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March 10, 2020 1:00 PM, EDT

Mercedes-Benz Unveils Upgrades to Vito Vans

Mercedes-Benz Vito vanThe Mercedes-Benz diesel-powered Vito van. (Mercedes-Benz AG - Global Communications Mercedes-Benz Cars & Vans)

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Mercedes-Benz, a unit of Daimler AG, announced March 10 extensively upgraded versions of its diesel-powered Vito van available for ordering in Europe now and its battery electric eVito model available for ordering this summer.

New styling, infotainment and driver assistance systems and a higher battery-powered range underscore the upgrades.

A separate announcement of the same technologies and features for the model year 2021 diesel-powered Metris, the U.S. version of the Vito, will be made later this year, a company spokesperson told Transport Topics. Sales of the Metris van in 2019 rose 18% to 46,000 units compared with a year earlier. It was the largest percentage increase in sales in the company’s van segment.

Host Seth Clevenger went to CES 2020 to look at the road ahead for electric-powered commercial vehicles. He spoke with Scott Newhouse of Peterbilt and Chris Nordh of Ryder System. Hear a snippet, above, and get the full program by going to RoadSigns.TTNews.com
 

Mercedes-Benz makes the Vito in Vitoria, Spain, and in Fuzhou, China, with joint-venture partner Fujian. The Metris is made in Charleston, S.C.

Overall, the Stuttgart, Germany-based company sold 440,000 vans in 2019 for its seventh consecutive record sales year. The company — which has a van-goes-global strategy — has sold 530,000 Vito vans worldwide since introducing the model in autumn 2014. Citing its versatility, Mercedes-Benz noted 70% of the Vitos are used by small to midsize commercial businesses, in particular those with up to five vehicles.

Shared upgraded standard features on the Vito and Metris include:

  •  9G-Tronic automatic transmission with gearshift paddles on the steering wheel.
  •  7-inch touchscreen.
  •  Crosswind assist.
  •  Hill-start assist.
  •  Rearview camera.
  • 15,000-mile maintenance interval.
  •  Tire pressure monitoring.

Also, new are the radiator grille, and gross vehicle weight variants of 6,834 pounds and 6,393 pounds — putting the Vito and Metris in the Class 2 segment.

Vito van

The Vito van features many upgrades such as New styling, infotainment and driver assistance systems. Mercedes-Benz sold 440,000 vans in 2019 for its seventh consecutive record sales year. (Mercedes-Benz AG - Global Communications Mercedes-Benz Cars & Vans)

Options on the van include:

  •  Anti-theft alarm system.
  •  Blind spot assist.
  •  Lane keeping assist.
  •  Active parking assist.
  •  Electric sliding doors.
  •  Digital mirror.

Meanwhile, the new eVito, weighing in at 7,716 pounds and not available in the U.S. market, “sets benchmarks in its segment with regard to everyday suitability and usability.

“Thanks to the rapid charging function and to a higher range, compared with its predecessor, it can be used in a myriad of ways. It underscores our idea of a locally emission-free van,” said Benjamin Kaehler, head of eDrive@Vans for Mercedes-Benz AG.

The eVito can be charged from 10% to 80% in under 45 minutes at a rapid charging station. The battery with a usable capacity of 90 kilowatt hours provides a range of 262 miles.

The lithium-ion battery in the vehicle’s underbody is configured low and centrally, which has a positive effect on the eVito’s handling.

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