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Old 10-25-2007, 03:51 AM   #1
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Penthouse Now Available; 4x4 in 2008?

Hey Jage, don't kill the Sprinter section off just yet! SMB is finally offering the Sprinter RB with a penthouse top. I'm just waiting for the planned factory 4x4 for the 2008 Sprinter models. Then I'll be marching down to SMB with a wheelbarrel of dinero! Now if only SMB can figure out how to make Starcool an option in the Sprinter. . .
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Old 10-25-2007, 07:34 AM   #2
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I have seen a few pictures of Sprinter's converted to 4x4 in Europe and Africa but nothing in the US. Having a 4x4 Sprinter option would be nice even though they don't appear to be as capable for real offroad use as many of the E350's on this forum. Has Chrysler confirmed the 2008 4x4 model plan or is that still just a rumor?
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Old 10-25-2007, 08:42 AM   #3
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From the media news page of the SMB website:

"Sprinter 4x4 (1/23/07) - Sportsmobile has been informed by DaimlerChrysler that they may make a Sprinter 4x4 available in the United States in 2008. For this reason Sportsmobile will not offer a 4x4 kit for Sprinters as originally planned."

I also read it somewhere in one of the motor home magazines.
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Old 10-25-2007, 12:51 PM   #4
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Interesting .... I also found this other announcement from Sportsmobile on the Truckinweb forum. It was dated 4/23/2007. I guess they decided to wait for Chrysler after they developed their concept van.

SPORTSMOBILE SPRINTER 4X4 - NORTH AMERICA ’S FIRST MANUFACTURER TO INSTALL FOUR-WHEEL DRIVE SYSTEM FOR DODGE’S SPRINTER VANS

Sportsmobile West, North America's leading tier 2 manufacturer for Ford Econoline and Dodge Sprinter aftermarket development, will be showcasing its all-new four-wheel drive system for the Dodge Sprinter Chassis at the 2007 Inland Empire Auto Show. This "go anywhere" Sportsmobile Sprinter will also feature a fully customized interior for the true off-road camping enthusiast. The Sportsmobile Sprinter will be available for the public to see from Thursday, April 26th through Sunday, April 29th at the Ontario Convention Center in Ontario , California .
"We are definitely excited to begin installing this new 4x4 system on the Dodge Sprinter chassis. Our customers have been asking for this option and we can now deliver the very best four-wheel drive system available for Sprinter vans," said Alan Feld, president, Sportsmobile. "Our growth in the Sprinter market took off in 2006 and we are confident that with this new four-wheel drive system, the Sprinters we offer will continue to be popular among our customers moving forward."
Sportsmobile West has developed a strategic alliance with Oberaigner Gmbh Fahrzeungtechnik, an Austrian four wheel drive component developer and manufacturer of the four-wheel drive systems installed by Daimler-Chrysler in the Mercedes Sprinter chassis built in the Düsseldorf, Germany factory. Sportsmobile West will be the exclusive supplier, service, installation, and Warranty Company in the United States for the Oberaigner system. Oberaigner and Sportsmobile are very excited about this partnership and supporting the US market with this highly-designed and manufactured system.
The four-wheel drive system will allow for better traction in foul weather situations and off highway uses. The system includes a new transfer case for shifting power to the front wheels in addition to the stock rear wheel drive system, a completely engineered and designed front axle assembly and steering system, new drive shafts and a rear axle kit. System options will include an all wheel drive permanent system and a four wheel drive two speed system.
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Old 10-25-2007, 04:26 PM   #5
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I found that motor home magazine article. Trailer Life, May 2007. Don't know how how these articles got out after SMB announced they weren't going to pursue building the Oberaigner 4WD kits themselves. Here's the article:

SPORTSMOBILE SPRINTER 4WD: FOUR-WHEEL-DRIVE CAPABILITY ON A DODGE SPRINTER BASED CLASS B MOTORHOME

Many RV manufacturers are building Class B van conversions based on the Dodge Sprinter van, but Sportsmobile has gone a step farther by making 4WD optionally available on its Sprinter-based vehicles.

As of press time, Dodge has investigated offering factory 4WD on its 2008 Sprinter vans. In the interim, Sportsmobile is moving forward with its 4WD conversion plans until such time as the factory-supplied complete vehicle is available.

"When the Sprinter van came out, we had this large customer marketing base, and we started getting calls asking when we'd do a 4WD Sprinter. To design one on this new van would have been a real challenge because it's a unibody," explained Alan Feld, president of Sportsmobile West.

He continued, "Everybody told us they make those with 4WD at the Mercedes-Benz factory in Europe. They came from the Dusseldorf plant, but all the components are supplied by Oberaigner. We did a strategic alliance with them because all this has been tested by Mercedes in Stuttgart, which is really important. The product was already available, it just wasn't available in the United States. We went to the source, got the original components and, the good news is, they all bolt on, so it's a factory installation."

Unlike the company's Ford-based 4WD conversions, the Sprinter 4WD is billed as a rig designed for driving on road surfaces with poor traction. Feld explained, "This is not going to be a rock crawler, like the Ford is with its body on frame. It's a different application than the Ford."

A 4WD Sprinter isn't going to be cheap. The base MSRP for a 2WD Sportsmobile Sprinter Class B is in the mid-$50,000 range. The 4WD conversion parts add about $14,950 as an option, so a base Sprinter 4WD conversion is about $70,000. The unit <the SMB red 4WD concept van> that's shown on the previous page would be stickered at about $92,000.

"It's a concept show vehicle," Feld explained, "It's got a diesel-fired furnace and water heater, and that's $2,000. They're Espar heaters, European products used for marine applications. It has in-motion satellite TV, satellite radio, GPS and surround sound; it has $12,000 just in the audio/video gear. That's a $3,000 roof rack, carbon-fiber dash - we loaded this one up."

Although touted as a loaded show vehicle, it's also available as a retail model and can be outfitted with as many or as few extras as a customer wants. From interior amenities to exterior kayak or bicycle racks, spare fuel tank and tire carriers to heavy-duty bumpers with winch mounts, virtually anything a customer can dream of can be incorporated into a Sportsmobile.

Sportsmobile takes a flexible design approach. Customers can choose from existing floorplans or start with a blank sheet of paper and, with the company designers, plan the best vehicle for their needs and wants. Sprinter-based vans are available on 140- and 158-inch wheelbase varieties with both standard and high-roof bodies. Living accommodations can range from spartan, with an icebox and portable-toilet storage, to fully self-contained with the best furnace, refrigerator, upholstry, custom-designed cabinets and top-end construction materials.

Dodge is releasing a restyled Sprinter for the 2007 year, and although details were sketchy as of our press date, a 3.0-liter V-6 gasoline engine and a V-6 diesel engine will be available. Likewise, "We'll have a pop-top available on the '07 Sprinter," said Feld.

END OF ARTICLE
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Old 10-25-2007, 07:29 PM   #6
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Keep in mind that magazine articles are often written three or more months before actual publication. The order of things you read was off, and I'll bet SMB already had a different plan as the mag went to press.
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Old 10-26-2007, 09:52 AM   #7
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Back to Plan A .... I wrote Sportsmobile an email asking for a status update on their Sprinter 4x4 conversions. It looks like they have returned to working on their own conversion solution. Only this time they are developing the kit with Dynatrac instead of importing it. Here is their response to my email:

It doesn't look as though Chrysler will be importing the 4x4 after all. We
are joining forces with Dynatrac and are in the very beginning stages of
designing an aftermarket 4x4. We are at least a year out and will be
available on 2007 models or newer.

We will post on our website when the conversion is available.
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Old 10-31-2007, 02:56 PM   #8
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factory sprinter 4x4 in the us

i spoke today with wilhelm oberaigner and they dont know anything about this!
Oberaigner is the manufacturer of the factory MB sprinter 4x4 parts.
the us sprinter is manufactured in the us and they dont know anything about the delivery of conversion kits to the us? funny isnt it! and they supplied smb with the 1st conversion kit like on the red sprinter and now smb puts up a story about daimler? i have a good relationship with daimler and other manufacturers and nobody knows anything about a factory 4x4 sprinter in the us?
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Old 11-01-2007, 06:57 AM   #9
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Frank ... Sportsmobile has changed its plans several times about how to provide 4x4 Sprinters for its customers. From what I have read it appears their first plan was to partner directly with Oberaigner, then they decided to provide factory 4x4's from Mercedes/Chrysler (but Chrysler changed their plans and factory installed 4x4 is not going to be an option in the US), and now finally they are apparently planning on developing their own conversion in a partnership with Dynatrac. They have had good success with the 4x4 conversion they developed for the Ford E350 vans and hope to do it again. Salem Kroger is another 4x4 conversion company which some Sportsmobile owners have used to convert their vans.

By the way, don't worry about your english ... it is good, and much, much better than any of our Afrikaans. We appreciate having you join this board and sharing your knowledge.
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Old 11-01-2007, 01:28 PM   #10
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sportsmobile 4x4

may be i should sell them my drawings. they would safe a lot fo time and monet. and disapointments
ha ha
it is not that easy just to convert a sprinter and make it work.
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