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Sep 25, 2013
- Comprehensive programme celebrating the traditions and performance capabilities of vans is supported by Mercedes-Benz Vans
- Multifunctional vehicles in their element
The 1st Mercedes V Club Deutschland e.V. celebrates its tenth anniversary this year. Established in June 2003, the Club sees itself as an interest group focusing on the V-Class, Vito and Viano (model series 638 and 639). The foundations for the 1st Mercedes V Club Deutschland () were laid with the presentation of the 638 model series (1996-2003) in 1996. Ever since their launch, the V-Class multifunctional large-capacity vehicle and the Vito commercial vehicle have delighted customers above all by virtue of their effective use of space. But the Club is also open to the Sprinter – as well as all older vehicles that trace the traditions of Mercedes-Benz vans back into the past.
Mercedes-Benz Vans marks the occasion with a diverse array of vehicles celebrating the traditions and performance capabilities of vans
The grand Club birthday meeting which took place from 20 to 22 September on the vehicle test site in Horstwalde south of Berlin attracted a wide variety of V-Class, Vito and Viano models as well as Sprinter vehicles – supplemented by current and historic vehicles from Mercedes-Benz Vans to highlight the past and present of the multifunctional large-capacity vehicle. The oldest examples included a 170 V panel van dating from 1951 and an O 319 Panorama Bus from 1961. Representing modern-day highlights were two Mercedes-Benz Sprinter models from the new generation: a 311 CDI as well as a 319 CDI BlueTEC – the latter already fitted with an emission control system meeting the Euro VI standard.
Multifunctional all-wheel drive vehicles in their element
A comprehensive supporting programme of events served to demonstrate the performance capabilities of the variants fitted with all-wheel drive in particular – with the area in Horstwalde, Brandenburg, providing the perfect setting with several off-road routes and obstacles. As part of this, standard Sprinter and Viano models fitted with 4MATIC all-wheel drive transported Club members and their guests around the most demanding of routes and, depending on the conditions of the circuit, succeeded in setting an impressive pace. They were also spurred on by two vehicles which had taken part in the women-only "Rallye Aïcha des Gazelles du Maroc 2013", and which now also demonstrated their capabilities at getting to grips with the terrain. Finished in distinctive green and still showing signs of having competed in the long-distance event. the Vito 116 CDI 4x4 and Sprinter 318 4x4 both feature completely standard drive and engine technology – a requirement set by the rally organisers.
4x4 drive: Off-road capabilities plus safety reserves for everyday use
The standard vans with all-wheel drive already offer performance capabilities for tackling demanding off-road terrain which an inexperienced off-road driver would never imagine possible. When it comes to slope climbing ability, angle of approach/departure and tipping angle, and also fording depth, they appear to have exceeded the boundaries of what is technically feasible. As a result, on top of all this they also boast high safety reserves for general everyday use. Virtually in a league of its own is the Mercedes-Benz Zetros, which represented the heavy-duty sector at the Club meeting: the six-axle special vehicle with all-wheel drive appeared unfazed by even the steepest incline of 65 percent at the vehicle test site in Horstwalde, and also maintained perfect contact with the ground when covering the extreme distortion route.
Tours in the historic O 319 Panorama Bus also provided Club members with the opportunity to learn more about the vehicle test site and its technical facilities. The site's history extends back into the first half of the last century. The Federal Institute for Materials Research and Testing (BAM) currently has its test facility for technical safety there, for example. The 170 V panel van, forefather of the delivery van and still sporting the original "used look" in which in was rediscovered after so many years, as well as the Viano V8 designed as a fast camera van with platform body, rounded off the programme of events in the form of static displays.