One of the top five most important factors affecting the total cost of ownership (TCO) for fleet vehicles is driver attitude, yet many companies fail to invest in driver training or even include the driver as a factor when doing its TCO calculations.
Harsch acceleration, harsh braking, bumper bashings and the linke are all part of driver attitude and all contribute – negatively – to the TCO bottom line.
In designing the all-new Mercedes-Benz Sprinter, the German automaker has kept TCO top of mind and included a raft of standard and optional driver aids designed to keep this factor as low as possible – and on top of the 4,5% cents per kilometre reduction already built-in.
“The South African operating environment is one of the toughest and despite this, the Sprinter has been a leader in various applications and a class-leader in the industry. The new Sprinter will continue where its predecessor left off by embodying attributes that have made it so successful: flexibility, robustness and being economical,” says Nadia Trimmel, Vice-President of Mercedes-Benz Vans South Africa.
“The new Sprinter impresses with increased safety levels, unrivalled features and increased versatility for all the industries it serves. That is how it backs its claim of ‘100% For You’. The Sprinter is not only ready for any job in one of the most demanding countries, but it is also poised to impress in a manner we refer to as #ThatSprinterSpirit. All this means is that there is no task that it cannot do effortlessly.”
In all there are around 600 optional items to choose from.
Configured either as a panel van, people carrier or freight carrier, the Sprinter offers a number of variants for countless industries. These include taxi, trade, service and logistics, as well as other applications in the form of mobile homes and speciality conversions. This versatility means that there is a sector-specific solution for any requirement, especially for new business owners.
The Sprinter offers customers in a diverse range of industries, more customisable applications than ever before. It is available locally in a number of variants – depending on body length, payload, cargo space, roof heights and equipment options.
The variety of seating configurations offered, also makes it versatile and mMaximum cargo volume is up to 15.5 cubic metres, with a Gross Vehicle Mass (GVM) of up to 5,5 tonnes.
The Mercedes-Benz Sprinter Inkanyezi legacy continues with the new Sprinter, as the taxi that dominates the long distance market and is set to cater to the needs of the everyday commuter, even more precisely than before.
The new Sprinter Inkanyezi conversion comes in three different grades, with options ranging from the basics such as three-point safety belts on every seat, through to USB ports (type-A) in the rear, free flow rear air-conditioner, rear speakers and many more customer required additions, including a power sliding door at the top end.
The standard assistance systems available for the new Sprinter include Cross Wind Assist – which makes van journeys considerably safer, especially in adverse conditions on any terrain – and Hill Start Assist, which makes it easier to start up hills from a stationary position.
The list of optional features includes DISTRONIC, Lane Keeping Assist, a reversing camera showing its image in the rear-view mirror and a Parking Package with 360-degree camera that makes another important contribution to improving driver precision.
Another new optional feature is Active Distance Assist DISTRONIC that automatically regulates the distance from the vehicle ahead. In the event of the vehicle in front decreasing speed, the system will slow the vehicle down up to a complete stop.
Active Brake Assist (ABA) is perhaps the most important highlight, as the system aims to reduce road traffic accidents. In an emergency situation, ABA warns the driver of the oncoming danger and, depending on the distance and size of the obstacle ahead, sends out an acoustic or visual warning to alert the driver.
Particularly impressive – and thoroughly tested at Kyalami – is the (optional) system that takes into account throttle position, steering angle, roll angle (yaw) and speed to initiate braking on one or more wheels when it is most needed to bring the vehicle safely back into line and under control.
Engine options start with the 2,2 litre, four-cylinder Mercedes-Benz OM651 diesel engine with two output levels: 84 kW and 120 kW.
The 84 kW engine offers 300 Nm of torque, while the 120 kW variant – with 380 Nm of torque – benefits from an increase of 10 kW as compared to its predecessor.
For more demanding applications, the 3,0-litre, six-cylinder OM642 offers 140 kW and 440 Nm, driving through either a manual or 7G Tronic automatic gearbox.
“The new Sprinter boasts even better running costs than its already economical predecessor,” says Trimmel. “The new Sprinter 516 CDI records improved fuel consumption of 8,5% (in accordance with prevailing prescribed measuring process Regulation (EC 715/2007) of the European Parliament; and a cents per kilometre reduction of 4,5%.”
With the new 3,49 tonne GVM Sprinter, the vehicle allows drivers with a Code 8/Code B licence to pilot the commercial vehicle. Although built on the larger chassis, the motorhome application is also driveable with a Code 8 licence.
The interior concept of the new Sprinter is tailored to passenger needs, boasting features including wireless charging facilities and USB ports (Type-C in the front) for uninterrupted connectivity.
The driver’s workplace is uncluttered, practical and designed to meet the relevant transport requirements. The improvements include ergonomically shaped seats, keyless start and an enhanced air-conditioning system.
The new MBUX (Mercedes-Benz User Experience) multimedia system is available in the new Sprinter. Thanks to artificial intelligence, the system is intuitive and offers two options, a 7-inch and 10,25-inch display screen with HD resolution, both controlled either with touch-enabled steering wheel controls, or an all-new voice control system.
Sprinter Panel Van
516 CDI PV R 621,238.00 (Excluding VAT & CO2 Tax)
519 CDI PV R 676,726.00
516 CDI PV XL R 636,951.00
519 CDI PV XL R 702,276.00
519 CDI PV XL 5.5T R 725,407.00