Mercedes aims to make a splash at Caravan Salon
Just a year after its market launch, the third generation of the Mercedes-Benz Sprinter is proving to be a true success. The growing popularity of the iconic van bearing the three-pointed star with bodybuilders and motorhome enthusiasts is particularly apparent at the 58th Caravan Salon in Düsseldorf: around 20 new products will be on show from 31 August to 8 September at the leading fair for motorhomes and caravans. Almost half of them are based on the tractor head model of the Sprinter, including the B-Class MasterLine 880 from HYMER or the chic c-line I 4.9 and e-line I 51 QB from Carthago. The James Cook from Westfalia, the LBX 365 from Bimobil and the Concept Van 2019 from Vmax Construction will be displaying a special highlight. They are the first vehicles to be equipped with the innovative body interface module from Mercedes-Benz called "Mercedes-Benz Advanced Control" (MBAC) which turns them into a connected home on wheels. MBAC offers a variety of possibilities, ranging from the central display for the water fill level to controlling the lights and heating using either the touch display or a smartphone app.
"We are consistently building on our position in the motorhome segment. With the third generation of the Sprinter we made an important step forward – as confirmed by the numerous product innovations at the 2019 Caravan Salon", says Klaus Maier, Head of Marketing and Sales at Mercedes-Benz Vans. "We are particularly proud of the first motorhomes equipped with the Mercedes-Benz Advanced Control. With it campers travel in a mobile "smart home"; meaning they can control various components in the living area centrally and comfortably. Adding to this, we are now also offering the Mercedes me connect services familiar from the passenger car models. Thus connectivity also becomes available in and around the cab – a well-rounded, forward-looking package."
Complementing the diverse range of innovations based on the Sprinter, the facelift for the Mercedes-Benz Marco Polo and Marco Polo HORIZON is celebrating its fair premiere in Düsseldorf. The special ArtVenture models available for the entire Marco Polo family are also brand new and their modern appearance will bring fresh colour to van life.
Motorhomes based on the Sprinter are experiencing a boom: around 20 new products at the Caravan Salon
From the very beginning of the development phase of the third generation of the Sprinter, the needs of both motorhome enthusiasts and bodybuilders played an important role. Thus the current Sprinter is not only available in the proven panel van and chassis version but also as a tractor head variant which provides bodybuilders with a high degree of freedom when designing the living area. The drive system types of the Sprinter are as individual as the body variants themselves: it is available with front-wheel, rear-wheel or all-wheel drive. A choice of four or six-cylinder diesel engines with 6-speed manual transmission or 9G-TRONIC or 7G-TRONIC PLUS automatic transmission provide for pleasant travelling speeds. In addition to this diversity, the third-generation Sprinter also impresses with features that have been developed specifically for the motorhome segment such as the ergonomically-formed, swivelling driver and front-passenger seats or the electric parking brake for unhindered access from the cockpit into the living area. Furthermore it is equipped with the MBUX multimedia system (Mercedes-Benz User Experience) with a touch display measuring up to 10.25 inches and a whole series of assistance systems which were previously reserved for use in the Mercedes-Benz passenger car model series. These include the radar-based systems Distance Assist DISTRONIC, Active Brake Assist or Active Lane Keeping Assist.
Catering to the needs of campers has been well-received – as can be seen at the 2019 Caravan Salon. In Düsseldorf, almost a dozen international bodybuilders are presenting around 20 innovations based on the Sprinter. This is an indication of how, in the third generation, the Sprinter is establishing itself not only amongst premium camper vans but increasingly as a base vehicle for semi- and fully-integrated motorhomes thanks to the tractor head variant.
Connected living area: first motorhomes with Mercedes-Benz Advanced Control celebrate their premiere
In addition to the classic hardware criteria such as exterior dimensions, layout or stowage facilities, connectivity options are becoming increasingly important for motorhomes. With regard to camping, connectivity provides for more comfort – for example systems can display whether the vehicle is ready for departure and body functions can be monitored centrally. That is why particular attention was paid to connectivity during the development of the Sprinter.
From the end of the year, bodybuilders can optionally order the Sprinter with Mercedes-Benz Advanced Control (MBAC for short). MBAC is an interface module which connects selected components in the living area of the motorhome allowing them to be controlled centrally – using either the MBUX touch display in the vehicle's cockpit, a separate touch display in the living area which can be freely positioned by the bodybuilder or by using a smartphone app. Components to be integrated can include:
- Checking the fill level of gas bottles and the shut-off valve for the gas
- Checking the fill level of the water tank and controlling the drainage valve for the water
- Checking the charge status of the batteries
- Checking and regulating the refrigerator's temperature
- Checking and regulating the temperature in the living area
- Checking the charge status of the solar module for the alternative power supply
- Controlling the electrically extendible awning and the electrically operated pop-up roof
- Controlling the sound system
- Controlling the interior lighting, incl. ambient lighting
- Controlling the step up into the living area
Three motorhomes equipped with MBAC will be presented at the Caravan Salon in Düsseldorf: the James Cook from Westfalia, the Concept Van 2019 from Vmax Construction as well as the LBX 365 from Bimobil.
Mercedes me connect rounds off the connectivity product range for the Sprinter
Whilst MBAC provides for intelligent connectivity behind the B pillar, i.e. in the living area, Mercedes me connect, familiar from the passenger car model series, makes connectivity applications possible in front of the B pillar, i.e. in and around the cab – and all in good time for the premiere of the James Cook, the LBX 365 and Concept Van 2019. Thus Mercedes me connect is available for the Sprinter for the first time – as standard with the cost-free basic services Maintenance Management, Accident and Breakdown Management as well as Telediagnostics and Remote Vehicle Diagnostics. These can be supplemented by the so-called Vehicle Set-up services upon request. The Vehicle Set-up services allow the tyre pressure, fuel and AdBlue fill levels, windscreen washer fluid and brake fluid as well as the mileage to be called up remotely. Further optional services include:
- Vehicle monitoring with vehicle position, vehicle tracking and geofencing
- Sending routes and points of interest to the vehicle
- In-car internet, Wifi hotspot
- Internet radio, online music, online weather and online search functions
Mercedes me connect services can be accessed via smartphone or PC from any location – if an internet connection is available. Operation is also possible from the vehicle cockpit via MBUX using either the touch
isplay or the "Hey Mercedes" voice control which is especially convenient.
Visitors to the fair can experience Mercedes me connect at the Mercedes booth in hall 16: in the Sprinter motorhomes on show or in an interactive connectivity experience area. Mercedes-Benz experts will be available for questions every day throughout the exhibition.
An attractive special model of the new Marco Polo in Düsseldorf
The facelift of the Mercedes-Benz Marco Polo and Marco Polo HORIZON with its dynamic but efficient four-cylinder OM 654 diesel engine, the comfortable 9G-TRONIC automatic transmission and an extended range of safety and assistance systems including Active Brake Assist will be exhibited for the first time in front of fair visitors at the Caravan Salon. The most obvious features are, however, the new design elements of the compact travel van and leisure vehicle family such as the new front or the new mix of paint colours and upholsteries available.
The ArtVenture special model series which celebrates its premiere in Düsseldorf, also focuses on design. With the special models series the look of the facelift has been given a more conspicuous touch of colour. The pop-up roof
with its aquamarine roof bellows is a real eye-catcher. There are three optional decors for the vehicle sides which match this, all in matt black with aquamarine accents. The front opening in the pop-up roof is a functional highlight for all fans of fresh air. A series of additional special features – already familiar from the standard models – also increases comfort whilst allowing campers to enjoy their van life to the fullest. These include the EASY PACK tailgate which can be opened and closed electrically – with the ability to stop it in any position – or the ambient lighting along the lower edge of the kitchenette fittings. The ArtVenture special model series can be ordered for both the Marco Polo and Marco Polo HORIZON as well as for the Marco Polo ACTIVITY from October 2019. In Germany it will be launched at a list price starting from 44,590 euros (including 19 percent VAT).