Mercedes-Benz Slaps Ghostbusters Stickers on the Side of a Black Van and Calls It Ecto-Z

Mercedes-Benz Sprinter Ecto-Z 10 photos
Photo: Mercedes-Benz
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There are movies in this world that have forever become linked to some of the props used when filming them. Like, could you ever imagine any Ghostbusters movie without the iconic Ecto vehicle?
Having appeared in the first movie in the franchise in 1984, the Ecto-1, the vehicle used by the brave souls that battled supernatural ghost manifestations on the streets of New York, was initially based on a 1959 Cadillac Miller-Meteor ambulance.

The car was used in the sequel as well, but in the 2016 female-led reboot the role of the Ecto-1 passed on to a 1980 Cadillac Fleetwood station wagon.

Then, in 2021 the original Ghostbusters storyline was revived with Afterlife, and as a result the original Caddy came back to the screen to serve a new generation of brave souls in their fight against malicious specters, with a lot of help from the original crew of the movie as well.

Come March 22, the second movie in the revived storyline comes to the big screen. It's called Frozen Empire, and this time the Ecto bloodline of vehicles comes back with a vengeance and grows with the addition of a Mercedes-Benz Sprinter-based ghostmobile.

The story of Frozen Empire is your usual we-must-stop-the-end-of-the-world affair, and it brings both the original Ghostbusters crew and the one born in Afterlife back to New York, in the famous firehouse in the city where it all started.

It is there where the original Ghostbusters have set up a secret research laboratory, and where their new emergency vehicle takes shape to join the Ecto-1. Called Ecto-Z, the van will be on deck to help the heroes fight back an army of ghosts (made up of every ghost the team has ever caught) and survive their death chill.

Mercedes\-Benz Sprinter Ecto\-Z
Photo: Mercedes-Benz
You all probably know the Sprinter by now, a van offered by the Germans on the American cargo market in four variants, separated by different wheelbases and roof heights. Priced from $49,900 to $58,900, it offers quite the alternative solution to the cargo vans American businesses usually go for.

We are not told exactly which variant of the Sprinter was turned into the Ecto-Z, but we do know about some of the gear and changes the vehicle will pack to aid it in its ghostbusting. Which, in all honesty, is not much.

The most obvious change is the installation of a pull-out rack that carries the gear of our heroes. That includes the Proton Packs, Ghost Traps and Muon Scrubbers, in enough quantities to equip all members of the team. Because the storyline includes low temperatures and an impending second ice age, the van is equipped with heated seats and assistance systems that will help it navigate slippery roads.

And that's about it. Other than that we get a black van (no, not THAT black van) with a bunch of Ghostbusters stickers slapped on its sides. Which, in all honesty, is far less impressive than what the Ecto-1 carries in battle.

Even so, this slightly modified Sprinter is the only officially engineered Ghostbuster vehicle (aside from the Ecto-1, of course) to appear in the movie, and as such Mercedes-Benz plans to make a spectacle of it, probably in the hope that it will become as iconic for the fans as the Cadillac.

As a result of that, a co-promotional campaign set up by the Germans will kick off on social media (TikTok, Instagram, Facebook, X, and LinkedIn), with a wealth of activities and behind-the-scenes footage.

Mercedes\-Benz Sprinter Ecto\-Z
Photo: Mercedes-Benz
Most importantly though, the vehicles used in Frozen Empire will be displayed in front of the New York firehouse which is the Ghostbusters HQ, Hook & Ladder Company 8, at 14 North Moore Street. Not only that, but the iconic building itself will be wrapped in a special frozen look for two full weeks - the building will be decorated with both icy embellishments, but also related branding.

As said, Ghostbusters: Frozen Empire launches in American cinemas next week, on March 22. The story picks up from where the Afterlife movie left off, and that means that characters from both the original movies and the more recent sequel will be on deck.

That includes Paul Rudd as Gary Grooberson, and the trio comprising Finn Wolfhard, Mckenna Grace, and Carrie Coon as the members of the Spengler family. Bill Murray will reprise his role as Peter Venkman, Dan Aykroyd is Ray Stantz, and we're even going to get a comeback of William Atherton as Walter Peck.

If, for some reason, you missed all the Ghostbusters hype these past few months, you can watch the final trailer for the movie below this text. Don't try to catch glimpses of the Ecto-Z, though, as there appear to be none in the trailer. There are enough instances of the Ecto-1 running around the streets of New York, though, so enjoy.

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About the author: Daniel Patrascu
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Daniel loves writing (or so he claims), and he uses this skill to offer readers a "behind the scenes" look at the automotive industry. He also enjoys talking about space exploration and robots, because in his view the only way forward for humanity is away from this planet, in metal bodies.
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