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Old 06-20-2013, 03:28 PM   #1
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2014 Sprinter Facelift and Revisions

Mercedes is making significant revisions to the Sprinter this year in part to counter the new upcoming Ford Transit and Ram ProMaster vans. Any thoughts on how these may affect Class B applications?

The facelift is mostly aesthetic and probably wonít make much difference to buyers. The van still looks about the same to me.

Lots of electronic upgrades to improve safety, ride, and handling have been added. Iím not sure those alone would make me a buyer; particularly if they come at an even higher price.

Standard engine will be 2.1 liter inline 4-cylinder with 7 speed automatic. This combination will reportedly get 18 percent better fuel economy. Itís not as much power as the current V6 which will become an option, but it will have more power than the original US Sprinter 2.7-liter inline 5. I expect the estimated fuel economy improvement is likely based on a combined-cycle rating because itís hard to see it improve 18% at steady highway cruising speeds. Is a little MPG improvement worth living with a smaller engine?

The body has been lowered to improve step-in and loading, aerodynamics, and fuel economy. However, will this reduce under-floor clearance too much for generators, holding tanks, and the like? Lowering should also help with stability and cross winds, but will it come at too high a price for RVers? For what itís worth, RVs represent only about 10% of Sprinter sales. Most vans donít have clearance issues.

The heavier duty 3500 will reportedly have air suspension (not sure if as an option or standard). The news release also doesnít state clearly if itís air over leaf springs, or whether full air suspension. Either way it suggests M-B knows the 1-ton vans ride on the harsh side. I personally think this is in part due to dually rear tires, which begs the question why they donít offer the super singles on 1-ton vans as they do in many markets outside the USA. Has anyone ever asked a M-B dealer why super-singles are not offered here? Seems like a natural for larger Class Bs.

Comments on 2014 Sprinter appreciated.

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Old 06-23-2013, 11:43 AM   #2
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Re: 2014 Sprinter Facelift and Revisions

Just found in SAE link that the step-in height will start as low as 19.9 inches. Iím guessing thatís at the side doors with little more clearance at the back (hopefully), but it shows the lowered floor will likely affect under-floor generator installations.
From this angle van looks like it rides much lower.

Picture below of Super-Singles

Additional sources have listed pretty much the same information with slightly different variations. Of interest to me but not mentioned at all for US market is the super-single 285/65R16C rear tire option. Donít quite understand why itís not offered here unless itís for lack of interest. ... ive-video/ ... -info-news ... e-15526102

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Old 06-23-2013, 05:35 PM   #3
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Re: 2014 Sprinter Facelift and Revisions

Thanks for the links! Wow that looks a lot lower then current models!
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Old 07-02-2013, 09:41 AM   #4
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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.
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