Off-road vehicles have an enthusiastic following because of their many uses and versatility, especially in the widely varying off-road driving conditions, terrain and weather of South Africa. The country’s unique road and weather challenges may require spßecial skills and equipment – equipment such as the new Mercedes-Benz Sprinter 4×4. By Sibusiso Mkwanazi.
With all-wheel drive, the new Sprinter 4×4 displays its outstanding capabilities even under the most adverse conditions. This undisputed number-one van adheres to the strictest of requirements when it comes to traction. The Mercedes-Benz Vans brand claim, “Born to Run”, describes the high-traction Sprinter 4×4 to perfection.
When the going gets tough, the Sprinter gets going: the new 4×4 variant provides that decisive extra traction under tough conditions. The Sprinter 4×4 is an all-wheel-drive vehicle that caters for a wide range of industries such as tourism, construction, transporting building materials, energy supply, forestry and also people with a thirst for adventure. So next time you plan your outdoor adventure in the most remote of places, with difficult access – if you have your Sprinter 4X4, not only will there be ample space and luxury, the roads will be a piece of cake.
Managing Director Mercedes-Benz Vans South Africa, Nicolette Lambrechts says: “With this unique Sprinter you will be able to go anywhere, embark on many adventures, while enjoying the comfort and safety that is benchmark in the Sprinter and underpins the Mercedes-Benz Vans brand.”
Selectable all-wheel drive with new Downhill Speed Regulation
The new Sprinter 4×4 makes life as easy as possible for the driver. The selectable all-wheel drive (AWD) with Low-Range ratio of 1=1.4, this function can be activated by the touch of a button to activate the electronic traction system (4ETS). The driver simply needs to make well-judged use of the accelerator and steering wheel, while the technology takes care of the rest. Selectable all-wheel drive can even function at vehicle speeds of up to 10km/h. The Low Range function enhances traction on steep inclines with a fully loaded vehicle. The all-wheel drive is integrated into the Electronic Stability Program (ESP9i®), which comes standard, and complements the safety systems perfectly.
The Sprinter 4×4 now also comes with Downhill Speed Regulation (DSR), which ensures that a preselected speed is maintained constantly when driving downhill. DSR is activated using a button on the control panel.
4ETS: proven all-wheel drive technology
Keeping with the Sprinter 4×4’s areas of application, the all-wheel-drive system has a professional configuration based on the Mercedes-Benz 4ETS electronic traction system. This technology also features in Mercedes-Benz passenger cars, as well as the ML-Class and GL-Class off-roaders.
The 4ETS electronic traction control system is fully integrated in the ADAPTIVE ESP9I® Electronic Stability Program (ESP9I®). Together with ADAPTIVE ESP9I®, the electronic traction-control system compensates for Diff-Locks by automatic intervention, to reduce wheel spin and maintain traction. Its control characteristics have been specially adapted, while still retaining all of the functions of the ADAPTIVE ESP9I®.
ADAPTIVE ESP9I® raises the control thresholds so as to increase the traction by reducing the wheel slip, further enhancing safety when the vehicle is being driven along a steeply angled embankment.
Raised body for improved off-road performance
Although the Sprinter 4×4 is not a traditional off-roader, its ground clearance of 192mm for rural and off-road driving conditions endows it with characteristics similar to those of a cross-country vehicle. Its angle approaches are as follows: angle of approach is 21˚, ramp angle is 22˚ and angle of departure is 27˚. Off-road grip tyres are optional, which increases vehicle height by 20mm (ground clearance increases to 212mm) and the vehicle speed is limited to 120km/h.
Sprinter 4×4: Eco-friendly in line with the Euro V emissions standard
The Sprinter 4×4 variant comes standard with Euro V emissions and benefits from the same numerous innovations that have made the new Sprinter the undisputed innovation leader among vans since its launch last year. This a major advantage for a van with all-wheel drive that often operates in environmentally sensitive areas. The Sprinter 4×4 also impresses with its superior safety systems.
Variants to choose from
The Sprinter 4×4 is available as ex-factory in Panel Van and Freight Carrier (3.55t and 5t GVM) and Oberaigner Permanent 4×4 which is available as Panel Vans only (3.55t and 5t GVM). Prices will be available end of June and release to market is planned for mid-July on a made to order basis.
For more information visit www.mercedes-benz.co.za
About the Author: Subusiso Mkwanazi is the public relations officer at Mercedes-Benz Commercial Vehicles South Africa.