After years of development and testing, Mercedes-Benz is ready to reveal the next-generation minibuses. The German automaker has designed four model series with a total of 20 different models, all based on the recent generation Sprinter bus.
The minibus range remains unchanged and features four model lines - Sprinter City, Sprinter Transfer, Sprinter Mobility, and Sprinter Travel. Their names, as Mercedes explains, stand for operations in regular service, as a versatile shuttle bus, for transport of passengers with limited mobility, and for tourist transport.
The manufacturer highlights the importance of the Sprinter City 75, which should become the most popular of all new minibuses. It’s a regular-service bus with seats for 38 passengers, which uses a heavy-duty rear axle and a unique chassis design that allows for a spacious low-floor platform between the two axles. A shorter, City 45, version will also be available for smaller populated places.
On board the minibus is Mercedes’ latest MBUX infotainment system, which is already available for the new Sprinter and comes with a touchscreen replacing the older rotary knobs/touchpads. It provides an easy access to infotainment functions, as well as a parking camera and a full 360-degree view system. The driver’s area and passenger compartment are provided with separate air conditioning.
The Sprinter Transfer will be sold in four lengths, varying from 5.9 metres to 7.7 metres. The Sprinter Mobility is designed especially for people with restricted mobility, and the range-topper in this lineup, the Sprinter Mobility 45, features a new raised floor that allows two wheelchairs to stand alongside each other at the level of the rear axle.
Mercedes will launch the new minibus series step by step and the first to arrive on the market before the year’s end will be the Sprinter Transfer 23 and 35, the Sprinter Mobility 23, and the Sprinter City 75. Next year, they will be joined by all versions of the Sprinter Travel and, by the end of 2019, more than 20 left-hand-drive and right-hand-drive models will be available.
Gallery: New Mercedes-Benz minibuses
- World premiere: new Mercedes-Benz minibuses featuring unique technology
- The pioneering technology modules of the Sprinter City 75
- Sprinter City 75: flagship of minibus model series Sprinter City at the IAA International Motor Show
Stuttgart / Dortmund – Four model series, finally totalling over 20 models, one name: Mercedes‑Benz minibuses. The IAA International Motor Show for Commercial Vehicles in Hanover (20 - 27 September) will see the unveiling of the new minibus generation, which benefits from the advantages of the new Mercedes-Benz Sprinter while offering unique technology modules.
World premiere: new Mercedes-Benz minibuses featuring unique technology
The new Mercedes‑Benz Sprinter forms the basis for an all-new generation of the successful minibuses bearing the three-pointed star. As before, they comprise the model series Sprinter City, Sprinter Transfer, Sprinter Mobility and Sprinter Travel. The names stand for operations in regular service, as a versatile shuttle bus, for transport of passengers with limited mobility, and for tourist transport.
A stand-out role is played here by the all-new Sprinter City 75 with its exclusive technology. At 8.5 metres long, this regular-service bus has seats for up to 38 passengers and features a unique frame structure. Concealed under its attractive body is some unique technology, such as a special long wheelbase of 5095 mm, which provides the basis for a spacious low-floor platform between the axles. This can be put to flexible use with tip-up seats, wheelchair and pram bays, seating with a quick-change securing system or as standing space. Just as important is the heavy-duty rear axle, developed and manufactured exclusively for the Mercedes‑Benz minibuses. Its greater load-carrying capacity of 5.0 t provides the basis for a permissible gross vehicle weight of 6.8 t. Alongside the new Sprinter City 75 is the somewhat more compact Sprinter City 45.
The versatile Sprinter Transfer takes to the starting line with a comprehensive line-up. Its four models range from the 5.9 metre long Sprinter Transfer 23 to the 7.7 metre Sprinter Transfer 55, which features an extended rear end that complements the design perfectly. The Sprinter Mobility is the model series aimed specifically at carrying passengers with restricted mobility. The compact Sprinter Mobility 23 benefits from having a permissible gross vehicle weight of just 3.5 t. The Sprinter Mobility 45 deserves particular attention: a new raised floor has been added over the wheel arches. This allows two wheelchairs to stand alongside each other at the level of the rear axle.
The model start-up of the new minibuses will be staggered and will reflect the availability of the Sprinter: it will start later this year with the Sprinter Transfer 23 and 35, the Sprinter Mobility 23 and the completely re-engineered Sprinter City 75. The rest of the models in these series will follow next year, as will all models of the Sprinter Travel. Once the model changeover is complete, by the autumn of 2019, the product range will comprise more than 20 left-hand-drive and right-hand-drive models.
Sprinter City 75: flagship of minibus model series Sprinter City at German International Motor Show
The focus at the International Motor Show is on the new Sprinter City 75. With a length of 8.5 metres, it boasts an impressive size while closing the gap between the minibuses and the Mercedes-Benz Citaro. The vehicle on show is in "Silberstein Metallic". On the inside, the midibus is invitingly fitted out with "Gaya Wood Yellowstone" flooring, fully upholstered seats with "Imperial Blue” covers as well as "Evo Steel" vertical handrails with blue stop request buttons. The spacious low-floor area can be put to versatile use: a wheelchair bay is located behind the driver's area, complemented by two double seats as well as two folding seats each on the driver's and the door side. The rear is designed to accommodate another 12 "City Star Sprinter" seats.
The driver sits on a heated suspension seat. The equipment includes a leather multifunction steering wheel, Mercedes‑Benz User Experience MBUX multimedia system with high-resolution 10.25 inch touchscreen as well as an electrically operated roller sunshade. Driver's area and passenger compartment are provided with separate air conditioning. Assistance systems such as Active Distance Assist DISTRONIC, Active Braking Assist and finally the Mercedes‑Benz emergency call system are examples of the outstanding level of safety.