2018 Mercedes-Benz Sprinter Van Looks More Like a Larger V-Class

2018 Mercedes-Benz Sprinter 9 photos
Photo: CarPix
2018 Mercedes-Benz Sprinter2018 Mercedes-Benz Sprinter2018 Mercedes-Benz Sprinter2018 Mercedes-Benz Sprinter2018 Mercedes-Benz Sprinter2018 Mercedes-Benz Sprinter2018 Mercedes-Benz Sprinter2018 Mercedes-Benz Sprinter
For every glitzy Mercedes-Benz passenger car out there, there is a working vehicle wearing the three-pointed star badge with just as much pride. Mercedes-Benz's commercial division has had plenty of success over the years, and it owns plenty of it to the Sprinter van.
The current model is a bit of a coproduction between the Stuttgart brand and the one from Wolfsburg. The two industry giants developed their vans (the Mercedes-Benz Sprinter and the Volkswagen Crafter) together, building them at the same plants and kitting them with a lot of similar parts. In fact, apart from the brand-specific exterior design, the areas where they varied most were the interior and the inside of the engine bay.

With the new model, this cooperation seems to have come to an end with the two partners splitting ways and building their models independently. We don't know why that happened, but if this will free Mercedes-Benz to produce a more attractive van, then it's all good news. And even though it's still very early in the vehicle's development phase, it sure looks like the new Sprinter will borrow some design cues from the more stylish V-Class.

The testing mule our collaborators managed to snap features the same set-up we've seen before with the new heavily camouflaged front end mounted on the current model's body. Whether there's also a new chassis underneath is anyone's guess, but judging by the way the bodywork fits, it's probably still the old one.

Not the same can be said of the dashboard. Even though there's no clear picture from up-close, we can see there are plenty of changes, most easily recognizable one being the rounded air vents (which suggests the V-Class similarities could extend to the interior as well). The Sprinter has always been the Mercedes-Benz of the vans (with everything that comes with this title) so a certain level of luxury is to be expected. But it always needs to be dialed down to the commercial vehicle segment.

All this attention towards design shouldn't harm the van's practicality in any way, which means the Sprinter will continue to offer everything the owner of such a vehicle could expect from it: large cargo space, wide openings, efficient diesel engines and, most of all, reliability. What the Mercedes-Benz van brings new to the table are the extended driver aid systems which should make operating the new Sprinter a breeze.

With its launch estimated for 2018, the new van is still in its early stages of testing, so we'll get to see more of it soon. Meanwhile, the new Crafter appears to be ready for an unveil later this year, which might explain the split between the two manufacturers.
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About the author: Vlad Mitrache
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"Boy meets car, boy loves car, boy gets journalism degree and starts job writing and editing at a car magazine" - 5/5. (Vlad Mitrache if he was a movie)
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