Mercedes-Benz Sprinter Light and Heavy-Duty Commercial Vehicle LCV Van available at Thailand, United Kingdom, Australia, Dubai, US Top Mercedes-Benz Dealer Exporter
The Mercedes-Benz Sprinter is a light and heavy commercial vehicle, built by Daimler AG of Stuttgart, Germany as a van, chassis cab and minibus, and sold as a Mercedes model, except in the United States where it is built from complete knock down (CKD) kits and sold by Freightliner, or by Chrysler as the Dodge Sprinter, prior to the Chrysler divestiture. Their automobile platform and bodyshell is also used in a joint venture with Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles who made the Volkswagen LT and the Volkswagen Crafter.
The first generation Sprinter was launched in Europe in 1995 to replace the famous but outdated Mercedes-Benz TN van (dating from 1977). It was voted International Van of the Year for 1995.
The second generation Sprinter was introduced in Europe in 2006. It was voted Van of the Year 2007 and again in 2008 by Professional Van and Light Truck Magazine. 2012 Information and Fuel Consumption Figures http://www.vantrader.org/Pages/MercedesSprinterModels.aspx.
The first generation (VA Chassis) North American Sprinter was launched in 2001 in the U.S., and originally branded as a Freightliner. Units sold to the rest of North America were badged as Mercedes until 2003 when they received Dodge branding. Units in the United States and Canada, but not in Mexico, could be purchased as a Dodge or Freightliner brand from 2003. The product was launched and supported by DaimlerChrysler Vans LLC, a small division based out of Huntersville, North Carolina. Key individuals from DaimlerChrysler Commercial Vehicle Division and Freightliner Trucks were selected to spearhead the effort and made up the bulk of the division. DaimlerChrysler Vans LLC retained sole responsibility for the North American Sprinter market until the sales, service and parts support responsibilities were absorbed by Chrysler Commercial Vehicle Division in 2004. Nearly all of the original staff were retained, though the base of operations shifted from North Carolina to Auburn Hills, Michigan. The remainder of DaimlerChrysler Vans LLC remained active in Huntersville as an engineering, upfitter certification and safety compliance resource in support of the Sprinter.
For 2003, DaimlerChrysler introduced a Dodge-branded version of the Sprinter to the North American market. It was identical to the Freightliner Trucks version except for minor styling details and badging. Rather than redesign the aging Dodge Ram Van which used the same basic body and layout since the 1970s and was discontinued in 2003, DaimlerChrysler chose to replace it with the Sprinter.
From 2001 through 2006, the cargo van versions of the Sprinter were manufactured in Düsseldorf, Germany, partially disassembled and shipped to a facility in Gaffney, South Carolina where they were reassembled. The cargo versions, classified as light trucks, are subject to the 25% chicken tax if imported as a complete unit, which is avoided by the disassembly and subsequent reassembly. Passenger vans were not subject to the same tax classifications, and were imported as an assembled unit through Mercedes at the Port of Jacksonville, Florida.
The second generation (VB Chassis) Sprinter debuted in early 2007. The cargo version of this model is re-assembled at a plant in Ladson, South Carolina which was previously used as an American LaFrance factory. Like its predecessor, the passenger version is brought in as a complete unit. The previous reassembly facility in Gaffney, South Carolina continues to be used by Freightliner Custom Chassis Corporation. The second (North American) generation Sprinter is a complete redesign from the prior model, with the W5A380 transmission being the only significant carryover part from the earlier generation.
Mexican Sprinters are built in one of Mercedes-Benz Mexico’s three factories in either Santiago Tianguistenco, Monterrey, and Mexico City and are branded as Mercedes-Benz, Mercedes-Benz-Valdez or Mercedes-Xicotencatl depending on which factory they were made in and what specific model they are. Mexican Sprinters feature heavier transmissions and can be fitted with a V-12 engine from the Mercedes S-Class for police and heavy duties. Mercedes-Benz Mexico offers a lengthened Sprinter not sold in other markets with the V-12 engine badged as the Sprinter-E (E for Special “Especial”). The Sprinter E is used mainly for police duties but is commonly used in other roles as well. Mexican built Sprinters have redesigned interiors from the German models and come in the wood paneled luxury trim standard. Between 2006 and 2010 the Sprinter has been the most popular van in Mexico.
The Sprinter van was sold as the Mercedes-Benz Transporter T1N due to Toyota using the name on an upgraded Corolla.
Mercedes-Benz Sprinter Uses
The Sprinter is designed primarily for business, not private users, although recreational vehicle (RV) conversions are available. In the United States, the first generation Sprinters (2001–2006) were offered solely with the Mercedes-Benz 2.7 litre straight five cylinder turbocharged Diesel.
Companies such as Apple Inc. are replacing van conversions with wide bus bodies — with Sprinters with side-facing benches and tall right-side doors — as campus shuttle buses. Limited numbers of complete “wagons” (passenger vans) are being produced in Germany and shipped complete to the United States market for mostly individual and church van uses. Typical Sprinter Wagons accommodate 8 to 10 passengers, and have glass in all of the normal positions that windows can be factory installed. Vans shipped to the United States on-spec (speculation to sell by dealer/distributor) are mostly sent in Arctic White color, but many standard and a few special colors are available on these passenger vans. The Dodge dealer network for Sprinters is limited to certified locations (known as “Business Link” certified dealers, usually only awarded to “Five Star” certified dealers), and dealer knowledge is still limited in both sales and service. Special orders typically take one to three months for delivery, and may stretch out even longer, due to the assembly and dis-assembly in Germany, and exporting of parts to South Carolina for re-assembly; the exception is passenger van models, which are assembled in Germany and exported assembled.
In North America, most Sprinters are sold as cargo vans to expediters in the United States. Such expediters are similar to truck drivers, except they take smaller loads and will wait in a town indefinitely after unloading, until dispatchers find another customer nearby to transport goods. The advent of the Sprinter van with its cargo space of 13-1/2 feet (4.1 m) has allowed van expediters to take three 48 x 48 in (1.22 x 1.22 m) skids or pallets, where previously they were confined to two. A Sprinter is capable of hauling approximately 3000 lb (1360 kg) of cargo.
The vehicle has been adopted by police in Hong Kong, as an ambulance in all Western European and Scandinavian countries, Australia by all state ambulance services and as an ambulance in New Zealand. The 515 CDI has become the standard ambulance for use by the National Health Service (England)|National Health Service]] (NHS) in the United Kingdom.
Another market in which Sprinters are gaining ground is as van conversions and recreational vehicles. Conversions include RV’s, limousines, family and luxury vans, office vans, wheelchair accessible vans, and golf vans. Sprinter RV conversions can also be called Sprinter campervans. Sprinter conversions have been produced by several RV and coach manufacturers.
Despite not being marketed as a family vehicle, a custom-modified Dodge-branded Sprinter was used by the ten-member Gosselin family, the subjects of the TLC reality series Jon & Kate Plus 8.
The 906 (second generation) was produced in Argentina only for export markets — except Mercosur markets (Brasil, Uruguay and Paraguay) — from 2007 until 2010, but in 2011 announced the new production of the second generation in the Centro Industrial J. Manuel Fangio, in Buenos Aires with the brand new OM 651 engine (also local made) and exported to the rest of America (including Mercosur markets). Since 2012, it’s manufactured for the Mercosur and 40 other countries.
In Colombia, the Sprinter is the most popular van for intercity transport. The Sprinter was famous for the case of son of former President Julio Cesar Turbay, Julio Cesar Turbay, Jr. in public employ like “Contralor of Republic” had an Scandal for bought a Mercedes Sprinter with luxury accessories.
A Mercedes Sprinter is also the vehicle used by Mike and Frank on The History Channel reality series American Pickers.
For its engine choices, the Sprinter is currently offered with inline four and inline six cylinder diesel engines; inline six cylinder petrol/gasoline; or liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) engines in Europe, Asia, Australia, and South America. In North America, only the six cylinder 3.0 litre turbodiesel and six cylinder 3.5 litre gasoline engines are offered. In Brazil, between 1998 to 2002, are used a Maxion/Rover HSD Diesel engine, with 2,5Lt. The versions are 310D with 95PS (Turbo Diesel) and 312D, with 115PS (Turbo Diesel Intercooler).
An electric hybrid version has been tested, but is not currently officially part of the Sprinter range
|models||engine code||configuration||displacement||max. power||max. torque|
|OM 611||inline four 16v DOHC||2,148 cc (131.1 cu in)||82 PS (60 kW; 81 hp)||200 N·m (148 lbf·ft)|
|OM 611||inline four 16v DOHC||2,148 cc (131.1 cu in)||109 PS (80 kW; 108 hp)||270 N·m (199 lbf·ft)|
|OM 611||inline four 16v DOHC||2,148 cc (131.1 cu in)||129 PS (95 kW; 127 hp)||300 N·m (221 lbf·ft)|
|OM 612 /
|inline five 20v DOHC||2,685 cc (163.8 cu in)||156 PS (115 kW; 154 hp)||330 N·m (243 lbf·ft)|
|M 111||inline four 16v DOHC||2,295 cc (140.0 cu in)||143 PS (105 kW; 141 hp)||210 N·m (155 lbf·ft)|
2006–present (2007–2010 USA)
|models||engine code||configuration||displacement||max. power||max. torque|
|OM 646||inline four 16v DOHC||2,148 cc (131.1 cu in)||88 PS (65 kW; 87 hp)||220 N·m (162 lbf·ft)|
|OM 646||inline four 16v DOHC||2,148 cc (131.1 cu in)||109 PS (80 kW; 108 hp)||280 N·m (207 lbf·ft)|
|OM 646||inline four 16v DOHC||2,148 cc (131.1 cu in)||129 PS (95 kW; 127 hp)||305 N·m (225 lbf·ft)|
|OM 646||inline four 16v DOHC||2,148 cc (131.1 cu in)||150 PS (110 kW; 148 hp)||330 N·m (243 lbf·ft)|
|OM 642||V6 24v DOHC||2,987 cc (182.3 cu in)||184 PS (135 kW; 181 hp)||400 N·m (295 lbf·ft)|
|M 272||V6 24v DOHC||3,498 cc (213.5 cu in)||258 PS (190 kW; 254 hp)||340 N·m (251 lbf·ft)|
The Sprinter is also available as the 316/416/516 NGT – Compressed Natural Gas (CNG).
In 2010, Dodge lost its contract to sell Sprinters in USA/Canada and a subset of Mercedes-Benz dealers gained that franchise, and the OM646 4-cylinder diesel engine was replaced by more powerful OM651 4-cylinder diesel engine. Despite the brand change, Sprinters sold in the United States still lack many popular options that are available in Europe, including 4 wheel drive, Command Navigation System,electric sliding doors, and keyless entry (which senses the presence of the key fob and automatically opens a sliding door).
Sprinter model range
The model designations for the first generation Sprinter are W901, W902, W903, W904 and W905, depending on the gross weight rating.
- Passenger van
- Conversion van
- Cargo van