Engine:6.3L 8 Cylinder
For Sale By:Dealer
Interior Color: Gray
Number of Cylinders: 8
Drive Type: awd
Exterior Color: Black
cincinnati, OH, United States
In Which Mercedes' Sprinter Becomes A Long-Distance Sherpa
In the wintery wilds of northern Alaska, even the cute little critters want to kill you.
As I am about to nod off on my long leg flight from Minneapolis to Anchorage ahead of driving to the Arctic Circle, the friendly twenty-something Alaskan knitting furiously in the seat next to me pauses and says, "When you're driving up there, don't open your windows." In the dead of winter? I hadn't planned on cruising alfresco, but her warning to keep the glazing snugged against the weatherstripping is one I would take to heart. She continues: "If you leave 'em open, a fox is liable to jump right in. There are lots of rabid foxes up there, and they leap into your car and just Go. To. Town." And here I was, thinking that a curious bear or maybe an ill-placed moose in the road was going to be my biggest potential four-legged threat. In the wintery wilds of northern Alaska, even the cute little critters want to kill you.
Unlike the US, the commercial truck market throughout the rest of the world is chocked full of competitors from many different automakers. Since 2006, Volkswagen has had a fullsize van called the Crafter that was a result of a partnership with Daimler AG and based on the Mercedes-Benz Sprinter. This partnership is supposed to last through 2016, but Reuters is reporting that VW might be looking to end its relationship with Daimler and create its own van in cooperation with German truck and bus maker MAN.
The article says that VW AG has more than a 75-percent stake in MAN, which would essentially be keeping the new commercial vehicle in-house. Even if VW bolts, Daimler still has a deal worked out in the commercial truck industry between its subsidiary Mitsubishi Fuso and Renault-Nissan to supply the other with different trucks.
Earlier this year, Mercedes-Benz revealed the new V-Class. Slotting in below the popular Sprinter, the new V-Class replaced both the Viano and Vito upon its debut at the Geneva Motor Show. But Mercedes isn't quite done with it just yet. At the upcoming Caravan Salon in Düsseldorf, Germany, Mercedes will reveal the Marco Polo - a versatile, stylish and decidedly contemporary take on the classic camper van.
Named after the famous Italian explorer, the Marco Polo was converted by Westfalia, an outfit which you might more closely associate with classic VW camper vans but which Daimler absorbed over a decade ago. Offering, according to the press release below, "a maximum of opportunities to be independent, free and spontaneous," the Marco Polo sleeps four thanks to the rear bench that electrically folds flat into a bed and the second berth under the pop-top. The flexible interior is decked out like you'd expect a modern Mercedes to be, with ambient LED lighting as well as wood, metal and piano black trim.
It's got an onboard kitchenette with two gas burners, a sink and fridge with a 10 gallons of fresh water and an even bigger waste tank. All that gear is shlepped around by a choice of four-cylinder turbodiesel engines ranging in output from 136 to 190 horsepower. The relatively compact form boasts a turning circle similar to a full-size sedan and a height designed to fit into most garages and car washes. All of which just might make us reconsider the appeal of traveling by camper van.