Stuttgart. The third generation of the Mercedes-Benz Sprinter is already proving to be a successful model, less than a year after its market launch. Since the start of sales in February 2018, the flow of orders has been steadily increasing. Orders placed in Europe for the Sprinter in the camper van segment have almost doubled in 2018 compared to the previous year. In 2019 the new Sprinter will be even more attractive for use as a camper: thanks to the newly developed "Mercedes-Benz Advanced Control" (MBAC) interface module, camper vans based on the new Sprinter will soon be connected homes on wheels. The possibilities range from the central display for the gas fill level to controlling the lights and heating using either the touch display in the vehicle or a smartphone app. At this years Caravan, Motoring and Tourism trade fair (CMT), visitors can learn about the new connectivity solution in an interactive discovery corner from 12 to 20 January 2019 at the Mercedes stand in Hall 7. Also on show: various body variants based on the new Sprinter – from the semi-integrated M-Line T 7400 produced by bodybuilder Frankia right up to the Grand Canyon S camping bus produced by HYMER.
A review of 2018 – Sprinter concept on the rise, orders in the camper segment double
The new Sprinter's first year on the market has not yet drawn to a close, but one thing is already clear: now in its third generation, the iconic van has successfully expanded its presence in the camper van segment. The orders placed in Europe for the Sprinter as the basis for camper vans show a growth of around 100 percent compared with the previous year. The basis of the successful launch: the requirements of campers and bodybuilders were taken into consideration from the very beginning during the development phase of the third-generation Sprinter. In addition to being available in panel van and chassis cab variants, the new Sprinter is also available as a tractor head model. Here, the drive system, fuel tank and all other assemblies are located in front of the B-pillar, i.e. in the front area of the cab. The frame and rear axle are fitted individually and connected to the tractor head. In doing so Mercedes-Benz has set a new standard regarding the freedom of designing camper bodies. The drive system types of the new Sprinter are as individual as the body variants themselves. For the first time ever it is available with front-wheel, rear-wheel or all-wheel drive.
The new Sprinter is also equipped with a whole range of safety and assistance systems that until now were reserved for Mercedes-Benz passenger cars. These include: radar-based Active Distance Assist DISTRONIC, Active Brake Assist, Active Lane Keeping Assist as well as ATTENTION ASSIST, Traffic Sign Assist and the Parking Package including the 360° Camera. Crosswind Assist, which celebrated its premiere in the Sprinter in 2013 and which was a first in the segment at the time, is also on board.
In addition, the new Sprinter impresses with regard to comfort thanks to features that have been developed especially for use in camper vans such as the ergonomically designed swivelling driver and co-driver seats and the electric parking brake. The omission of the handbrake lever in the centre aisle opens up access from the cockpit to the rear. Furthermore, the new Sprinter boasts the innovative MBUX multimedia system (Mercedes-Benz User Experience) with a touch display with a screen diagonal of up to 10.25 inches.
New in 2019 – a connected house on wheels thanks to the Sprinter base vehicle
Focus on the requirements and trends in the camper van segment will continue as the Sprinter is further developed – including the connected home mega-trend.
In 2019 Mercedes-Benz will be fulfilling this requirement with Mercedes-Benz Advanced Control, in short MBAC. This is an interface module which does away with the division between the basic vehicle and the living area, connects the components in front of and behind the B-pillar and thus makes their convenient operation via a central location possible.
Thanks to MBAC, bodybuilders will be able to implement a central display for the water tank or gas levels, centrally regulate the temperature of the fridge or even that of the vehicle itself. Plus, installation of a central control system for the sound system, interior lighting (including ambient lighting) or the electrically retractable awning to name but a few will also be possible in Sprinter-based campers. Mercedes-Benz is offering three options for the centralised operation of these and other components in the new Sprinter:
- the MBUX Touch Display in the vehicle's cockpit,
- a separate display in the living area that bodybuilders can position as required,
- and a smartphone app.
As a result, campers can enjoy the comforts of their connected home on wheels regardless of where the Sprinter camper van is parked.
Trade fair appearance – Mercedes-Benz at the CMT with MBAC "discovery corner"
Visitors to the CMT 2019 can test and interactively learn about MBAC at the Mercedes stand in a "discovery corner" – either in the Sprinter cockpit exhibition, via a smartphone provided for their use or on displays which depict the control centre in the living area. Mercedes-Benz experts will be available for questions about this from 12 to 20 January 2019.
The Marvelroad app will also be presented at this year's CMT as a further integral part of the Mercedes-Benz digital service portfolio. Available since November 2018, this routes app makes car journeys an experience and now offers route suggestions for camper fans too.
Also on the Mercedes stand in Hall 7: a broad portfolio of body variants on the basis of the new Sprinter, including the semi-integrated 5-tonne camper van produced by Frankia on the basis of the Sprinter chassis. The Frankia M-Line T 7400 offers space for up to four people as standard and impresses with a high degree of comfort – whether on the road with numerous assistance systems such as Active Brake Assist or Active Lane Keeping Assist, whether in the cockpit thanks to the new Mercedes-Benz MBUX multimedia system or whether in the living area with standard panoramic roof and a headroom of over two metres. The Grand Canyon S, the compact camper by the HYMER brand is, on the other hand, based on the Sprinter Panel Van. It is available as standard with rear-wheel drive or with all-wheel drive as an optional extra – thus making journeys fun, even on snow-covered roads. A feeling of spaciousness awaits campers in the living area thanks to an intelligent allocation of space.
The X-Class – the Mercedes-Benz pickup – with a powerful 6-cylinder engine (combined fuel consumption: 9.0–8 .8 l/100 km, combined CO2 emissions: 236-230 g/km) and a roof tent structure by Movera with a roof carrier from horntools completes the exhibits for the trade fair together with the popular Mercedes-Benz Marco Polo camper vans and leisure vehicle family.
This press information and photos are available online at: d.ai/CMT2019
 The figures shown were obtained in accordance with the prescribed measuring process. They constitute the measured "NEDC CO2 values" pursuant to Article 2 no. 2 implementing regulation (EU) 2017/1152. Fuel consumption figures have been calculated on this basis. As a result of statutory changes to crucial test methods, higher figures may have been entered in the vehicle's certificate of conformity, a document relevant to vehicle registration and vehicle tax.