Mercedes-Benz releases US-spec 2014 Sprinter detailsMon, 06 May 2013 18:26:00 EST
Last week, Mercedes-Benz released the details for the updated 2013 Sprinter intended for global markets, but this week it has announced what changes are being made to the US-spec version of the van for the 2014 model year, including the Freightliner model. As expected, most of the changes made to the European model will be present on the 2014 Mercedes-Benz Sprinter when it goes on sale in the US, which is expected to be this fall.
The biggest difference between the Sprinter announced last week and the one headed to our shores is what is found under the hood. While European Sprinters will come with diesel engines and offer the availability of a supercharged four-cylinder gasoline or CNG engine, US Sprinters will still offer the 3.0-liter V6 BlueTEC diesel. This year's Sprinter now comes standard with a new base engine, the 2.1-liter four-cylinder BlueTEC diesel. This smaller engine will produce 161 horsepower and 265 pound-feet of torque, and will be paired to a seven-speed automatic transmission; the optional 3.0 V6 puts out 188 hp and 325 lb-ft of torque, and will be mated to a six-speed auto.
Fuel economy for the new Sprinter has not been announced, but Mercedes-Benz has made numerous changes with the goal of improving efficiency. To this end you'll find a new, low-friction rear axle and the optimization for the generator, fuel pump and power steering pump.
All of the other changes will carryover to the US including the revised exterior styling, the updated interior (which has not been revealed yet) and the advanced safety features such as collision prevention, blind spot detection and lane keep assist. Oddly enough, it appears that US Sprinter models will not be getting the Crosswind Assist feature. Mercedes-Benz USA has limited the number of images it revealed with this press release, so some of the models shown in the original gallery might not be offered in the US.
The new 2014MY Sprinter Van
The best Sprinter Van of all time: safer and more economical, environmentally friendly and attractive than ever
May 06, 2013 - ANN ARBOR, MI
-New 4-cylinder diesel engine option with 7-speed transmission
-Sprinter V6 model continues
-Four new assistance systems help to avoid accidents
-More fuel-efficient accessory equipment and axles
-Noticeably upgraded interior
The pioneer of the modern van movement in the U.S., the 2014MY Sprinter Van has a new look and is now even more economical, safer and environmentally friendly. After seven years of the current generation and sales totaling around one million vehicles around the globe, the 2014MY Sprinter is set to further bolster the successful model's leading position as the benchmark commercial van. The new standard engine is a 4-cylinder diesel engine with a 7- speed automatic transmission, with the familiar V6 diesel powertrain available as an option. New safety features raise the already exemplary standard of safety to an even higher level. And last but not least, drivers of the new Sprinter can look forward to a further enhanced cockpit with new infotainment features. The 2014MY Sprinter will go on sale in the U.S. in Fall 2013.
A new Sprinter with striking new looks
Visually, the 2014MY Sprinter immediately makes a clear-cut and striking impression. Fully in keeping with the current Mercedes-Benz design line, the radiator grille appears more upright and self-assured, lending the new Sprinter a more confident presence. The three radiator louvers are swept back from top to bottom and are perforated. This increases the air flow and clearly establishes a close visual link to a consistent design language from the new vans and trucks from Mercedes-Benz.
On Mercedes-Benz models, the Mercedes star now rests on a vividly highlighted base. A beveled surround highlights the signature Mercedes-Benz radiator grille. Freightliner models feature the familiar Freightliner badge at the top of the new grille.
The new headlamps feature sharper contours and lend the Sprinter a serious yet energetic look. A striking feature is the masking of the reflector housings. A surround divides the headlamps into individual segments, emphasizing the Sprinter's eyes and providing the entire front end with a substantially more cutting-edge appearance. In the bottom of the housing there is space for the LED light strips of the daytime running lamps.
The new hood is higher, resulting in improved protection for pedestrians. It also features more pronounced contours, lending the Sprinter a look of authority.
The same applies to the new bumper featuring a more pronounced upward sweep under the headlamps and bolder lines. The air inlet in the middle is now set back, providing the Sprinter's face with added dynamism and creating an impression of greater poise on the road. The opening continues to function as a step to facilitate cleaning of the windscreen. The purposeful impression created by the new Sprinter is heightened by the detailed attention paid to design on the underside of the bumper, whose appearance is reminiscent of an SUV.
The Sprinter's rear end with its striking, centrally positioned Mercedes star has remained largely unchanged. The 2014MY Sprinter now benefits from twocompartment tail lights, however, and the badges have been redesigned.
The new design emphasizes the Sprinter's high quality. This is manifested in the precise joints, the "shingled" headlamp joint overlapping the hood and the precise lines of the frame around the grille, which are also conducive to easy fitting.
BlueTEC engine technology: clean, economical, tried and tested
Since 2010, all Sprinters in the U.S. have been powered by innovative BlueTEC diesel engines, marking the first-ever use of super-clean BlueTEC technology in the commercial van market. The BlueTEC diesel engine is as clean as a modern gasoline engine. A Diesel Exhaust Fluid (DEF) injection system reduces nitrogen oxides to harmless nitrogen and water in a downstream catalytic converter. The BlueTEC engine technology has also been demonstrating its capabilities in Mercedes-Benz trucks and buses for almost ten years now.
Highly economical BlueTEC four-cylinder engine
In addition to the familiar V6 diesel engine, the 2014MY Sprinter now features a 2.1-liter four-cylinder diesel engine as standard equipment. It produces 161 hp and 265 lb-ft of torque at 1,400-2,400 rpm. With an 83 mm bore and a 99 mm stroke, the engine features an undersquare configuration in the interests of high tractive power. The two overhead camshafts actuate a total of 16 intake and exhaust valves. The camshafts are driven by a combination of gearwheels and a short chain. The common rail injection system operates at a maximum injection pressure of 26,000 psi. The fuel is injected by means of magnetic injectors and seven-hole injection nozzles. Charging takes place at all times via a two-stage exhaust-gas turbocharger system.
Maximum torque is available right from low engine speeds and over a broad engine speed range. The engines attain both a high specific power output and high torque. This downsizing is crucial to low fuel consumption, accompanied by low emissions and optimum weight.
A Lanchester balancer with two counter-rotating shafts, the camshaft drive positioned further to the rear and a two-mass flywheel all contribute to the engine's extremely smooth running characteristics. A combination of exhaust gas recirculation with two-stage cooling and the SCR technology with AdBlue injection for the BlueTEC engines and a particulate filter ensures clean exhaust emissions.
BlueTEC six-cylinder engine: brilliant technology, high comfort
The optional V6 diesel motor (188hp, 325 lb-ft) with a displacement of 3.0 l is a feat of engine construction. The undersquare engine (bore x stroke: 83 x 92 mm) is based on an aluminum crankcase with a V angle of 72 degrees. Offset rod journals and a balancer shaft result in an extremely smooth-running engine. Its technical refinements include a total of four duplex chain-driven overhead camshafts and common rail injection with piezo injectors and eight spray holes per nozzle.
Accessory equipment fine-tuned for maximum efficiency
The exceptionally low fuel consumption of the new Sprinter is not attributable solely to the engine technology. The engineers at Mercedes-Benz have also finetuned the Sprinter's accessory equipment for maximum economy.
Intelligent generator management ensures that the alternator gives priority to charging the battery during braking and coasting. During acceleration and cruising, the full engine output is available to the drive system. The electric fuel pump controls the fuel supply for the Sprinter according to requirements, i.e. with a variable delivery rate. Last but not least, the compressor of the optional air conditioning system incorporates a freewheel, so that it is only active when the air conditioning is on.
Seven-speed automatic transmission for the 4-cylinder
The 4-cylinder Sprinter features a 7-speed automatic transmission with torque converter - the only 7-speed automatic transmission to feature in a van anywhere in the world is refined for maximum fuel economy. The improved damping technology results in a lower tendency to generate noise and hum. The reduced slip on the lockup clutch gives a more direct connection to the accelerator pedal and therefore provides greater agility.
The development engineers have additionally adapted the automatic transmission's shift points precisely to the engine characteristics, also optimizing the oil's heat-up behavior in the cold running phase in this respect, along with the torque converter's hydraulic circuit. This results in faster heating-up of the oil, therefore minimizing frictional losses after cold starting.
Rear axle with reduced friction for greater economy
The developers have tweaked all the available points of detail in order to achieve maximum efficiency for the new Sprinter. A key example here is the driven rear axle. In the interests of low-friction and economical running, modifications have been undertaken here right down to the microgeometry of the differential's tooth flanks, the precision of installation has been further improved and the oil flow has been optimized to reduce churning loss while the axle is running. These measures have been applied to all axle variants.
Other Fuel-Efficient Measures
The generator management system has been optimized for even greater efficiency. The same applies to the further enhanced fuel pump, which controls the supply pressure and flow rate according to the prevailing requirements. The ECO power steering pump is only activated when power assistance is actually required.
The new 2014 Sprinter: an excellent track record right from the word go
Right from its market launch, the new Sprinter has an excellent track record to its name. It has demonstrated its reliability in comprehensive trials, from endurance tests at top speed to extreme short-distance tests in Scandinavia at icy temperatures with a high proportion of idling and a large number of stops. In all, the new Sprinter has covered around five million miles in endurance tests, including tough deployment by customers in real-life traffic. These operations spanned a highly diverse spectrum of driving profiles, including service with a company which covers up to 170,000 miles annually, using alternating drivers in a relay system.
Four new assistance systems help to avoid accidents
A key focus in developing the new Sprinter was on a whole range of new assistance systems - including world premieres in the van segment. New available features to be premiered with the new Sprinter are Collision Prevention Assist, Blind Spot Assist, Highbeam Assist and Lane Keeping Assist. This array of new assistance systems underscores Mercedes-Benz Vans' pioneering role in safety technology and as a driving force behind innovative developments.
The additional new assistance systems spawn a crucial benefit: the electronic aids will help to prevent many accidents. The developers at Mercedes-Benz are convinced that this new generation of assistance systems in the van segment will have an extremely positive impact on accident statistics.
Collision Prevention Assist: warns the driver of impending collisions
Failure to maintain the necessary distance from other vehicles is one of the most dangerous factors relating to accidents on the road. Analyses carried out by the accident research team at Mercedes-Benz have revealed that a substantial proportion of all rear-end collisions can be avoided or their severity at least reduced substantially with the aid of radar-based assistance systems.
This is where the optionally available Collision Prevention Assist system comes into play - another first in this class. Collision Prevention Assist is designed to help prevent serious rear-end collisions and includes a proximity warning function and adaptive Brake Assist. It warns the driver when the distance from the vehicle ahead is too small and, at a further escalation level, when there is an acute danger of collision.
The radar-based proximity warning assistant helps the driver to maintain an appropriate safe distance from the vehicle in front. A radar sensor in the front bumper continuously measures the distance from the vehicle ahead in the same lane and the relative speeds of the two vehicles. The proximity warning assistant calculates the necessary safe distance on the basis of this information. Collision Prevention Assist is operational from a speed of approximately 12 mph.
Static proximity warning function
A visual warning (warning lamp in the instrument cluster) is triggered as soon as a vehicle ahead is detected and the distance to the vehicle ahead drops below a specific limit, indicating that the distance is not safe.
Dynamic proximity warning function
The dynamic proximity warning function is triggered as soon as the driver's vehicle approaches the detected vehicle ahead with a high difference in speed. In this case, both a visual and an acoustic warning is given. Both warnings allow the driver to carry out emergency braking or evasive maneuvers. The driver can switch off this assistance function as necessary.
Brake Assist pro: emergency braking precisely as and when required
Similar to ESP®, this function cannot be switched off by the driver. It is continuously active in the background, monitoring the current operating conditions and the current driving situation. Support from Adaptive Brake Assist is triggered after the dynamic proximity warning when the distance between the Sprinter and the vehicle ahead closes too rapidly and driver initiates panic braking.
Adaptive Brake Assist is able to support emergency braking according to the relative speed/relative acceleration and the distance from the identified object. When the driver fails to apply sufficient brake power, Adaptive Brake Assist provides additional boost to generate just enough additional deceleration to help avoid an accident. This also gives the traffic behind the longest possible response time to avoid a rear-end collision.
The driver can override the intervention by adaptive Brake Assist at any time, i.e. if the driver initiates harder braking than the system identifies as necessary, the driver's action will take priority.
Conversely, intervention will be stopped if the driver carries out an evasive maneuver, takes his foot off the brake pedal or presses the accelerator pedal.
Blind Spot Assist: safe lane changing
Lane-changing in urban traffic, passing on the highway - all these situations require drivers to make safety-critical decisions in a matter of seconds. The Sprinter possesses large exterior mirrors with a wide field of vision. The optional new feature Blind Spot Assist - another first for the van segment - additionally helps the driver by warning them of other vehicles in the blind spot during lane changing.
The new Blind Spot Assist function is operational from a speed of approx. 20 mph. It is based on a total of four close-range radar sensors. These are installed on the right and left behind the side rub strips in the area of the B-pillar and the rear corner pillar and cover the area of the neighboring lanes. When the sensors identify a car or motorcycle in the blind spot while the vehicle is on the move, a red warning signal appears in the exterior mirror on the respective side. When the assistance system detects that the driver has activated the indicator and thus intends to change lane despite the warning, he receives an additional warning in the form of an acoustic signal and the red warning symbol begins to flash. This assistance function can be deactivated by the driver.
Lane Keeping Assist: keeping the vehicle on course
Even more dangerous than careless lane changing is involuntary lane changing - when the driver is distracted or inattentive, for example. The optional Lane Keeping Assist function is now available to provide a timely warning here.
Lane Keeping Assist incorporates sophisticated technology. A camera behind the windscreen films the road ahead. An integrated electronic control unit measures the recorded data continuously, identifying the road surface and markings by reference to differences in contrast. If the van threatens to cross the side marking without the indicator having been activated or without parallel changes to the accelerator or brake pedal position, the control unit will conclude that the vehicle is leaving its lane unintentionally and will warn the driver with an acoustic signal.
Lane Keeping Assist is active from a speed of approximately 40 mph and responds not only to white lines on the road but also to yellow markings at construction sites. The driver can switch this assist system off as necessary - when driving along narrow and winding country roads, for example. Conversely, Lane Keeping Assist helps the driver to stay on course when there is little room for maneuvering - at highway construction sites, for example.
Highbeam Assist: optimum illumination of the road ahead
The best possible visibility is crucial to safe driving. Driving in the dark is particularly demanding in this respect. With this in mind, the Sprinter comes with large and powerful headlamps. All models are optionally available with particularly powerful bi-xenon headlamps.
The new Highbeam Assist feature is a first in the Sprinter's class. It guarantees optimum illumination of the road by switching high beam on or off according to the given situation. The path of the road, pedestrians or dangerous spots are now recognizable even earlier and more reliably. At the same time, Highbeam Assist also reduces the possibility of oncoming traffic or vehicles ahead being blinded.
The system is based on a camera on the inside of the front windscreen which observes the traffic situation in front of the vehicle. When the camera detects vehicles or motorcycles travelling towards or ahead of the Sprinter, the high beam is automatically dipped to low beam. Highbeam Assist is able to distinguish between moving and stationary objects. When the road is clear once again, the assistance system switches back to high beam. The camera system also responds to road lighting by deactivating high beam automatically - when passing through built-up areas, for example. Highbeam Assist operates at vehicle speeds above 22 mph, and is available for both halogen and bi-xenon headlamps.
Mercedes-Benz Sprinter: safety on board as standard
These new systems aside, safety is always on board every vehicle from Mercedes- Benz as standard. In the case of the Sprinter, for example, this means a safe and predictable chassis, precise steering and highly effective, fade-resistant disc brakes on all wheels. A bulb failure indicator warns of any defective lights and a seat belt reminder function prompts the driver to buckle up at the beginning of his trip.
The latest-generation ADAPTIVE ESP® already combines a diverse array of functions. The vehicle dynamics control system includes:
- anti-lock brake system (ABS),
- acceleration slip regulation (ASR),
- electronic brake force distribution (EBD),
- hydraulic Brake Assist (BAS),
- Load Adaptive Control (LAC) load-dependent control system,
- Roll Over Mitigation roll-over protection and Roll Movement Intervention (ROM/RMI),
- Enhanced Understeering Control system (EUC),
- automatic brake disc drying system (Brake Disc Wiping) when driving in the rain
- and anticipatory preparation of the brake pads in critical driving situations (Electronic Brake Prefill).
If the buyer of a Sprinter selects a trailer coupling or the corresponding preinstallation option for this item, the Trailer Stability Assist (TSA) system also comes as standard.
If an accident is unavoidable, despite the Sprinter's high level of active safety, the occupants will benefit from the yielding and energy-absorbing body structure. A height-adjustable three-point seat belt with belt tensioner and belt force limiter, two-way head restraints and also front airbags are there to keep the driver safe.
Optional extras ensure safety tailored to individual needs
Beyond the extensive scope of standard equipment, additional safety options are available to enable customers to adapt their Sprinters to their individual operational requirements. Bi-xenon headlamps, fog lights, a headlamp cleaning system and a heated windscreen provide for a further improvement of visibility.
Available rearview camera, backup warning system and the PARKTRONIC system facilitate maneuvering, while the standard Start-off Assist system helps when moving off on uphill slopes. The available rain sensor with Headlamp Assist relieves the driver of the task of switching the appropriate systems on and off. Available window airbags and thorax bags enhance passive safety, while the optional tire pressure monitoring system ensures the correct pressure on variants with single tires.
Key focus: driver-fitness safety
Equally as important as the safety equipment on board is driver-fitness safety. A well-rested and relaxed driver is better able to manage or even avoid dangerous situations. The workplace behind the steering wheel is consequently a central focus in the development. As a result, every van features a spacious driver's cab and comfortable seats with good lateral support and height adjustment for the driver. The seat position is well chosen in relation to the steering wheel, pedals and the cockpit as a whole. Instruments are clearly arranged and the buttons, switches and control units are always positioned within easy reach.
The mirror housings are aerodynamically optimized to reduce built-up of dirt. High levels of ride comfort and low background noise combine with effective heating and ventilation to make even the longest trips a pleasure. Numerous wellconceived storage facilities accommodate everyday items. Precision steering and a comparatively small turning circle round-off the range of features for maximum safety and relaxed driving.
Noticeably upgraded interior
Improving on the Sprinter's indisputably high-quality and practical cockpit is no easy matter. The development engineers have nevertheless risen to the challenge. The foam core in the seat is firmer, a wool fleece lining and a new seat cover fabric provide for enhanced breathability. The cover is also even harder-wearing and features a new design.
New radio generation, Becker MAP PILOT navigation system
State-of-the-art consumer electronics and navigation equipment are acquiring an ever increasing importance in vans, too. The new standard headunit features a 5.8-inch color display and Bluetooth connectivity with telephone keypad and phone book, an SD card slot, a USB 2.0 interface and an AUX input in the cockpit. When the optional backup camera is installed, the image from this camera is shown on the display. Guide lines are now provided on the display, to further facilitate maneuvering. A new option is the Becker MAP PILOT navigation unit. This is a fully integrated navigation module with an intuitive user interface.
The Becker MAP PILOT box is integrated inconspicuously in the new Sprinter's glove compartment. The map data for the customer's region is factory-installed. The box can be removed and incorporates a USB port, enabling the navigation module to be customized and updated online via a computer. A pre-installation kit for the Becker MAP PILOT is also available, e.g. for fleets wishing to make alternate use of vehicles with only one navigation unit.
The new Sprinter: one-stop solution
Versatility is a hallmark of the Mercedes-Benz Sprinter. Two diesel engines and a host of body, weight and rear axle variants add up to several thousand variants. In addition, special bodies and interior equipment from selected and certified system partners are available ex-factory as part of the "Sprinter Preferred Upfitter Program".
Meeting the diverse needs of Sprinter customers is especially important, since 75 percent of all Sprinters are sold with some type of upfitter modification that's designed to ensure the quality and safety of all modifications. There are currently over 80 approved upfitters in the program.
To become a Preferred Upfitter, several Sprinter specialists review each upfitter's plans, visit their facility while work is in progress and inspect finished vans. Approved upfitters get advance product information, exclusive access to certain options and ship-through service. Each upfitter also receives special programming of the electronics system that is tailored to the customer's need and vehicle functionality.
Quick Reference Guide [PRELIMINARY]:
Availability: Fall 2013
2014 Sprinter (new standard engine) - Price $TBD
2.1-liter 4-cylinder turbodiesel (161hp, 265 lb-ft)
7-speed automatic transmission
144" & 170" wheelbase
3 body lengths
Available high-roof option
Configurations: Cargo, Crew, Passenger, MiniBus, Cab Chassis
2014 Sprinter V6 (carryover) - Price $TBD
3.0-liter V6 turbodiesel (188 hp, 325 lb-ft)
5-speed automatic transmission
144" & 170" wheelbase
3 body lengths
Available high-roof option
Configurations: Cargo, Crew, Passenger, MiniBus, Cab Chassis
New Standard Feature Highlights:
New front grille, headlights, bumper, hood, badging
Redesigned steering wheel and shifter
New seat design
LED Daytime Running Lights
Headunit with 5.8" screen including Bluetooth, iPod and aux interface
3.692 rear axle
New Optional Feature Highlights:
Active Safety Plus Package
Blind Spot Assist (N/A Cab Chassis)
Lane Keeping Assist
Collision Prevention Assist
Active Safety Plus Package w/PARKTRONIC (N/A Cab Chassis)
Blind Spot Assist
Lane Keeping Assist
Collision Prevention Assist
Low Roof (Chassis Cab models)
By Jeffrey N. Ross
See also: 2013 Mercedes-Benz GLK250 Bluetec gets 33 mpg, priced from $38,950*, Mercedes Sprinter updated to take on Ford Transit, Ram ProMaster, Boston bombers were tracked using Mercedes mbrace [w/video].