Positioned a step below the Mercedes Sprinter, the North American Metris (sold in other markets under the Vito nameplate) will be initially available in long-wheelbase, rear-wheel-drive form (the European Vito is also available in front- and all-wheel drive configurations). The automaker isn't talking about pricing or specification yet, but when it debuts in the fall of 2015, Mercedes plans to offer the Metris in both passenger and cargo configurations. At this time, a Freightliner variant isn't planned.
While the Metris' actual production debut is still pretty fair away, Mercedes has worked with some upfitters to create custom versions for SEMA to show off the forthcoming model's versatility. Among them, Rado has built a concept vehicle for a fire chief (pictured above) with a striking red and silver exterior, and the interior has been furnished as a mobile command center. The normally power-crazy tuners at Renntech have turned the van into a party machine, complete with a pop-up roof, wild paint and a DJ booth (inset). Garmin has turned its Metris into a golf pro shop, complete with a performance center to help shave strokes off one's scorecard. Finally, a company called HQ Custom Design has added a luxurious interior to show the Metris' potential as an executive shuttle.
Scroll down to read Mercedes' full announcement and get all of the details about its custom versions for SEMA.
"Mission Metris" is a showcase of 4 midsize project vans at SEMA 2014 in Las Vegas
o M-B Vans enters the US commercial midsize van segment in fall 2015, offering both
passenger and cargo versions without any competitors in the same size category o Introduction of the "Mercedes-Benz Metris" nameplate for the US and Canada o Pricing and specifications to be announced in 2015
o Neither a Freightliner version nor the Mercedes-Benz V-Class are planned
Sprinter large commercial van sales are up 17.3% YTD in 2014 in the US, the second largest global vans market for Mercedes-Benz
o MY2015 Sprinter enhancements include optional 4x4 (Q1/2015 intro) and super high roof, and standard equipment now includes Crosswind Assist on 2500 models and extended service intervals up to 20,000 miles
o Fuel-efficient 4-cylinder BlueTEC clean diesel powertrain has a 50% take rate. o 75% of all M-B Sprinter vans are upfitted
MONTVALE, N.J. – Mercedes-Benz Vans USA is introducing "Mission Metris," a showcase of 4 new midsize Project Vans at SEMA 2014 in Las Vegas. Designed to be a first glimpse at the new midsize commercial van entry into the US and Canada in fall 2015 for customers and upfitters alike, production versions of the cargo and passenger versions will be shown at a later date in 2015. This occasion also marks the introduction of the new "Mercedes-Benz Metris" nameplate for the US and Canada, whereas "Vito" will remain the midsize commercial van nameplate for all other global markets.
"We are pleased to reconfirm our September announcement at the IAA Truck Show in Hannover that we will launch a midsize commercial van in the US market in fall 2015," said Bernie Glaser, Vice President and Managing Director of Daimler Vans USA, LLC. "It is only logical that we take a global approach and also expand our successful vans business in the USA. Our SEMA "Mission Metris" presence with 4 different van concepts will be an effective way for us to hit the ground running to announce the nameplate 'Mercedes-Benz Metris' and to show off its unmatched versatility, size, and safety."
Representatives from Mercedes-Benz and the following companies will be on hand to showcase their respective creative concepts:
RENNtech: Party/DJ Van
A definite show-stopper van, this van offers a mobile DJ van that looks as good as it sounds. Featuring a clamshell style roof that opens and acts as a backdrop for a DJ, this van is true form and function in one package.
HQ Custom Design: Luxury Van
Luxury Van conversions are nothing new for Mercedes-Benz vans. This design is an ideal example of an inspired executive shuttle van that also offers the best in audio/visual that is surrounded by the finest craftsmanship and attention to detail.
RADO: Fire Chief Concept Truck
Because Vans offer some of the finest dimensions for mobile command units for various local or national government agencies, this concept is a rolling communications center that could transport a Fire Chief to all locations in many situations.
Garmin: Mobile Golf Pro Shop
Golf lovers will love this rolling Pro Shop that features a high-tech golf simulator and infotainment system designed for both personal and merchandizing usage. Offering a Mobile Performance Center, this concept offers technology that helps players evaluate their golf game and simulate potential outcomes.
In the US large van segment, Sprinter sales continue to be brisk, up 17.3% YTD. Model year 2014 brought new major enhancements such as a fresh and confident new front end exterior design, 4- cylinder BlueTEC clean diesel powertrain that already plays a similar role as its big brother, the V6, and upgrades of safety and infotainment.
Model year 2015 is even more exciting, with the addition of standard Crosswind Assist on all 2500 models and increased service intervals of up to 20,000 miles (MY 2014 service intervals were up to 15,000 miles). An optional Sprinter 4x4 version of both cargo and passenger versions will also be added in Q1/2015, which will be the only ex-factory four-wheel drive system on the market for a commercial van in the USA. In addition to that, the option for a super high roof underlines the benchmark position concerning interior heights by offering an interior roof height of up to 7 feet. And the SULEV option for our standard 4-cylinder BlueTEC engine is the first SULEV diesel engine worldwide and underlines our 'Green Leadership.' All of these features highlight the position of the Sprinter as the most innovative large van in the segment.
Independent from the model year, up to 75% of all Sprinters have upfitter treatment on them, regardless of extra shelving or extensive Recreational Vehicle modifications.
About Mercedes-Benz USA
Mercedes-Benz USA (MBUSA), headquartered in Montvale, New Jersey, is responsible for the distribution, marketing and customer service for all Mercedes-Benz products in the United States. MBUSA offers drivers the most diverse line-up in the luxury segment with 14 model lines ranging from the sporty CLA-Class four-door coupe to the flagship S-Class.
MBUSA is also responsible for the distribution, marketing and customer service of Mercedes-Benz Sprinter Vans, and smart products in the U.S. More information on MBUSA and its products can be found at www.mbusa.com, www.mbsprinterusa.com and www.smartusa.com.
Accredited journalists can visit our media site at www.media.mbusa.com.