The Mercedes-Benz Sprinter 4X4 is a utilitarian, all-season, all weather van with sophisticated bones. At the push of a button, the AWD/4X4 system kicks in as the 4ETS electronic traction system works in unison with the ESP system. The result is an all-terrain van that’s still compliant with Euro VI emissions standards.
“The Sprinter 4×4 now comes with the option of Downhill Speed Regulation (DSR), which ensures that a preselected speed is maintained constantly when driving downhill. This is possible thanks to the interaction between the engine, transmission and specifically targeted brake actuation. DSR is activated using a button in the cockpit. The speed is then controlled using the stalk for the cruise control – the prerequisite for DSR.
As a further option, Mercedes-Benz can equip the Sprinter 4×4 with Hill-Start Assist and off-road tyres with extremely deep tread. Plus the Sprinter 4×4 can be individualised by choosing from the familiar array of optional extras.
4ETS: proven all-wheel-drive technology
In keeping with the Sprinter 4×4 van’s areas of application, the all-wheel-drive system has a professional configuration based on the Mercedes-Benz 4ETS electronic traction system. This technology is also used in the Vito 4×4, Mercedes-Benz passenger cars, and the ML-Class and GL-Class off-roaders.
In contrast to other models, however, the Sprinter’s all-wheel drive is engageable so as to cover the wide range of conditions under which the van has to operate. Furthermore, this technology minimises fuel consumption in everyday use.
The additional weight of the all-wheel drive in the Sprinter 4×4 comes to just 115-135 kg depending on version. The comparatively low additional weight is attributable to the 4ETS system, which dispenses with the need for mechanical differential locks.
On the road, the Sprinter 4×4 impresses with its excellent control and perfect traction. It conveys an air of safety and effortless superiority typical of the brand as well as the same comfort as a Sprinter with conventional drive.
Fully integrated in Adaptive ESP
The 4ETS traction control system is fully integrated in the Adaptive ESP Electronic Stability Program. Its control characteristics have been specially adapted to the all-wheel-drive system whilst retaining all of the functions of the Adaptive ESP: anti-lock braking system (ABS), acceleration skid control (ASR), electronic brake force distribution (EBD), Brake Assist (BAS) and the Start-off Assist system (AAS).
One particularly important aspect for the many Sprinter body variants and attachments is the load and centre-of-gravity detection feature (Load Adaptive Control LAC). In the case of special-purpose bodies, for example, Adaptive ESP detects a high centre of gravity based on the vehicle’s movements and adapts the control characteristics accordingly. When driving off-road especially, Adaptive ESP therefore enhances safety, for instance when the vehicle is being driven along a steeply angled embankment.” – – Mercedes-Benz Media
The Mercedes-Benz Sprinter 4X4 brings new “BlueTec” diesel engines to the table. SCR and “AdBlue’ – uria injected aftertreatment technology inject into the exhaust gases. This helps the Mercedes-Benz Sprinter 4X4 adhere to future Euro VI requirements.
“The product engineers have taken advantage of the additional exhaust gas aftertreatment to optimise the injection characteristics, the combustion process and the charge pressure. This has led to lower fuel consumption and quieter combustion. In addition, the drive and ancillary assemblies have been systematically trimmed to low consumption. Measures here cover the transmission, rear axle and intelligent alternator management, for example.
The centrepiece of the diesel engine range for the Sprinter is the four-cylinder OM 651 with a displacement of 2.15 l. It has a bore of 83 mm and a long stroke of 99 mm for high pulling power – a major plus point when driving on demanding terrain especially. Charging is always by means of a two-stage exhaust gas turbocharger system.
The peak torque is always available at low revs and across a wide engine speed range. The combination of BlueTec engines with exhaust gas recirculation and two-stage cooling, SCR technology with AdBlue injection, and a particulate filter ensures clean exhaust gases.
The four-cylinder engine for the Sprinter 4×4 comes with a choice of two outputs:
Sprinter 313/513 BlueTec 4×4 95 kW (129 hp) at 3800 rpm, torque 305 Nm at 1200-2400 rpm
Sprinter 316/516 BlueTec 4×4 120 kW (163 hp) at 3800 rpm, torque 360 Nm at 1400-2400 rpm.
Boasting identical output and torque data, the four-cylinder engine is also alternatively available as a Euro 5b+ version for open model variants and chassis versions of the Sprinter 4×4. In these cases, the SCR technology with AdBlue injection, the key feature for ensuring compliance with the Euro VI emissions standard, is omitted.
BlueTec six-cylinder engine: concentrated technology, immense power
If maximum power is required, the Sprinter 4×4 with the 3.0-litre V6 OM 642 engine is just the ticket. The long-stroke engine (bore x stroke: 83 x 92 mm) is based on an aluminium crankcase. An offset crank pin and a balancer shaft make for an exceptionally quiet-running engine. Technical highlights include four overhead camshafts.
The six-cylinder engine for the Sprinter 4×4 is available with the following output:
Sprinter 319/519 BlueTec 4×4 140 kW (190 hp) at 3800 rpm, torque 440 Nm at 1600-1800 rpm.
As standard, all of the engine variants are paired with the Eco Gear six-speed manual transmission, which is now even more economical thanks to its wide ratio spread and the use of low-friction oil. As an alternative, the vehicle can be specified with a very easy-to-use five-speed automatic transmission with converter, which makes it easier to drive under difficult conditions as the driver is able to concentrate solely on steering, accelerating and braking.
Favourable fuel consumption
With an all-wheel-drive van like the Sprinter 4×4, the key aspect for performing demanding tasks is economy based on reliable traction. Nevertheless, the Sprinter 4×4 impresses with its low on-road fuel consumption. Fuel consumption in the panel van with four-cylinder Euro VI BlueTec engine registered as a truck is low: the combined figure according to NEDC for the Sprinter 316 BlueTec 4×4, for example, is just 8.3 l/100 km, while the Sprinter 313 BlueTec 4×4 consumes just 0.3 l/100 km more than this.” – – Mercedes-Benz Media
There is no word on the Mercedes-Benz Sprinter 4X4 coming to North America. I sincerely doubt the six-speed manual transmission will ever find its way into USA dealerships, so bringing the 4X4 here is anything but certain. I’m sure it will be a pretty penny for this much high-tech in a working van. Still, if it does make it here – I know a lot of RV-folk who would be eternally grateful.
Speaking of high-tech vans, check out the Ram ProMaster first drive video!