Preparing to take on the likes of the all-new Ford Transit and Ram ProMaster commercial vans arriving here later this year, the 2014 Mercedes-Benz Sprinter has been unveiled in Europe. While retaining its existing platform architecture, M-B's highly regarded full-size workhorse benefits from a comprehensive recasting that brings more refined exterior/interior styling and enhanced comfort/safety features, as well as a new and more fuel-efficient standard powertrain.
Visually, this latest iteration of Mercedes' multifaceted people/cargo mover gains an extra measure of substance and sophistication thanks to new, more SUV-like fascia treatments that bring it more into line with the automaker's current design thinking. Flanked by more angular headlamps, the Sprinter's larger and more upright grille further emboldens the vehicle's appearance while improving airflow. At the rear, recast double-segment tail lights further complement the restyle.
The Sprinter's spacious cabin displays a similar kind of cosmetic/functional upgrading. Beyond enhanced trim, a new steering wheel and redesigned shifter, it will come standard with a new head unit in the center stack that features a 5.8-inch display as well as Bluetooth connectivity and USB/Aux interfaces. It also will offer a new navigation system and full iPod integration as options. On the safety front the 2014 Sprinter boasts a host of new technologies. The Lane Package brings Blind Spot Assist, Lane Keeping Assist and Adaptive Highbeam Assist, while the Safety Assistance Package adds Collision Prevention Assist to the mix.
Here in the U.S., powertrain choices will double for the 2014 Sprinter. Its current 188-horsepower/3.0-liter turbodiesel V6 that makes 325 lb-ft of torque and is backed by a 5-speed automatic will be carried over with no change. However, the new base engine is a 2.1-liter 4-cylinder turbodiesel that develops 161 horses and 265 lb-ft of twist. Offering a significant -- although at this point still unstated -- fuel economy advantage, it will be paired with a 7-speed autoshifter.
The 2014 Mercedes-Benz Sprinter will be available with a 144-inch or 170-inch wheelbase, high/low roof options and in Cargo, Crew, Passenger, MiniBus and Cab Chassis configurations when it goes on sale here in the fall. Pricing will be announced closer to the actual on-sale date.
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