Caravan Salon 2015 in Düsseldorf: Mercedes-Benz Vans on course for success in the camper van market

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  • Marco Polo and Marco Polo ACTIVITY successfully making their mark
  • V-Class and Vito as attractive base vehicles for individual camper vans
  • Neureuther and Terra Camper solutions based on the Mercedes-Benz Vito 4×4
  • Hymer now also building on the V-Class, in addition to the Sprinter

Mercedes-Benz Vans is expanding its presence on the camper van market. A year after their market launch, the Marco Polo and Marco Polo ACTIVITY are established as successful models. This is confirmed by high demand among customers and increasing numbers of orders received for these campers. The popularity of the new Marco Polo is also demonstrated by two reader’s choice awards of two specialist magazines. The readers of promobil voted the Marco Polo “Compact Camper of the Year 2015”. In the readers’ poll conducted by AUTO BILD REISEMOBIL the compact camper also took first place and is to receive the award “The Gold AUTO BILD Camper Van 2015” on 31 August. At the same time, the V-Class and the Vito are conquering the market for individual body and equipment solutions as attractive base vehicles for customised camper vans. Ever more camper van manufacturers are using the two premium vehicles with the newly developed SCA pop-up roof. At the Caravan Salon in Düsseldorf, Mercedes-Benz will be presenting its new Marco Polo models on stand D18 in Hall 16 alongside variants such as the new “Tecamp” from Terra Camper and the new “MultiCamper” from Neureuther. Both of these camper vans are based on the Vito 4×4. Five other bodybuilders will also be presenting camper vans based on the V-Class and Vito. These include Hymer, which is broadening its range of vehicles and is presenting the design study of its first compact camper van based on the Mercedes-Benz V-Class at the Caravan Salon.

“We are proud of our Marco Polo models. They are proving exceptionally popular with our customers. The demand far exceeds our expectations. Equally gratifying is the great interest in the V-Class and Vito among bodybuilders and conversion specialists”, notes Klaus Maier, Head of Sales and Marketing at Mercedes-Benz Vans. “This shows that with our strategic product initiative and our revamped vehicle range we are in an excellent position to further expand our standing in the attractive camper van market, too.”

Marco Polo and Marco Polo ACTIVITY successfully making their mark

The Marco Polo and Marco Polo ACTIVITY combine everyday and recreational use in perfect fashion. They boast cutting-edge design, superlative functionality and outstanding sleeping comfort – and are equally suitable for both long journeys and everyday use in the town or city. The compact exterior dimensions, with a length of 5.14 m and a width of 1.93 m (excluding mirrors), combine with the electromechanical power steering to ensure great manoeuvrability and impressive agility. And with a height of 1.98 m, both models are able to enter all normal garages, multi-storey car parks, underground garages and car washes. The same also goes for the 4MATIC models. The vehicle height remains unchanged thanks to the compact design of the all-wheel drive system. In addition to the 250 d 4MATIC, the all-wheel-drive variants are now also available in the engine versions 220 d 4MATIC and 220 d 4MATIC.

The compact Marco Polo camper van combines maximum functionality with supreme comfort and style. The interior is designed in a modern lounge style and features a fully equipped kitchenette, a wardrobe, swivelling front seats, a folding table, a sliding bench seat/bunk and a roof bed. The two beds offer the ultimate in sleeping comfort for up to four persons. Another new comfort highlight which is now available comes courtesy of the “Mercedes-Benz Touch” app. For the first time in a camper van, it is possible to operate the infotainment system from any seat using a smartphone – even from the roof bed or from a camping chair placed outside the door of the Marco Polo. Efficient driving enjoyment is ensured by the cutting-edge four-cylinder turbo diesel engine in three power ratings from 100 kW (136 hp) to 140 kW (190 hp), with a choice of rear-wheel or all-wheel drive. The Marco Polo now boasts the seal of approval for tested occupant protection from the TÜV Rheinland technical inspection authority. The compact Mercedes-Benz camper van offers its occupants a standard of protection which goes far beyond the statutory requirements for passenger cars.

The compact Marco Polo ACTIVITY recreational vehicle boasts exceptional versatility. With a highly variable interior, comfortable sleeping facilities for up to five persons, five engine variants and three drive variants, it can be individualised as required. As such, it is the ideal vehicle the whole year round for young families as well as for sports and outdoor activity enthusiasts. Standard items on board include a folding table, various bottle holders and cup holders, curtains and two electric vent windows in the rear, pre-installation for a radio and an auxiliary battery supplying power in the interior.

V-Class and Vito as attractive base vehicles for individual camper vans

With the newly developed SCA pop-up roof from C.F. Maier, the V-Class and the Vito from Mercedes-Benz provide highly attractive platforms for compact camper vans featuring individual body and conversion solutions. Manufacturers benefit from the uniquely broad range and the high driving and ride comfort offered by the two model series. The V-Class and Vito are available with rear-wheel and all-wheel drive in three engine variants, namely 100 kW (136 hp), 120 kW (163 hp) and 140 kW (190 hp). In addition, the Vito is available with front-wheel drive in output variants of 65 kW (88 hp) and 84 kW (115 hp). Power is transferred either by a six-speed manual transmission or by the 7G-TRONIC PLUS seven-speed torque converter transmission, which is a unique feature in this vehicle class.

Thanks to the extremely compact design of the all-wheel-drive system, the Vito 4×4 and the V-Class 4MATIC with SCA pop-up roof have the same overall height of 1.98 m as the models with rear-wheel drive, making them fully suitable for daily use. The V-Class and Vito set further standards where safety is concerned. Both vehicles are fitted with Crosswind Assist and ATTENTION ASSIST as standard. Optional features include other innovative assistance systems such as Active Parking Assist, COLLISION PREVENTION ASSIST, Lane Keeping Assist, Blind Spot Assist and the LED Intelligent Light System.

Neureuther and Terra Camper solutions based on the Mercedes-Benz Vito 4×4

The V-Class and Vito offer bodybuilders and conversion specialists a new means of distinguishing their products on the market. Ever more camper van manufacturers are presently broadening their portfolios. Terra Camper presented the first Tecamp based on the Vito 4×4 with SCA pop-up roof back at the beginning of the year. The new 140 kW (190 hp) expedition vehicle combines the comfort and compact dimensions of a passenger car with the long-distance capabilities of an expedition variant. The individual seats in the rear and the furniture modules are fitted on rails for easy movement. Equally, they can be removed in next to no time. Neureuther has now also based its MultiCamper multifunction recreational vehicle on the 140 kW (190 hp) Mercedes-Benz Vito 4×4 for the first time. A bench seat/bunk which is fully removable in a matter of minutes has been developed for the new vehicle with off-road capability. This frees up plenty of space for surfboards or bicycles.

Hymer now also building on the V-Class, in addition to the Sprinter

Hymer is also broadening its range of vehicles and is presenting the design study of its first compact camper van based on the Mercedes-Benz V-Class at the Caravan Salon. In conjunction with the SCA pop-up roof, the V-Class provides the perfect base vehicle for new body and conversion solutions in the compact camper segment. The highlight inside the Hymer design study is a modular furniture concept enabling maximum flexibility for individual usage. The design study provides yet another demonstration of the ever stronger partnership between Mercedes-Benz and Hymer.

Long-standing partner Hymer has been using the Mercedes-Benz Sprinter for its top models since 1955. As a base vehicle for premium camper vans, the Sprinter is the measure of all things – especially in terms of safety. Together with Lane Keeping Assist, Blind Spot Assist, Highbeam Assist and COLLISION PREVENTION ASSIST, Crosswind Assist is one of five innovative assistance systems with which the current Sprinter has embodied a new dimension in safety technology in the van segment since 2013.

Mercedes-Benz is the first van manufacturer to adopt the innovative Crosswind Assist system from its vans for campers as well. The first partially integrated camper van with standard-fit Crosswind Assist was presented last year in the guise of the Hymer ML-T. It was followed this year by the Hymer ML-I as the first fully integrated camper incorporating this standard-fit safety feature. Both models are based on the Sprinter. In addition to the Hymer ML-T, the ML-I is now also available with all-wheel drive. As such, it is the first fully integrated camper van that copes effortlessly with all types of surfaces – from dirt roads through wet fields to winter roads – offering clear benefits in terms of safety and comfort. The Sprinter is optionally available with all-wheel drive ex factory, which is easily switched on at the touch of a button.

Camper and mobile home manufacturer Hymer is an official “VanPartner by Mercedes-Benz”. This exclusive status is awarded to selected bodybuilders with whom Mercedes-Benz cooperates particularly closely. They are audited and certified in accordance with Mercedes-Benz’s high standards in the areas of quality, marketing, sales and after-sales. Their body and conversion solutions are produced in compliance with stipulated body/equipment mounting directives. Worldwide, Mercedes-Benz works with 200 certified bodybuilders in various sectors – from rescue vehicles through refrigerator vans to platform bodies.

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