The new Sprinter looks a lot like the Vision Van concept it unveiled last year, itself an idea based on ideas of ideas of autonomy, mobility and selling, leasing or renting capacity to deliver cargo. The production Sprinter gets more conventional A-pillars that match the body color, more defined lines along the side body and a more conventional grille, though the horizontal headlights (Mercedes calls them "athletic") look largely the same. The sketch also makes no suggestion of continuing the concept's rooftop drones.
While details are scarce, the company says the new version will feature new driver-assist and connectivity programs with telematics technology to efficiently manage vehicles and fleets.
Mercedes says it has sold more than 3.3 million units of the Sprinter since launching it in 1995, in more than 130 countries. It's also coming off its most successful first-quarter performance in its history, with a nearly 10 percent growth rate from January through March 2017 compared to the prior-year period, and a record 96,200 units sold during the first half of 2017.
Though they'll eventually be made at the company's new plant in North Charleston, S.C. (previous models for the U.S. were built in Germany, partially dismantled and then reassembled in North Charleston due to high import tariffs), the new Sprinter will hit the market in Europe in the first half of 2018, with details on other markets to follow soon.
The North American Commercial Vehicle Show continues through Thursday.