Caravan Salon 2015 in Düsseldorf: Mercedes-Benz Vans on course for success in the camper van market

Aug 28, 2015
  • Marco Polo and Marco Polo ACTIVITY: all 4MATIC versions available
  • V-Class and Vito with SCA pop-up roof: attractive platforms for compact camper vans
  • Sprinter is increasing its presence in the semi and fully integrated camper van segment
Mercedes-Benz Vans is intensifying its cooperation with converters and bodybuilders, and further expanding its presence in the camper van market. Following the successful market launch of the Marco Polo and Marco Polo ACTIVITY, the V-Class and Vito are also on the attack as platforms for individual camper van bodies. More and more converters and bodybuilders are placing their confidence in the two Mercedes-Benz models with the newly developed SCA pop-up roof by C.F. Maier, and extending their portfolios of compact camper vans. At the beginning of this year Terra Camper already presented the first Tecamp based on the Mercedes-Benz Vito 4x4 with the SCA pop-up roof as a new expedition vehicle. And now Neureuther has for the first time based its popular, multifunctional MultiCamper recreational vehicle on the all-wheel drive Vito. Both vehicles are on display on the Mercedes-Benz stand (D18) in Hall 16 at the Caravan Salon in Düsseldorf. At the same time Hymer is presenting a design study with a modular furniture concept on the basis of the V-Class. Various other camper van manufacturers are also showing individual conversions and bodies based on the V-Class and Vito with the SCA pop-up roof.
Marco Polo and Marco Polo ACTIVITY: all 4MATIC versions available
In addition to the 250 d 4MATIC versions of the Mercedes-Benz Marco Polo and Marco Polo ACTIVITY camper van and recreational vehicles, the all-wheel drive variants in the guise of the 200 d 4MATIC and 220 d 4MATIC are now also available. This allows even more flexibility and spontaneity in recreational and everyday use. Whether rough, bumpy stretches, muddy tracks or snow-covered, icy roads – the all-wheel drive variants of the Marco Polo and Marco Polo ACTIVITY are reassuringly confident on any surface. At the same time they are just as suitable for day-to-day and urban driving as the rear-wheel drive models. The vehicle height of 1.98 m remains unchanged thanks to the extremely compact design of the all-wheel drive system. This means that the 4MATIC models are likewise able to use all conventional garages, multi-storey and underground car parks and car washes.
The 4MATIC drive train, which also powers the V-Class and Vito, has a basic torque distribution of 45:55 percent between the front and rear axles. In conjunction with the ESP®, ASR and 4ETS dynamic handling control systems, this makes for effortlessly superior and reliable handling. If one or more wheels lose traction, 4ETS slows them down in a fraction of a second and automatically distributes power to the wheels with better roadholding. Conventional mechanical differential locks are therefore not needed. This technology, which is also deployed in Mercedes-Benz SUVs and off-road vehicles, saves on weight and at the same time increases driving safety and comfort.
The compact Marco Polo camper van features a fully equipped kitchenette with an innovative stowage system, a wardrobe, pivoting front seats and a table as standard. For overnight stops the Marco Polo is equipped with a two-seater bench which can be quickly and easily converted into a bed, as well as a roof bed as standard. As standard the Marco Polo ACTIVITY recreational vehicle features a three-seater bench which can also be converted into a bed, and, like the Marco Polo, a roof bed under the pop-up roof which ensures a level of sleeping comfort that is outstanding in this segment.
V-Class and Vito with SCA pop-up roof: attractive platforms for compact camper vans
With the SCA pop-up roof by C.F. Maier, a well-known manufacturer of pop-up roofs for camper vans, the Mercedes-Benz V-Class and Vito are attractive platforms for compact camper vans. The wide choice in these two model series is unrivalled. The V-Class and Vito are available with rear-wheel and all-wheel drive in three engine variants, namely 100 kW (136 hp), 120 kW (163 hp) and 140 kW (190 hp). In addition the Vito is available with front-wheel drive in output variants of 65 kW (88 hp) and 84 kW (115 hp). Power is transferred either by a six-speed manual transmission or the 7G-TRONIC PLUS seven-speed torque converter transmission as a unique feature in this vehicle class. The V-Class and Vito come equipped with Crosswind Assist and ATTENTION ASSIST as standard.
The front-opening SCA pop-up roof is completely preassembled, and perfectly blends into the silhouette of the V-Class and Vito. It consists of a glass-fibre reinforced plastic shell (GFRP) and hard foam insulation. This material combination is both lightweight and rigid. At the same time it ensures excellent thermal and sound insulation. A bed with a surface area of 2.00 x 1.15 m is installed under the roof as standard. The pop-up roof known as the SCA 152 is available for both vehicles in the long body version measuring 5.14 m overall. The SCA 153, a rear-opening pop-up roof for the V-Class and Vito, will follow before the end of this year.
Sprinter is increasing its presence in the semi and fully integrated camper van segment
The Mercedes-Benz Sprinter is the measure of all things as a platform for camper vans in the premium category. Already the leader in the top-class luxury motor caravan sector, this popular van is now also expanding its presence in the semi and fully integrated camper van segment. Moreover, Mercedes-Benz is the first manufacturer worldwide also to offer Crosswind Assist for camper vans based on the Sprinter. The first bodybuilder designed camper vans to include this unique safety feature as standard are the semi-integrated Hymer ML-T and the new, fully integrated Hymer ML-I. Meanwhile la strada has also equipped its semi-integrated camper vans in the la strada Nova series with Crosswind Assist as standard. Crosswind Assist has been standard in the panel van models of the la strada Regent series since the introduction of the new Mercedes-Benz Sprinter in September 2013.
Crosswind Assist is of particular importance for camper vans. This is because they inherently respond to cross-winds more sensitively than passenger cars, as the side wall presents a larger area to the wind. Crosswind Assist is automatically activated from a speed of 80 km/h, and uses the sensors of the standard Electronic Stability Program ESP®. Alongside Lane-Keeping Assist, Blind Spot Assist, Highbeam Assist and COLLISION PREVENTION ASSIST, it is one of five innovative assistance systems with which the Sprinter sets new standards for safety technology in the van segment. The full range of assistance systems is already available for motor caravans. In the case of camper vans with a dedicated vehicle body – e.g. alcove designs, semi and fully integrated camper vans – availability depends on the type of body. Developers at Mercedes-Benz Vans are working on ways to transfer the sensors and camera technology of the Sprinter to these different bodies.
Mercedes-Benz Vans at the Caravan Salon
On stand D18 in Hall 16 at the Caravan Salon in Düsseldorf from 29 August to 6 September 2015, Mercedes-Benz is presenting the Marco Polo, the Marco Polo ACTIVITY, the Tecamp by Terra Camper and the MultiCamper by Neureuther on the basis of the Vito 4x4 with the SCA pop-up roof, and the Hymer ML-T based on the all-wheel drive Sprinter. On its own stand at the show, Hymer is also showing the design study of its first camper van based on the V-Class with the SCA pop-up roof, as well as the fully integrated Hymer ML-I based on the Sprinter and now also available with all-wheel drive.