Mercedes-Benz Vito Officially Revealed
Mercedes-Benz is striving to attain a leading position in the mid-size van segment with its new Vito model series
by John Clark | 29 July 2014
Mercedes-Benz is striving to attain a leading position in the mid-size van segment with its new Vito model series. The highly versatile and professional van in the 2.5–3.2 t GVW segment therefore offers a broad range of outstanding features. Its payload is among the highest in its segment, while procurement and operating costs are low. The Vito 116 CDI BlueEfficiency variant with truck registration has a certified fuel consumption of 5.7 l of diesel per 100 km – a value that is unmatched in this vehicle category. The new Vito is also the first van in the mid-size segment to offer three different drive system variants and incorporates a broad range of innovative safety and assistance systems.
Successful technology transfer and the path to a new global vehicle
“The new Vito offers a perfect example of successful technology transfer within the Daimler Group”, said Dr. Dieter Zetsche, Chairman of Daimler AG, on the occasion of the world premiere of the new Vito in Berlin. “The model has profited from our 120 years of experience in the commercial vehicle sector and our technology edge when it comes to safety and assistance systems, that were exists in our passenger car portfolio. The new Vito also benefits from our Group-wide expertise in terms of efficiency enhancements.”
Between the time of the model’s market launch in 1995 and the end of 2013 nearly 1.2 million units of the Vito were sold. Like its predecessor, the new Vito is being built at the Mercedes-Benz Vans plant in Vitoria, which is situated in the Basque region of Spain. The division invested around €190 million in the plant for the model changeover in the mid size segment.
“We‘re attacking in the mid-size van segment”, said Volker Mornhinweg, Head of Mercedes-Benz Vans. “We’re now offering new entry-level variants in our traditional markets. But we also plan to conquer new markets, such as North and Latin America, with the new Vito. The vehicle will follow in the footsteps of the Sprinter and become our second global model.”
Mercedes-Benz Vans remains in the fast lane for success: Solid growth in the second quarter of 2014
Developments in the second quarter of 2014 clearly show that Mercedes-Benz Vans remains in the fast lane for success around the world. All in all, unit sales at Mercedes-Benz Vans increased by +9 percent to 76,000 vehicles in the period April–June 2014. At €2.5 billion, revenues were also up from the second quarter of last year (€2.4 billion). EBIT amounted to €242 million (Q2 2013: €204 million), which led to an increase in the division’s return on sales from 8.4 percent in Q2 2013 to 9.7 percent in the second quarter of this year.
In terms of regional performance, Mercedes-Benz Vans achieved a significant sales increase of 17 percent in Western Europe, to 49,600 units. Increases were particularly sharp in Germany (+16 percent), the UK (+28 percent), and Spain (+96 percent). Sales development also remained positive in the United States and China. Sales in the U.S. rose by 18 percent in the second quarter, to 7,200 units, and sales increased in China by 17 percent to 3,900 units.
One of the factors of success here was the new Sprinter, which, like its predecessor, is a bestselling model just one year after its launch. Sales of the large van spurred growth at the Vans division in the second quarter of 2014. During this period 48,700 Sprinters were sold around the globe. This figure represents a 15 percent increase compared with the second quarter of 2013. Mercedes-Benz Vans also increased its second-quarter sales of vans in the mid-size segment, where the new Vito is expected to become a big hit. Global sales of mid-size vans increased to 22,300 units in the second quarter (Q2 2013: 20,800).
The new Vito combines versatility, safety, and efficiency
The developers of the new Vito also made the model extremely fuel efficient. Average NEDC diesel consumption has been reduced by around 20 percent compared to the predecessor model. The Vito with BlueEfficiency package is especially fuel efficient. The BlueEfficiency package can be ordered with the new rear-wheel drive Vito. It is also standard in all Vito Tourer models that have an automatic transmission, are registered as passenger cars, or are variants equipped with the model series’ most powerful engine. The Vito 116 CDI with BlueEfficiency package and truck registration has a certified fuel consumption of 5.7 l/100 km – a value that is unmatched in this vehicle category. All the different new Vito engine variants also benefit from a long maintenance interval of up to 40,000 km or two years.
High level of safety: The Vito is the benchmark in its segment
The new Vito also sets new standards for safety. Already the Vito panel is the only van equipped with airbags and a seatbelt warning system for both the driver and front passenger. With its maximum eight airbags for the driver and passengers, the new Vito Tourer is now the new benchmark in this regard. Standard equipment in the new Vito also includes the Attention Assist system and a tire pressure monitoring system. In a unique development in the mid-size van segment, the Crosswind Assist system is available as basic standard equipment in the new Vito model series. Crosswind Assist is able to compensate nearly fully for strong wind gusts. Additional assistance systems are available as options. New and unique in the van segment as a whole are the Active Parking Assist and Collision Prevention Assist systems. Also available is a Blind Spot Assist, which warns drivers of approaching vehicles when they switch lanes, and a Lane Keeping Assist, which prevents drivers from inadvertently leaving the lane.
The new Vito comes with halogen headlights as standard, but it can also be ordered with the optional LED Intelligent Light System (ILS). Previously, such a system was not available in the van segment. The ILS consists of LED blinkers and LED daytime driving lights, low-beams, high-beams, and cornering lights. These headlights can adjust the manner in which they distribute their beams in line with the speed of the vehicle and requirements on the road or highway.
The only van in its segment with three different powertrains
The new Vito is the first vehicle in its segment to offer a choice of rear-wheel, all-wheel, and – in a new development – front wheel drive systems. The differences between them are clear: The new front-wheel drive Vito is a very light vehicle. Finally, the new Vito with front-wheel drive is being marketed at a very attractive price. The proven rear-wheel drive system is the perfect solution for jobs involving heavy loads or trailers, and situations where very dynamic handling is required. The all-wheel drive system is the ideal choice when a high degree of traction is required, especially in tough driving conditions and on unpaved roads.
The variety of diesel engines available in the new Vito is also unique in the model’s segment. The front-wheel drive variants are equipped with a compact, transverse-mounted four-cylinder engine with 1.6 l displacement. This engine is available in two performance classes: 65 kW (88 hp) and 84 kW (114 hp).
Vito models with rear or all-wheel drive systems are equipped with a four-cylinder engine with 2.15 l displacement. This engine is available in three output ratings: 100 kW (136 hp), 120 kW (163 hp), and 140 kW (190 hp). The Vito 119 BlueTEC is particularly important because it is the first van in its segment to use a Euro 6 engine.
The new Vito is scheduled to be launched in Germany in October 2014. The model will subsequently be introduced in other European countries. Prices for the Vito 109 CDI panel van will start at €17,990 in Germany (excluding value-added tax). The new Vito is thus a van that can do more- but doesn’t cost more.