New engine, new transmission, new all-wheel drive system: with a comprehensive technology update Mercedes-Benz ensures that its large van icon Sprinter will offer more driving comfort than ever as from September 2021 onward – and that on almost any terrain. At the heart of the update is the highly powerful and efficient 2.0-litre OM 654 diesel engine familiar from the Mercedes-Benz passenger car portfolio. The four-cylinder unit will shortly be available for ordering in up to four output categories. The Sprinter will then also adopt the comfortable 9G-TRONIC automatic transmission in all its variants from the passenger car range of the brand with the star, supplementing the 6-speed manual transmission. The third new technical feature, also having its sales start in September, is a new all-wheel drive with a Torque-on-demand system in the Sprinter 4×4. It will replace the current engageable system. In addition to these gains in driving comfort, there will also be a plus in ergonomics and safety from this month onward – thanks to the Speed Delivery Door.

Dr. Ulf Zillig, Head of Development Mercedes-Benz Vans: “In the latest evolution stage of the Sprinter there is more passenger car driving comfort than ever before thanks to an extensive technology update. And that is not only on the motorway, cross-country drives or in urban traffic; even on unsurfaced roads the Sprinter will soon offer a particularly relaxed driving experience and therefore more safety. In this way, the Sprinter achieves once more what has always characterised the model series: again it is setting new standards for the large van segment!”

Powerful with low emissions: 2.0-litre diesel engine in up to four output categories
Whilst the powerful four-cylinder diesel OM 654 has so far only been available in the Sprinter for the panel van and the chassis with rear-wheel drive, from September onward Mercedes-Benz will be offering the unit as the sole combustion engine for all versions, including the new all-wheel drive variant.[1] Classified according to the exhaust emissions standard Euro VI-E and Euro 6d, the OM 654 can soon be ordered – depending on the drive and body variant selected – in up to four output categories with 84 kW/114 hp, 110 kW/150 hp, 125 kW/170 hp and 140 kW/190 hp.

The four-cylinder unit from the Mercedes-Benz passenger car portfolio boasts further improved noise and vibration comfort than the predecessor. Alongside the smoother running characteristics and greater pulling power, this means it is pleasantly quiet inside the vehicle and annoying noises have been reduced. The combination of aluminium block and steel pistons, the stepped recess combustion process as well as the NANOSLIDE cylinder coating for reduced in-engine friction, together with the dynamic multi-way exhaust gas recirculation and the in-engine exhaust gas aftertreatment, also facilitates lower consumption and low emissions. Due to its near-engine position, the exhaust gas aftertreatment works with little heat loss and in favourable conditions.

For even faster gear changes: 9G-TRONIC automatic transmission replaces 7G-TRONIC PLUS
As a further carryover from the current passenger car range, Mercedes-Benz is combining the state-of-the-art 2.0-litre diesel in the Sprinter with the comfortable 9G-TRONIC automatic transmission. The state-of-the-art power transmission replaces the previous 7G-TRONIC PLUS. Together with the pronounced overdrive characteristics, its nine gears keep the engine speeds low in almost all driving situations, which also means considerable savings in fuel consumption and noticeably reduced vibration and noise. Optimised hydraulic elements also enable fast, barely perceptible gear shifts with virtually no interruption of tractive power. ‘Drive Select’ and shift paddles on the steering wheel allow the driver to intervene manually in the current gearshift profile. A further plus point: in spite of two additional gears, the 9G-TRONIC automatic transmission requires as little installation space as its predecessor the 7G-TRONIC PLUS.

The 6-speed manual transmission remains unchanged in the range.

High traction on and off the road: the new all-wheel drive
As previously, the Sprinter can be ordered not only with front- and rear-wheel drive in its closed and open model designations; it can also be ordered with all-wheel drive – as of September with a completely new system, also partially derived from the current Mercedes-Benz Cars modular system. Unlike the engageable predecessor system, which fed 35 percent of the torque to the front and 65 percent to the rear axle in 4×4 mode, this can distribute the drive torques fully variably between the front and rear axle depending on the situation and without any input from the driver (Torque-on-demand). Fully variable torque distribution is ensured by an electronically controlled multiplate clutch integrated into the transfer case. If the multiplate clutch is disengaged in normal driving operation, the rear axle drives the vehicle entirely. With the clutch engaged, the front axle comes into play. This ensures high traction and effortless handling. A further advantage over the previous engageable all-wheel drive: in addition to the higher comfort through the automatic torque distribution the new system works much more quietly.

As soon as the driving situation calls for it, the drive torque is fed to the front axle. If this is no longer needed – for instance in powerful braking manoeuvres with ABS intervention – the front drivetrain is switched off and the torque is reduced to zero. If there is a risk of understeering or oversteering under load, the torque is first distributed so that the vehicle is stabilised again. Only if these measures do not help to defuse the situation do the control systems ESP or 4ETS adapted to the 4×4 system intervene.

The new Sprinter 4×4 will soon be available as standard in combination with the 140 kW/190 hp engine OM 654 and 9G-TRONIC automatic transmission – and that up to a weight class of 5.5 tonnes GVW. 

Speed Delivery Door makes work easier for parcel deliverers
In addition to the gains in driving comfort, the Sprinter will also offer a further plus in ergonomics and safety from this month onward thanks to the innovative ‘Speed Delivery Door’ sliding door system which will be available ex factory. This is an automatic, sensor-controlled double swivelling door on the co-driver’s side, which replaces the side sliding door to the load compartment on request.

A light barrier detects the driver as soon as they enter the load compartment from the driver’s seat. The Speed Delivery Door is then automatically unlocked and opened. This saves time and relieves the burden on drivers, as they can leave the vehicle with the parcels in their hands without having to touch anything else and the door automatically closes behind them. It is not necessary to put down the goods and pick them up again, as is the case with conventional sliding doors. Automatic locking will be available to order as an extra option.

A further advantage for greater safety: the Speed Delivery Door is transparent from the interior. Drivers therefore have a view of the pavement before they climb out. The risk of collision with passers-by, in particular cyclists, is significantly reduced.

Source: Mercedes-Benz Vans