Updated: Mercedes-Benz unveil the all new 2018 Sprinter in Duisberg

The new Mercedes-Benz Sprinter 2018 will be available from June, after the long anticipated wait we can finally feast our eyes on what Mercedes-Benz Vans have been working so hard on over the past few years.

This new model will be the third-generation of Mercedes-Benz Sprinter and the improvements from the exterior don’t give away much, but the real change is on the inside and has arrived with plenty of new tricks.

Mercedes-Benz Vans boss, Volker Mornhinweg, was speaking at the unveiling in Duisberg, Germany, where he described the new Sprinter as being so clever that compared with a regular van it’s like a smartphone versus a conventional telephone.

‘This is smart hardware,’ he said, ‘to raise the new Sprinter and the whole segment to the next level.’ And as such: ‘This is the first van of a new type or species, which improves on the Sprinter’s classical strengths and complements them with advances in technology.’

Mercedes-Benz Sprinter

Mercedes have gone all out with the new Sprinter and you can tell they want to cater for every market, with the 2018 Sprinter having 1,700 different compatible variations, a 17m2 cargo space, a maximum payload of 3,000kg and an air-suspended rear axle.

This is all made possible due to the wide range of models available, from 6 body styles to 4 different power options, 4 different body lengths, 3 cargo heights and 3 driving options. With particular focus on the introduction of FWD (front-wheel drive) which will allow for a lower loading height and greater value and efficiency.

Front-wheel drive details

FWD has never been implemented before onto a Mercedes Sprinter and has been renowned for being just RWD (Rear-wheel drive) or AWD (All-wheel drive). But the reason for introducing FWD in the 2018 model is simply down to increased efficiency.

So while heavy duty applications will still need RWD or AWD capability – the new FWD Sprinter is likely to prove popular with businesses looking to maximise payload and minimise fuel costs.

FWD Sprinters will be marginally lighter than their RWD counterpart because the need for a large driveshaft running the length of the vehicle isn’t necessary meaning the payload will see an increase of around 50kg.

But companies heavily depend on the amount of payload available on their vehicles because this could be the difference between winning or losing business.

From a convertors perspective payload is one of the most important aspects to look at when choosing a base vehicle to start with, as the GVW needs to be sufficient to carry the conversion weight as well as leave enough payload for passengers and luggage.

Another advantage of FWD on the 2018 Sprinter is the ability to have the rear load area floor to be lower by around 80mm.

Mercedes-Benz Sprinter

Variants & bodystyles

The NEW Mercedes-Benz Sprinter will be available in three wheelbase lengths, three body heights, four body-lengths and five weight classes.

  • The five different weight classes will be as follows – 3.0, 3.5, 4.1, 5.0 & 5.5 tonnes
  • The different body types available are as follows – panel van, tourer, pick-up, chassis cab, bus and traction head
  • The towing capacity for this vehicle is up to 3.5 tonnes

We’ll update this when more information becomes available.

Improved suspension

Another example of the degree of customisation being offered by Mercedes is the optional glass-fibre reinforced plastic suspension springs. These newly introduced suspension springs are more durable than steel counterparts, as they do not rust, but interestingly they are 12kg lighter.

Those more interested in providing comfort, such as minibus convertors, will be happy to know that the new Sprinter offers a rear air suspension option direct from the factory.

Available on RWD or AWD Sprinters, this piece of kit is self-levelling for improved handling and stability, reducing the rocking motion caused when entering and exiting, as well as allowing the vehicle to be lowered to make loading easier.

2018 Sprinter engines

The new Sprinter will be available with turbodiesel engines ranging in power from 114hp to 190hp in the following configurations.

Mercedes Sprinter front-wheel drive engine options:

  • 114hp @ 3,800rpm / 300Nm @ 1,400-2,400rpm
  • 143hp @ 3,800rpm / 330Nm @1,400-2,400rpm
  • 177hp @ 3,800rpm / 400Nm @ 1,800-2,400rpm

Mercedes-Benz Sprinter rear-wheel drive engine options:

  • 114hp @ 3,800rpm / 300Nm @ 1,400-2,400rpm
  • 143hp @ 3,800rpm / 330Nm @1,400-2,400rpm
  • 163hp @ 3,800rpm / 360Nm @ 1,400-2,400rpm
  • 190hp @ 3,800rpm / 440Nm @ 1,600-2,600rpm (V6)

The 190hp Sprinter model has a mammoth 3.0 litre V6 turbo-diesel engine, with Mercedes being the only manufacturer to offer a V6 in the large van sector.

Details of the AWD engine options are still to come, but we do know power is split 35:65 front:rear.

The other engine sizes are all based on the 2.1 litre four-cylinder engines, although the only change would be that the RWD models use two stage turbocharging, delivering a smooth response.

Sprinter 2018 AWD

The 2018 model Sprinter has a 6-speed manual gearbox with an improved shift action, supposedly reducing any irritating noises. But the Sprinter has two different automatic transmissions which include the 7G-Tronic seven-speed gearbox on RWD models or the 9-speed gearbox on the FWD models, with the extra gears introduced to deliver increased performance and improved fuel economy.

Inside the cab

Mercedes PRO connect is the most complete, powerful integrated telematics solution on the market, connecting fleet managers with all the vehicles and drivers in the fleet. This enables assignments to be planned and managed online, and offers almost real time Vehicle Supervision, Vehicle Operations, Fleet Communication, Maintenance Management and digital Driver’s Logbook functionality – integrated into any existing fleet management system, if necessary.

Sprinter 2018 Interior

The 2018 Sprinter comes with a choice of four different interior layouts/designs which come with premium materials, much more technology and plenty of storage solutions.

To increase space inside the cab Mercedes have set an industry first by including an electronic parking brake instead of the conventional manual hand-brake, or foot brake which was Mercedes’ preference.

Meanwhile the seats in the cab have been improved to be more comfortable and easier to get in and out of. It’s comfort has been improved thanks to lumber and lower seat cushion length adjustment.

It’s safe to say Mercedes have outdone their competitors this time around with their innovative new technology which has been packed into the new Sprinter opening a sea of opportunities for integrated technology.

The new MBUX infotainment system which has been introduced is available with touchscreens up to 10.25 inches in size which displays a satnav, but, built-in to the satnav though is real-time traffic monitoring that can offer dynamic routing to avoid congestion/accidents which will bring down running costs and save time enabling companies to flow more efficiently.

The infotainment system is a self learning tool and is able to pick up on different habits. With the ability to store multiple user profiles for several different drivers this technology will aid each individual driver.

Mercedes Pro Connect means fleet managers can be connected to the van all of the time, in almost real time. This includes access to vehicle location, fuel level and how imminent the next round of maintenance is – although for anyone concerned about privacy, the systems can be switched off as required.

The level of detail available is mind blowing. You can check and/or get automatic alerts about not just fuel but also washer fluid, brake fluid and other user service items. The info is available in the overarching Fleet Manager software but also on an app for drivers.

The new Sprinter will also predict when it needs maintenance, flagging this on the same systems and giving you plenty of time to arrange a service at a time least inconvenient to you. The service arrangements can also be made via the software programs.

The idea is to make running a fleet of new Sprinters as smooth as possible – whether you’re dealing with several hundred of them or just a few, Mercedes hopes advances like this will make life easier for you.


Mercedes-Benz has revealed pricing and specifications for the all-new Sprinter.

The order books are now open with production due to begin in June with prices starting at £24,350.

For more information about the 2018 Sprinter visit the Mercedes-Benz Vans website here.