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Nov 27, 2014
- First standard-fit Crosswind Assist for motorhomes with custom-built bodies
- Close cooperation with renowned camper manufacturer Hymer
- Extensive range of innovative driver assistance systems
- Huge choice of base models, wheelbase lengths and drives
Stuttgart. Last year, the new Mercedes-Benz Sprinter achieved a new dimension of safety technology in the van segment with its innovative driver assistance systems. The camper market benefits from this, too. Lane Keeping Assist, Blind Spot Assist, Highbeam Assist, COLLISION PREVENTION ASSIST and Crosswind Assist have long been available in camper van conversions based on the Sprinter panel van. Mercedes-Benz is now expanding the application of these assistance systems, successively making them available also for purpose-built motorhome bodies based on the new van. Renowned camper specialist Hymer is the first manufacturer to offer the semi-integrated Hymer ML-T from January 2015 with Crosswind Assist as standard.
According to industry association Caravaning Industrie Verband e.V. (CIVD), semi-integrated campers hold the number one spot among recreational vehicles with custom-built bodies, with a market share in Germany of 36.4 percent. The industry term “semi-integrated” refers to a construction whereby a slender plastic shroud connects the original cab of the Mercedes-Benz Sprinter with the camper body, incorporating the cockpit into the living space.
Ambitious goal: Campers to the highest safety standards
A high level of safety is one of the core values of Mercedes-Benz. “Campers based on our van models must also fulfill the high demands of our vehicle safety standards. Our safety and assistance systems help to achieve this goal,” says Roland Zey, Director Sales Planning and Development Mercedes-Benz Vans. Accordingly, Hymer Sales Director Jörg Reithmeier places his confidence in the Sprinter as the base vehicle in the premium segment: “Mercedes-Benz is the ideal partner for us, above all because of the high quality standards for the chassis and the intelligent electronic safety systems.”
Mercedes-Benz and Hymer have worked together successfully for more than 40 years. The very first "Hymermobile" was built in 1971, based on a Mercedes-Benz chassis. The brand's top models are traditionally based on Mercedes-Benz base vehicles.
Crosswind Assist for motorhomes with a purpose-built body
Campers are inherently more susceptible to crosswinds than passenger cars, as the side walls present a larger surface to the wind. To improve safety and comfort even further, the Crosswind Assist system included as standard in the Sprinter is now also available for the first time for a motorhome with a purpose-built body - the Hymer ML-T. Crosswind Assist is activated automatically from a speed of 80 km/h and uses the sensors of the Electronic Stability Program ESP®. The system detects the forces acting on the vehicle owing to crosswind gusts, and applies specific brake pressure to individual wheels. This braking action counters the effect of the crosswind, considerably easing the driver's workload.
Owing to the numerous length, height and weight variants of the Sprinter, Cross-wind Assist is individually configured for each model variant, including certain campers.
Further assistance systems of the Sprinter are available as options for the Hymer ML-T – Lane Keeping Assist, Highbeam Assist and COLLISION PREVENTION ASSIST. For motorhomes with a purpose-built body – alcove vans, semi-integrated and integrated camper vans with dedicated bodies – availability depends on the type of body. Development engineers at Mercedes-Benz Vans are working on solutions for transferring the sensors and camera technology to the different bodies.
For the Sprinter, safety also means predictable handling, precise steering and disc brakes all-round. The new-generation ADAPTIVE ESP® has numerous sub-functions.
Wide range covers numerous customer requirements
As a panel van in four length variants, the Sprinter is ideally suited for premium campers with comfortable interior furnishings. Chassis for motorhome bodies are available in three wheelbases. Permissible gross vehicle weights of up to 5.0 t cover a wide range of applications. The towing capacity is also impressive, at a maximum of 3.5 t.
In addition, Mercedes-Benz offers the Sprinter in numerous suspension configurations ex factory. These are adapted to suit purpose-built bodies and conversions. An air-sprung rear suspension is also available as a comfort feature specifically for campers.
Just like the chassis, the drive system is also tailored to requirements. Highly effi-cient diesel engines with four and six cylinders cover an output range from 70 kW (95 hp) to 140 kW (190 hp). Superior power delivery and exceptional refinement are assured by the most powerful engine, a V6, which is unique in this segment. The Sprinter is not only safe and powerful, it is also clean: All the engines are already available with BlueTEC technology, compliant with the forthcoming Euro 6 emissions standard, which is already the case for the V6. As an alternative to the six-speed manual transmission, power is transferred by the seven-speed automatic transmission with torque converter – a comfort highly appreciated by self-drive holidaymakers.
Rear-wheel drive gives full-size motorhomes high traction even in unfavourable conditions. For more demanding applications, off the beaten track, too,Mercedes-Benz also offers all-wheel drive ex factory.
Close cooperation with camper van manufacturers
Mercedes-Benz works closely with bodybuilders and converters, ensuring the highest quality throughout the value chain. Around 40 specialists advise bodybuil-ders in their choice of a suitable base vehicle and modification options. They also provide them with body procedures and CAD data for their development work.