Vans is presenting the new Sprinter 4×4 to the public for the first time.

Sprinter 316 Bluetec 4X4 Kombi

When the going gets tough, the Sprinter gets going: the new Sprinter 4×4 – the only ex-factory all-wheel-drive large van with ESP – ensures that crucial extra traction under demanding conditions. As a crewbus or minibus the Sprinter 4×4 is able to transport hotel guests to the snow-covered resort in the Alps. But it is also a dependable partner below the mountains: for example as a panel van for the mechanic who has to reach the wind turbine on the soggy meadow while transporting tools and heavy spare parts. Or as a pickup fighting its way through muddy construction sites.

On-demand all-wheel drive, with optional reduction gear
As a true pro the Sprinter 4×4 makes it easy for its driver: its all-wheel-drive system can be activated at the push of a button, and the torque is then distributed at a ratio of 35:65 between the front and rear axle. At this point the Electronic Traction System 4ETS takes over: the driver simply needs to make well-dosed use of the accelerator pedal and steering wheel while the technology takes care of the rest. The standard-fit Adaptive ESP is always active even when all-wheel drive is engaged. This combination of all-wheel-drive technology and active safety is only available for the Sprinter in this segment.

Optionally the new all-wheel-drive van is equipped with an additional reduction gear that makes it even more sure-footed in difficult terrain. When the driver pushes the low-range button, the gearing is shortened by a factor of 1.42 or 42 percent. Tractive power increases accordingly. Another option for the Sprinter 4×4 is the new Downhill Speed Regulation (DSR) system, which ensures that a preselected speed is maintained constantly when driving downhill.

Lifted body, low added weight
Although the Sprinter 4×4 is not an off-roader, its body lifted by 110 mm at the front and by 80 mm at the rear is indicative of typical all-terrain qualities. Depending on engine variant, the slope climbing ability is around 20 percent higher than in the Sprinter with conventional drive. Depending on the model, the all-wheel-drive system of the Sprinter 4×4 merely adds about 120 kg in weight, which means only a minimal effect on payload. This makes it a preferred all-wheel-drive specialist not only in Germany. The Sprinter 4×4 also finds satisfied customers in Switzerland, Australia, Italy, Austria and France.

This is above all also due to its frugal use of fuel. Fuel consumption is just 0.4 to 0.8 l/100 km higher than for the rear-wheel-drive Sprinter. For example, the Sprinter 313 BlueTec 4×4 consumes only 8.3 l/100 km (NEDC combined).

Sprinter 4×4: eco-friendly and safe
The new Sprinter 4×4 features a new engine range that complies with the future Euro VI emissions standard. It includes two four-cylinder diesel engines with a displacement of 2.15 litres and power outputs of 95 kW (129 hp) and 120 kW (163 hp). The third available engine variant is a six-cylinder diesel engine (3.0 l displacement) with a power output of 140 kW (190 hp).

The new Sprinter 4×4 is not only more powerful and eco-friendly, it also is one of the safest large vans in its segment thanks to its five new assistance systems. They include Collision Prevention Assist, Blind Spot Assist, Highbeam Assist and Lane Keeping Assist. Crosswind Assist will follow in 2014.

Source: Mercedes-Benz Vans