he Mercedes-Benz Sprinter made its debut 25 years ago. To mark its premiere on 23 January 1995, the brand sent 500 units of the completely newly constructed transporter from the Düsseldorf factory on a rally to the sales offices. This was the beginning of a new era in light commercial vehicles with 2.6 to 4.6 tonnes gross vehicle weight: thanks to the consistently great success of this transporter with a Mercedes star, the market segment has long since been known as the “Sprinter class”.
The Mercedes-Benz Sprinter pre-empted a revolutionary transformation of digitisation in the mid-1990s. At a time when hardly anyone could imagine the future dimensions of package logistics resulting from the boom in online trade, the Stuttgart brand introduced a completely newly developed, state-of-the-art transporter. With disc brakes on the front and rear wheels, ABS anti-lock braking system including ABD automatic brake differential, streamlined body, low consumption and many other properties, the Sprinter set standards in terms of safety, efficiency and comfort. This made it the “best in its class and namesake” of the “Sprinter class”. So wrote “Die Welt” newspaper in September 2019.
The Sprinter not only proved its abilities in logistics, but also in many other areas of application. These included use on building sites and in trade, in municipal services and in passenger transportation, as well as for fire and emergency services. This transporter also cut a good figure as a camper van and as the basis for countless special structures. For example, the Mercedes-Benz Sprinter 313 CDI rescue vehicle is exhibited at the Mercedes-Benz Museum in Collection 3: Gallery of helpers for this versatility.
A project for generations
Twenty-five years ago, in 1995, the Mercedes-Benz Sprinter was the first transporter of the brand with a star to officially receive its own name. This designation today stands for an entire vehicle category. Its continuous improved development is what secures this position for the Sprinter. The second generation of Sprinter premiered in Stuttgart at the start of 2006. The 906 model series was internally named the NCV 3 (New Concept Van). The chassis and platform truck versions of the Sprinter were built in Ludwigsfelde. The Sprinter with all-wheel drive was introduced at the IAA Commercial Vehicles in Hanover in September 2006.
In December 2019 Mercedes-Benz presented the eSprinter with battery-electric drive. The highly flexible vehicle concept is the brands next milestone on the way to the electrification of commercially used Mercedes-Benz vans. The eSprinter will be offered with a 85 kW (116 hp) output to the front-wheel drive and 47 kWh or 35 kWh utilisable battery capacity. Depending on the configuration there are different payloads, ranges and top speeds. The advice tool eCharging Planner helps fleet operators to switch to locally emission-free e-mobility with Mercedes-Benz Vans.