Re: 2014 Sprinter Facelift and Revisions
More info on Super Single tire options for other markets
A few people on different forums occasionally have shown interest in Mercedes Sprinters with Super Single tires, and in some cases the discussions suggest that some think the Super Single option can kind of be retrofitted onto a single-tire ĺ-ton van, thereby increasing its load carrying capacity. Or perhaps that they can be retrofitted onto a dual-tire van with minimal reduction in payload. After looking at this option for some time, it appears to me that the Super Single option is very different in many ways beyond just a wheel and tire swap. Here are some of the key differences Iíve found for previous models. There is no telling if the revised 2014 model will have similar specs since they will reportedly be using a different rear axle design.
Depending on market, GVWR is often listed at 4.49 or 4.6 tonnes (1000 kilos per tonne, not same as a 2,000-pound US ton). There are a few minor inconsistencies in web specs depending on country but these seem typical as they relate to US models; with exception of Super Singles not offered here:
2500 model = 3.88t = 8,550 pounds
Super Single model = 4.49t = 9,900 or 9,990 pounds (depending on which site Ė difference could be misprint)
Super Single model = 4.6t which is about 10,140 pounds (seems very common rating in Europe)
3500 dual tire model = 5t = 11,030 pounds
As mentioned in another thread, distance between wheel arches also varies which means different sheet metal for each model:
Standard single rear wheels = 134.9 cm = 53.1 inches
Super-Single rear wheels = 122.8 cm = 48.3 inches
Dual rear wheels = 97.8 cm = 38.5 inches
Front and rear axle load ratings also vary by model. These specs seem typical from one Mercedes site:
Standard single rear wheels = 1650 KG front and 2250 KG rear
Super single rear wheels = 1850 KG front and 3200 KG rear
Dual rear wheels = 1850 KG front and 3500 KG rear
Wheel and tire sizes are of particular interest because the Super Single models get larger front tires than van with dual wheels, yet the front axle load rating is no higher. Obviously this suggest Mercedes uses larger front tires on Super Single vans for some reason other than normal load. It could be to better match the diameter of the rear tires, or for some other reason entirely.
Standard single rear wheel models = 6.5 x 16 wheels with 235/65R16 tires
Super Single models = 5.5 x 16 front wheels with 205/75R16 tires
= 8.5 x 16 rear wheels with 285/65R16C tires
Dual wheel models = 5.5 x 16 wheels with 195/75R16 tires
Lastly, the Super Single tires used in Europe appear to have a higher load rating than what we may expect in the US for similar size tires. Where some 285/65R16 tires are rated 113 here, the Sprinter tires in Europe are rated at 128, which is 1800 KG per tire (3968 pounds each).
By comparison, my E-350 vanís 245/75R16 Michelins are load rated 120, or 1400 KG each (3086 pounds each). Based on Ford US Transit specs, it appears tires with higher ratings for their size will be used in the US too. New US Transit specs Iíve seen show 235/65R16C tires for single rear wheel vans with a load rating of 121 when used as singles.
For what itís worth, if I were looking to upgrade my E-350ís capacity Iíd strongly consider these super singles before Iíd convert to dual rear wheels. Tire diameter is nearly identical, and at 11.2 inches wide theyíd fit without body modifications which would keep costs down. And most importantly, a 7,936-pound tire load capacity for the rear axle would result in a significantly higher safety factor. Beyond that, Iíd only want dual rear tires if I were towing a huge trailer which I donít.