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Sprinter Face-Lift Year 2000
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Articles from "Hamburger Abendblatt", DaimlerChrysler press text Feb 24th 2000 and Nov. 3rd 1999


Translation of an article from German daily newspaper "Hamburger Abendblatt" from November 10th 1999

The Sprinter strongly pepped up
Mercedes-van with joystick-type gearshift and economic engines

Mercedes has given the Sprinter a face-lift. From February 2000 on CDI diesel-engines (four- and five-cylinder) with common-rail ignition-technique (CDI), exhaust gas turbocharger and intercooler for the drive train. New flagship is the five-cylinder with a power output of 115kw/156hp ((DIN)) with a maximum torque of 330Nm. The entry-level engine delivers 60kw/82hp ((DIN)). Besides that variants with 80kw/109hp ((DIN)) and 95kw/129hp ((DIN)) are offered.
In the new styled cockpit the gears are shifted by a joystick. An automated manual shift transmission is available ((as an option)) which consists of a electrohydraulically actuated six-gear transmission with automatically operated clutch. As an option the service computer „Assyst” can be ordered which - based upon the condition of the engine oil - between 22.500 and 40.000 kilometres after the last service calls for an oil change.
From the outside the face-lifted Sprinter is to be recognized by the newly styled headlamps, by the front grille with integrated star and the chrome-coloured model designations with red CDI lettering as well as by the air intake slits in the right front fender. Two tread-plates integrated into the ((lower part of the)) plastic front skirt ease the cleaning of the windshield. The front end has been extended by 57mm compared to the predecessor. That shall enhance the ((vehicle's)) crash safety.
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All seats will be equipped with three-point seat-belts. Also new is the optional engine start-stop system, which automatically cuts off the engine three seconds after the vehicle came to halt and restarts the engine by stepping on the clutch ((pedal)). The new technique shall reduce the emissions as well as the fuel consumption by up to eight per cent.
End of article - translation by MBEP webmaster. As usual remarks in ((blabla)) but (blabla) belongs to original text.


DaimlerChrysler press text February 24th 2000 by Joachim M. Strampp

Mercedes-Benz Sprinter

Short text version:
Mercedes-Benz Sprinter: more than just an ordinary model update

Long text version:
New thrifty CDI diesel engines
Turbocharger with variable nozzle turbine
“Sprintshift” – the new six-speed manual transmission
Engine start/stop system
New exterior design with a new headlamp unit
New workplace with a passenger-car like feel
Heating and climate control
Temperature-controlled air conditioning
Equipment refinement
Thrifty at the petrol station, easy-going at the workshop
“Assyst” service computer
Brake and restraint systems that are better than ever
“James Cook” – even homelier, with even more creature comforts
Recycling and protection of the environment
 

Short text version:

More than just an ordinary model update:

Mercedes-Benz Sprinter: new technology and equipment

New CDI diesel engines, a redesigned instrument panel with a joystick shift and a redesigned front end – these are just some of the highlights offered by the updated Sprinter. The most important innovations are the powerful and yet economical four and five-cylinder CDI diesel engines with Common-Rail Direct Injection (CDI) and turbochargers with variable turbine geometry, as well as charge-air cooling (the exception is the basic model with 60 kW). The CDI engines distinguish themselves from their predecessors by virtue of a significantly higher power output. The most powerful engine is the new five-cylinder engine OM 612 DE 27 LA with 115 kW (156 hp), that sets new standards in this segment. This engine develops its maximum torque of 330 Newton meters (Nm) at 1400 to 2400 revolutions per minute. The power range of the four-cylinder OM 611 DE 22 LA engines now extends from 60 kW (82 hp) to 95 kW (129 hp).
With the exception of the 60 kW variant that has a conventional turbocharger, all other CDI engines are fitted with a turbocharger with variable turbine geometry (VTG). With their adjustable vanes, these superchargers achieve high efficiency over a wide operating range by optimising boost pressures. The dynamic adjustment of the vanes not only results in lower pollutant emissions and better fuel economy, but also leads to a definite improvement in acceleration and flexibility values, combined with agile, sporty handling.

“Sprintshift” – the new automated-shift six-speed manual transmission
Whoever appreciates the ease of operation of an automatic transmission will find the new, automated shift six-speed manual transmission, “Sprintshift”, true value for money. It is available with the CDI engines and consists of an electrohydraulically-shifted, redesigned six-speed transmission with automatic clutch activation. The driver can choose between automatic and manual mode. The former corresponds to the operation of a conventional automatic transmission, which greatly relieves the strain on drivers in short-radius transport in particular. In manual mode, the driver can use the joystick to change gears actively. The desired gear change is only made once the control unit has performed a plausibility check. If it detects any danger due to the engine speed limit being exceeded, the gear is not changed.

New workplace that feels like a passenger car – front in new design
In the instrument area, the redesigned, well laid-out instrument panel with integrated gearshift lever is an eye-catching feature. It creates completely free through-access between the front seats. The instrument cluster now has a tachometer for economical driving as standard. In addition, it is networked with a CAN bus system and is thus be diagnosis-capable. A compact control panel with radio, heater controls, switch panel and speedometer is located in the centre console. Thought was also given to comfort features, such as the cupholders in the centre console or the illuminated glove compartment (optional equipment) in the passenger area. Generously-sized, open stowage pockets are integrated into the driver and passenger doors. In the crewbus, the dashboard cover has a soft surface with passenger-car flair (“soft look”) as standard.
From the outside, the updated Sprinter is recognisable due to its longer front end and lowered bonnet. The Mercedes-Benz star is now integrated into the radiator grille and fits harmoniously into the bonnet. The model designation in the radiator grille has a chrome shimmer, stands out proud from the grille and, as in the Vito, the CDI engine versions also have red CDI lettering. The delivery van and passenger van also have chrome “Sprinter” lettering that stands out on the right rear door. Gills (air slits) in the right wing are used for air intake, and this improves the fording depth. This used to be 25 to 30 centimetres, and it is now 50 cm. Furthermore, the Sprinter has a new headlamp unit with impact-resistant plastic lenses and free-form reflectors, which improve road illumination.

Fuel economy and long service intervals
The CDI engines not only offer better performance, smoother running and greater torque than the predecessor engines, they also offer much better fuel economy. Depending on the final drive ratio, the 211 CDI and 213 CDI only consume between 7.3 and 8.9 litres per 100 km (urban and EUDC) in accordance with EU directive 80/1268/EC, version 93/116/EEC (§47d StVZO). The long oil-change intervals of 22,500 km or two years also ensure greater economy. In conjunction with the optionally available service computer, “Assyst”, even longer oil-change intervals of up to 40,000 km are possible. The multi-function display tells the driver approx. 3,000 km before the next oil change is due.

New optional equipment
The Sprinter is now available with various items of optional equipment, such as the engine start-stop system (MSS). This is a further effective measure for reducing fuel consumption, noise and emission levels. This automatically switches the engine off when the vehicle has been running at idle speed for longer than three seconds with no gear engaged. In urban short-radius transport with a large proportion of stop-and-go and nose-to-tail traffic, MSS can make fuel savings of up to eight percent, depending on the conditions of use.
The new automatic heater control, also optionally available, compares the temperatures of the external air and that inside the vehicle with the desired interior temperature (target value) and controls the water flow at the heat exchanger in accordance with the amount of heat required. A temperature-controlled air-conditioning system enhances comfort even more. It adds “cool” and “dehumidify” to the temperature-control functions. One of the advantages offered by the controlled air-conditioning system is that the desired interior temperature can be maintained at a constant level, regardless of the external temperature and the insolation. With the residual engine heat utilisation (MRA), fitted as standard in conjunction with the automatic heat control or controlled air-conditioning system, the existing thermal energy can be used to continue to heat the passenger compartment for a good thirty minutes after the engine has been switched off. The updated Sprinters with passenger-car registration (crewbus, panel van without partition, James Cook and “Euro-Sprinter” chassis with CDI engine) have an heater booster as standard: this is based on a fuel-operated water heater that heats the interior more quickly via the cooling circuit when the engine is running.
The Sprinter with new technology and equipment will be launched on the European markets from February. It replaces the first generation of this model series that has clocked up tremendous successes since its launch in 1995. More than 500,000 Sprinters have been manufactured in five years of production; this figure is more than 100% greater than that for the predecessor model series (T1: 225,000). With the Sprinter, DaimlerChrysler has opened up new markets in South America and South Africa.  20000211
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Long text version:

More than just an ordinary model update:
The Sprinter starts off the new millennium with a myriad of innovations
The model year 2000 Sprinter dazzles with an upgrade package that amounts to far more than just a facelift. The technical highlights of the new Mercedes-Benz van include CDI diesel engines with variable nozzle turbine delivering up to 115 kW (156 hp), a joystick gearshift and, as an option, the new “Sprintshift” automated manual transmission. With fresh new looks, a redesigned instrument panel and a whole host of innovations, the new vans are set to further improve the cost-effectiveness of fleet operations by offering the highest degree of quality, comfort, safety and practicality.
The Sprinter will continue to be available in five variants: as a panel van, a crewbus or mini-bus, a pick-up available with and without crew cab (all with a maximum GVW of 2.59 to 4.6 t), as a tipper (max. GVW 3.5 to 4.6 t) and in a chassis version. All variants can also be ordered with all-wheel drive. This all means the Sprinter will continue to be the ideal basis for a multitude of tailored solutions for different sectors of trade. The CDI diesel and petrol powered engines are now complemented by a van running on Natural Gas Technology (NGT). An electrically powered version of the Sprinter is also available, making DaimlerChrysler the only renowned manufacturer to offer two “alternative” propulsion systems.

New thrifty CDI diesel engines with more power
The most significant new feature is the range of powerful yet economical four and five-cylinder CDI diesel engines boasting common rail injection, exhaust gas turbocharging with variable geometry and charge-air cooling (apart from the 60 kW model). This new engine technology is founded on the high-pressure injection method developed jointly by DaimlerChrysler and Bosch, known as “Common Rail Direct Injection” or CDI for short. The principle of CDI is to inject the fuel directly through one injector per cylinder. This system has clear advantages over conventional injection systems as both the quantity of fuel injected as well as the injection timing can be adjusted almost infinitely by the engine electronics.
The Common Rail principle works based on three components: the high-pressure pump, the shared fuel supply line or “common rail” and the individual injectors. A high-pressure pump (three-plunger radial piston pump) supplies fuel to the common rail. In order to ensure even injection, the high system pressure of up to 1350 bar is regulated electronically by a pressure control valve, which matches injection to the current engine speed and engine load. Both the injection timing and quantity injected are precision-controlled by the engine electronics using extremely high-speed solenoid valves.
The quantity of fuel injected is therefore no longer subject to the influences of mechanical system components but is regulated by the precision of computer-controlled electronic shift impulses sent to the solenoid valves. This leads to improved distribution and cleaner combustion of the injected droplets of fuel in the cylinder. The combustion process is optimised yet further by a pilot injection stage which also greatly reduces combustion noise, so that the CDI engine’s noise emissions lie far below those of a pre-chamber diesel engine. Reduced noise and lower consumption figures translate into a clear advantage out on the road. The CDI principle is further consolidated by innovative engine technologies, the most significant of these being its networking with the vehicle control modules via the CAN (Controller Area Network) data bus. Furthermore, overall operation of the entire engine is assisted by standard fuel pre-heating, which is particularly effective at low outside temperatures.
The CDI engines distinguish themselves from their predecessors by virtue of a significantly higher power output. The top-of-the-range engine is the new five-cylinder OM 612 DE 27 LA with 115 kW (156 hp), which sets new standards in this segment. The maximum torque of 330 Newton meters is available from as low down as 1400-2400 rpm. The power range of the four-cylinder OM 611 DE 22 LA engines now extends from 60 kW (82 hp) to 95 kW (129 hp). The engine range is rounded off by the four-cylinder M 111 E 23 CAN petrol engine which also benefits from electronic engine management and CAN bus networking. This unit delivers 105 kW (143 hp) at 5,000 rpm, with maximum torque of 215 Nm available between 3200 and 4700 rpm. The CAN bus networking also improves diagnostic compatibility of the petrol engine, as other major components such as the ABS and the Sprintshift transmission are also linked in. The inclusion of an anti-knock control (AKC) now makes manual resetting when refuelling with low octane fuel a thing of the past. The Sprinter’s top speed is limited to 160 km/h.

Turbocharger with variable nozzle turbine
With the exception of the 60 kW variant, which has a conventional turbocharger, all other CDI engines are fitted with an exhaust gas turbocharger with variable nozzle turbine (VNT). With their adjustable vanes, these turbochargers achieve high efficiency over a wide operating range by optimising boost pressures. At low engine speeds, the vanes close thereby reducing the cross-section of the exhaust flow, resulting in a spontaneous increase in boost pressure. On the other hand, at high engine speeds the vanes are opened to increase the flow area which reduces the flow speed. The resulting decrease of boost pressure (wastegate effect) ensures that the limit speed of the exhaust gas turbocharger is not exceeded. The dynamic adjustment of the vanes not only results in lower pollutant emissions and better fuel economy, but also leads to a definite improvement in acceleration and flexibility, combined with agile, nippy handling.
If registered as a truck, the CDI engines fulfil Euro 2 emission limits in accordance with 88/77/EEC , version 96/1/EEC; if the vehicles are registered as passenger cars they all meet the emission limits specified in EU 2 Group III, and the majority conform to the EU 3 Group III limits, depending on the particular model of engine and the rear axle ratio. The CDI engines also meet the levels stipulated in the future Euro 3 Standard, which is now to become law. Euro 3 engines will be available for delivery once homologation proceedings have been concluded in mid-2000. Vehicles fitted with the M 111 E 23 petrol engine conform to the emission regulations of EU 2, Group 1 or D3 in Germany.

“Sprintshift” – the new automated six-speed manual transmission
The CDI engines are also available in conjunction with an automated manual transmission, called “Sprintshift”. Sprintshift is a new six-speed transmission with electro-hydraulic shift coupled with automatic clutch control. Its operation is similar to that of a conventional automatic transmission without a clutch pedal, which greatly relieves the strain on drivers in short-radius transport in particular.
Sprintshift smoothly combines all the functions and advantages of an automatic transmission with those of a manual unit. In automatic mode (fully-automatic operation), the driver can enjoy the same level of convenience as with a regular automatic transmission while reserving the option to override the program and change gear manually at any time.
The Sprintshift automated manual transmission is operated using a joystick-type selector lever integrated into the instrument panel with three fixed shift positions and three one-touch positions. The fixed positions are “R” for reverse, “N” for neutral and “0” for the basic position. With a flick of the lever, the driver can also select between “A” for automatic mode or change up and down through the gears in manual mode by selecting “+” or “?”. However, the desired gear change is only made once the control unit has performed a plausibility check. If it detects any risk of damage due to the engine speed limit being exceeded, the gear change will not be carried out.
Another new feature is the start-off assist (AAS), which makes hill starts with the Sprintshift transmission a great deal easier. Whenever the brake pedal is depressed with the vehicle at standstill, the brake pressure is maintained for about a second after the pedal is released, preventing the vehicle from rolling back. This allows enough time to depress the accelerator pedal and pull away smoothly when the vehicle is on a slope.
The Sprintshift automated manual transmission is not available with the engine start/stop system, the M 111 E 23 petrol engine or with the natural gas engine, nor can it be equipped with a power take-off unit.
 The model year 2000 Sprinter is fitted as standard with a manual, full-synchromesh five-speed transmission. Based on the tried-and-tested G 16 and G 28 transmissions, the G 20 and G 32-5 five-speed overdrive transmissions have substantially improved characteristics. These two manual transmissions are now operated in the Sprinter by a remote cable shift system functioning via a joystick which is integrated into the instrument panel. This configuration has already received wide approval in the Vito. It allows unobstructed access both through to the co-driver’s side and to the load compartment or passenger compartment.

Engine start/stop system
DaimlerChrysler’s engine start/stop system (MSS) presents a further effective measure for reducing fuel consumption, noise and emission levels. The engine start/stop system is available as optional equipment for vehicles fitted with a diesel engine, manual transmission and mechanical clutch. The system can be activated by pressing the “MSS” switch whenever the engine is running provided the following conditions, which help to protect engine and battery, are met: the ambient temperature must be above zero, the coolant temperature between 40 and 100 ° C and the vehicle must already have reached a speed in excess of 3.5 km/h. Once these prerequisites have been fulfilled, the system switches the engine off automatically whenever the vehicle has been running at idle speed for longer than three seconds with no gear engaged. In urban, short-radius transport with a large proportion of stop-and-go and nose-to-tail traffic, MSS can make fuel savings of up to eight percent, depending on the conditions of use.

New exterior design with a new headlamp unit
The new Sprinter can be recognised instantly from the outside by its longer front end, extended from the A-pillar forwards by 57 mm, and its lower bonnet. The new design means that the Sprinter now cuts a more elegant figure, as well as offering improved crash safety. The Cd value is as low as ever, varying between 0.34 and 0.36, depending on the model chosen.
The Mercedes-Benz star is now integrated into the radiator grille and blends harmoniously into the bonnet. The model designation in the radiator grille has a chrome shimmer, stands out proud from the grille and, as in the Vito, the CDI engine versions also have red CDI lettering. The panel van and the crewbus also have raised chrome “Sprinter” lettering on the right rear door.
The extended front end gives the Sprinter cab a more streamlined and dynamic profile. Gills (air slits) in the right wing are used for air intake, improving the fording depth from previously 25 - 30 centimetres to 50 cm. Furthermore, the Sprinter has a new headlamp unit with impact-resistant plastic lenses and free-form reflectors, which improve illumination of the road. The plastic front apron is also new. To allow the windscreen to be cleaned simply and safely, the apron now comes with integrated, non-slip steps on the left and right below the headlamps. The wheel size has been modified too, slightly widening the track width of both axles.

New workplace with a passenger-car like feel
The interior is equally as impressive as the exterior. Here, the tone is set by an array of practical design features and unexpected details, greatly enhanced visual appeal with attractive fabrics covering all seats, roof trim and side walls (crewbus) and a new interior colour concept based on the “saturn grey” colour shade instead of the previous “blue grey”. In the crewbus, the instrument panel cover has a soft surface, with a passenger-car flair, as standard (“soft look”).
A particular highlight of the updated Sprinter is its new instrument panel, with its clear layout and integrated shift lever, which allows unobstructed access between the front seats. The diagnosis-compatible instrument cluster with CAN bus networking plus standard rev counter for economic driving and the compact control panel in the centre console housing the radio, heater controls, switch panel and tachograph are also integrated into the new instrument panel design.
Vans used in commercial road transport whose maximum gross vehicle weight exceeds 3.5 t as a solo van or with a trailer attached must be equipped with an EC tachograph. The Sprinter now comes with the new MTCO 1324 tachograph, which sets new standards in terms of performance, technology and design thanks to its modular construction with independent display and recording. As well as vehicle road speeds, the familiar tamper-proof display disk also registers the distance travelled, the time at the wheel, and the working times and break times of each driver. The working time groups and stationary times are specified using the control keys. If a system fault is registered or if the unit is not operated correctly, the tachograph indicator lamp (TCO) lights up.
Between the rev counter and the fuel tank gauge in the instrument cluster there is an LCD multi-function display for mileage, trip recorder, time, temperature, Sprintshift and Assyst. Below the display, there is a strip of indicator lamps with coloured LEDs. The instrument cluster is illuminated day and night by yellow LED back-lighting which can be dimmed electronically.
Thought was also given to convenience features, such as the cupholder in the centre console, the illuminated glove compartment (optional equipment) and the additional oddment trays with non-slip linings. Generously-sized, open stowage pockets are integrated into the driver’s and co-driver’s doors. There are two extra, standard-size stowage compartments in the central section of the instrument panel, which can be used to house communication equipment such as a radio. These are complemented by a pen holder and a clip for notes and papers. The inside of the glove compartment lid has two high-lipped recesses to hold cans or cups. There is also a holder for credit card-size data carriers such as telephone cards or petrol station reward cards. As in the Vito and the V-class, the familiar switches for electrical adjustment of the exterior mirrors and the power windows, available as an option, are now located in the driver’s and co-driver’s door pulls.

Heating and climate control
The efficiency of the heating and ventilation system plays a decisive role in terms of safety on the road, and helping to ensure that the occupants feel comfortable and the driver stays fresh and alert. The coolant-based heating and ventilation system with a heater output of 12.5 kW is now controlled using a new diagnosis-compatible control panel which is even more user-friendly, with a more attractive design and even more setting options. There is also a new “long-range nozzle”, which conducts fresh air, and cooled air if air conditioning is fitted, directly into the passenger compartment at head-height.
The high efficiency of the common rail diesel engines means that less heat is dissipated to the coolant. Consequently, to make sure that the customer is always kept warm and comfortable, the updated CDI Sprinter crewbus, panel van without partition, James Cook and “Euro Sprinter” chassis for camper van bodies are all fitted with a heater booster system as standard in vehicles for export to countries with cold climates. This booster system is based on a fuel-powered water heater which warms up the interior much more quickly via the coolant circuit when the engine is running. Auxiliary heating with integrated booster function is available as an option. The auxiliary heater is based on a fuel-powered water heater too but can also be operated when the engine is turned off and is available for both diesel-powered and petrol-powered Sprinters. The booster system is temperature-controlled, while the auxiliary heater is activated via a switch. For added convenience, a timer with multiple pre-set times is also available which allows the cab to be warmed up on icy winter mornings even before the engine is started. This also puts an end to those cold starts which place such a load on the engine. The auxiliary heater can be left running for up to two hours, and only consumes 0.6 litres of fuel an hour even at full power, with consumption dropping further as the required output is reduced.
The new automatic heater control, also available as an option, compares the external air temperature and the temperature inside the vehicle with the desired interior temperature (target value) and controls the water flow at the heat exchanger in accordance with the amount of heat required. The temperature of the automatic heater control is set using the rotary temperature switch in the control unit.
The optional auxiliary hot air heater with a heater output of approximately 3.5 kW will continue to be available for the updated Sprinter. This operates independently of the vehicle’s coolant circuit and can also by used when the engine is turned off (includes timer with pre-set function). The auxiliary hot air heater is available in combination with the auxiliary hot water heater but not with the additional heat exchanger in the rear.

Temperature-controlled air conditioning
An optional temperature-controlled air-conditioning system enhances comfort even further. It adds “cool” and “dehumidify” to the automatic heater control functions. One of the advantages offered by the temperature-controlled air-conditioning system is that the desired interior temperature can be maintained at a constant level, regardless of the exterior temperature and the amount of sunlight shining into the vehicle. The temperature of the air-conditioning system is set in precisely the same way as for the automatic heater control, using the rotary temperature switch in the control unit. With the residual engine heat utilisation system (MRA), fitted as standard in conjunction with the automatic heater control/temperature-controlled air-conditioning system, the remaining thermal energy in the coolant circuit can be used to continue to heat the passenger compartment for a good thirty minutes after the engine has been switched off.
Both the crewbus and the panel van without partition are available with an additional heat exchanger in conjunction with auxiliary heating, which warms up the load compartment or rear passenger compartment in air recirculation mode. The second heat exchanger is integrated into the coolant circuit in parallel to the heat exchanger in the front end. Both the blower and the pulse valve can be controlled with the separate two-position rocker switch in the instrument panel.

Equipment refinement
The list of standard equipment has now been extended further to include a rev counter, an oil level check and an immobiliser. The front axle is now fitted with a stabiliser as standard, with larger 225/30 R15 tyres.
 The range of special equipment includes a new generation of radios, a warning lamp for the washer fluid level and central locking which allows the load compartment and the cab to be locked separately via a rocker switch in the instrument panel. The central locking is now operated by pushbuttons on the key.
 The new anti-theft alarm system (ATA) has been extended to include interior motion sensor, tow-away protection and protection of the rear window. Ultrasonic sensors monitor the interior of the vehicle.
Another new feature is the pollen and particulate filter which removes all manner of suspended particles, spores, bacteria and fine dust from the air – a decisive plus for anyone allergic to pollen. This filter is fitted as standard on vans with automatic heater control. Gaseous pollutants and unpleasant odours are also filtered out by the activated charcoal filter, which greatly improves the climate inside the vehicle. The activated charcoal filter comes as standard on vehicles with a temperature-controlled air conditioning system.
A manually operated glass tilting sunroof with integrated sun protection (tinted glass) is available for the cab of all models apart from Sprinters with a raised roof. Ventilation of the passenger compartment of the crewbus and panel van can be greatly improved by the addition of the optional electric glass tilting/sliding sunroof which can be operated conveniently from the driver’s seat.
DaimlerChrysler is able to delivery tailor-made solutions for all communications equipment, including radios and increasingly telephones, mobile phones, channel group communications devices and the APS navigation system. The optional APS system consists of a control unit with integrated radio-cassette player radio fitted in the radio recess, a separate navigation computer and a combined radio/GPS aerial on the roof.

Thrifty at the petrol station, easy-going at the workshop
The CDI engines not only offer better performance, smoother running and greater torque than the previous range of engines, they also offer much better fuel economy. For example, depending on the final drive ratio and the exact model (216 CDI, 316 CDI), the OM 612 DELA CDI diesel engine, with five cylinders, four valves per cylinder and an output of 115 kW (156 hp), fitted in a Sprinter panel van with a standard roof and the manual five-speed transmission, only consumes between 8.4 and 9.8 litres of diesel overall per 100 km (urban and EUDC), measured in accordance with EU directive 80/1268/EEC, version 93/116/EC (§47d StVZO – German motor vehicle licensing regulations). The OM 611 DELA four-cylinder, four-valve CDI diesel engine, delivering 95 kW (129 hp), is even more frugal, with the 211 CDI and 213 CDI only consuming between 7.3 and 8.9 litres overall per 100 km. These low figures are achieved by a combination of the CDI principle with revolutionary engine technology and CAN bus networking of the control units. These are now complemented by highlights such as the turbocharger with variable nozzle turbine, the newly developed five-speed manual transmission and the new Sprintshift automated six-speed manual transmission.

“Assyst” service computer
Greater economy is also ensured by the long oil-change intervals of 22,500 km or every two years, compared to only 15,000 km with the previous pre-chamber diesel engine and petrol engine. In conjunction with the optional service computer, “Assyst”, even longer and more flexible oil-change intervals of up to 40,000 km are possible. The multi-function display informs the driver approx. 3,000 km before the next oil change is due.
Maintenance-related labour and material costs and the resulting downtimes have a decisive influence over the life-cycle costs of a vehicle. For this reason, much care was taken right from the design phase to minimise the Sprinter’s service operations and to develop streamlined work sequences. Examples of this are the “Assyst” service computer, the easy accessible interface between the engine and the chassis wiring harness, the lifetime Sprintshift oil fill and the new STAR workshop diagnosis system, which can be connected up to the vehicle to read out stored faults quickly and reliably. Repairs of worn parts are straightforward thanks to a comprehensive service package, including: the 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, pan-European breakdown service complemented by a dense network of workshops, the “10 p.m.” workshop service, with some outlets even offering a 24 hour service without a night-time surcharge, the original parts supply service, CharterWay and the vehicle collection and delivery service. The full service package also covers items of optional equipment such as the loading tailgate or refrigeration units.

Brake and restraint systems that are better than ever
The Sprinter was the first van series to be fitted as standard (in Germany and a number of other countries) with the four-channel ABS 5.3 system in conjunction with automatic brake differential (ABD) and sliding caliper disc brakes on all wheels (internally ventilated at front), including a sensor on each brake caliper which indicates the level of brake wear. The different electronic systems have now been networked via CAN bus, and the braking system has been upgraded to ABS 5.7, giving even better performance. This further development is accompanied by a host of new features: automatic brake differential (ABD) has been extended to assist acceleration skid control (ASR) by inclusion of engine intervention. The ASR can be deactivated by pressing a switch, indicated by the ASR warning lamp lighting up.
The objective of the Sprinter safety concept is not just to meet all test criteria with supreme ease, it aims far more to present an “all-round safety concept” assuring a high level of passive safety for vehicle occupants, while at the same time protecting other road users too. For this reason, all seats in the passenger compartment of the crewbus are now fitted with three-point safety belts and head restraints. All vehicles in Germany and a number of other countries come with a driver’s airbag as standard. Furthermore, as vans are often used to carry three people in the front, a twin airbag for the co-driver’s area is available as an option for the Sprinter to offer co-drivers the same level of protection too. Windowbags are scheduled to be introduced in mid-2000 as an additional restraint system. These extra airbags reduce the risk of injury for both the driver and the co-drivers in the event of side-on impacts and complement the protection offered by the front airbags and the safety belts. When deployed, the windowbags inflate in front of the window of the driver’s or co-driver’s door like a protective curtain.
 The loads which the vehicle occupants are exposed to in a head-on collision are determined by the structure of the front end and in particular by side members with an energy-absorbing design. Both these areas have been optimised in the Sprinter. The elevated seating position and raised side skirts together with the solid structure of the floor mean that the Sprinter also offers excellent protection in the event of collisions from the side. This extremely high standard of crash safety was achieved and optimised to a level far beyond the legally prescribed minimum over a series of more than 30 crash tests based on passenger car or internal company specifications.
Carried out in addition to the model approval crash prescribed by legislation in accordance with 74/297/EEC, which is conducted without dummies and which checks that the steering wheel does not move by more than 127 mm, the “vehicle-to-vehicle crash” with a passenger car tests the level of protection for other road users. In this test, the Sprinter was driven head on (0°) against an E-class at a speed of 50.9 km/h, with 50% overlap (driver’s side). The Sprinter weighed 3,198 kg against the 1,800 kg of the E-class. The test calculated the loads transmitted to the vehicle occupants, compatibility and the survival space. One remarkable aspect of this test is the extremely high levels of kinetic energy which are released. The “vehicle-to-vehicle crash” with a truck also examined the level of protection for other road users, while the “crash barrier impact” test concentrated on the loads transmitted to the vehicle occupants and on development of the windowbag. Development of the windowbag was also aided by the “side impact" test in which the Sprinter was struck from the side by a deformable barrier weighing 950 kg and moving at 50 km/h. Finally, the windowbag, and in particular the sensor system, were further optimised following the “pylon impact” test.
At the end of the exhaustive series of testing, the windowbags had reached series production standard. Their inclusion in the Sprinter means that the loads transmitted to the vehicle’s occupants in high-speed collisions are markedly reduced.

“James Cook” – even homelier, with even more creature comforts
The James Cook camper van has also benefited from the list of innovations. Driving has been made far more comfortable courtesy of the new, smoother and more economical CDI engines and the newly developed manual transmissions, particularly the Sprintshift automated six-speed manual transmission. The redesigned interior, with its unobstructed through-cab access and driver’s and front passenger’s seats which can be pivoted 180 degrees, has now bestowed passenger car looks on the Sprinter. In addition to this, the camper van has undergone a whole series of improvements designed to create a more pleasant living space, especially on longer journeys, and to make the James Cook the ideal travelling companion.
The entire interior has been given an even more pleasant appearance. The instrument panel now comes in “Softlook” effect with a soft, foam-backed surface to give a passenger-car feel. The basic shade of colour used is now “saturn grey”, replacing the previous “blue grey”. The “Arrow” flat-fibre fabric which was previously used to upholster the seats has now been replaced by the more luxurious “Las Vegas” Dralon velour familiar from the Vito F. As part of the colour scheme conversion in the cab, the trim colours as well as the cabinet handles, the handle of the bathroom door and the roof curtain are now all colour co-ordinated. The floor covering with its non-slip studs has an even more attractive finish and is easier to clean. As in the Marco Polo, it is colour co-ordinated to match the “mid-aero grey” tone, with streaks of “dark aero grey”.
The plastic previously used in the sliding door at the side and the adjoining window has been replaced by green-tinted, insulated double-glazed glass. These windows are extremely flat and resistant to scratches, further enhancing the overall visual impression of the vehicle. The double bed in the raised roof (200 x 155 cm) now comes with a safety net. The net is attached to the underside of the raised roof, the side wall and the bed itself by means of quick-release catches. The double bed in the lower level (195 x 128 cm), formed by sliding the two seat benches together, remains unchanged. The same applies to the large, removable dining table.
James Cook camper vans which are fitted with the new CDI engines also come with a heater booster system as standard. This means that the engine needs less time to reach its operating temperature. A third brake lamp is fitted to the lower edge of the raised roof at the rear of the James Cook as standard.
Due to the new EC model homologation guidelines 98/14, all updated James Cook models can only be registered as passenger cars (M 1).

Recycling and protection of the environment
When the Sprinter was launched back in 1995, an integral vehicle recycling concept was introduced, which was extended in the years to follow to cover the Vito, Actros and Atego. In 1997, Daimler-Benz was the first automobile manufacturer to set up its own-brand recycling operation, the “Disused Vehicle and Parts Centre”, which trades in Stuttgart under the name of “Mercedes-Benz ATC GmbH”. In April 1998, the company Dekra Umwelt GmbH certified that “Mercedes-Benz ATC GmbH” had fulfilled all the requirements of the regulations concerning disused cars and was therefore authorised to issue certificates as evidence of correct recycling. Since then, the ATC disposal and recycling concept has been implemented in many other countries.
Vehicle fluids as well as all worn parts and parts crucial to vehicle safety are disposed of in an environmentally friendly manner. Parts which still have useful life are loggeed into a data base and recycled as used parts. This allows DaimlerChrysler to offer its customers cost-effective repairs for older vehicles too. Depending on the extent to which the removed parts can be reused, the last registered owner is generally paid the vehicle’s residual value. Since late 1993, disused parts which can no longer be used enter the Mercedes Recycling System. Over 90 percent of all Mercedes Benz dealers in Germany participate in the system, and a number of dealers outside Germany have also been integrated.
All stages in the disposal process are meticulously documented, meaning that proper disposal can be verified at a later date from start to finish. The materials gained from the recyclable disused parts are almost all used as base materials or filling material for new vehicle parts. The number of disused parts sent for recycling is rising constantly, increasing from 340,000 parts in 1993 to four million parts in 1998.
 Each and every vehicle is included in this concept, starting as early as the vehicle development phase. Later on, during facelift programs, attention is again given to the objective of enabling as many parts as possible to be sent back for recycling as some time in the future. The functioning of the system depends on strict observance of a number of aspects: ease of disassembly, limitation of the diversity of materials - particularly plastics, use of plastics specially suited to recycling, use of parts which have been recycled themselves and the marking of plastics for sorting purposes. Care is also taken that no materials which are harmful to the environment are used, such as those containing asbestos, cadmium and CFCs. The use of solvent-free primers and fillers, top coats with low solvent content and long-lasting anti-corrosion protection to increase vehicle life are just as much a part of the Sprinter’s environmentally-friendly concept as drastically reducing noise and exhaust emissions and fuel consumption.  20000211
End of DaimlerChrysler press text from February 24th 2000


DaimlerChrysler press text November 3rd 1999 by BS/SD

Facelifted Sprinter with powerful CDI engines

- New CDI diesel engines with up to 115 kW/156 hp
- Joystick gear lever allows more space for climbing across
- Improved economy due to flexible service intervals
- Market launch February 2000

New design, a reworked instrument block with joystick-type gearshift, new powertrain with CDI engines and optional automated manual transmission – these are just some of the highlights of the facelifted Sprinter that will be available from February 2000.
The most important innovation is the range of powerful and economical 4-cylinder and 5-cylinder CDI diesel engines with common rail diesel injection (CDI), exhaust gas turbocharger and intercooler. The flagship engine is the OM 612 DELA with five cylinders, a power output of 115 kW/156 hp and a torque of 330 Nm (1400-2400 rpm), which sets new standards for this segment. The entry-level engine delivers 60 kW/82 hp (OM 611 DELA), followed by variants with 80 kW/109 hp and 95 kW/129 hp. The engines with 80 kW and over are equipped with exhaust gas turbocharger and variable turbine geometry (VTG). The adjustable blades and resulting variable airflow not only bring a tangible improvement in acceleration and elasticity but also help to reduce pollutant emissions and fuel consumption. Economy is further improved by the long oil change intervals of 22,500 km or two years, together with the flexible service intervals of 22,500 to 40,000 km, which – in combination with the optionally available „Assyst” service computer – are notified to the driver about 3000 km in advance. The CDI engines can optionally be combined with an automated manual transmission (ASG) ((abbreviation for the German expression "Automatisiertes Schaltgetriebe")), which consists of an electrohydraulically actuated 6-speed transmission with automatically operated clutch. This transmission is operated like a conventional automatic transmission – in that it operates without a clutch pedal – so that the previously available automatic transmission has been discontinued.
The ergonomically designed instrument panel now receives – as standard in the window van and James Cook versions – a soft, foam-lined surface that provides car-like looks and has a more agreeable feel. This „Softlook” instrument panel is also available as option for the panel van, flatbed and bare chassis versions. The newly designed instrument cluster now has a rev counter to aid more economical driving. Outwardly, the facelifted Sprinter can be recognised by its newly designed headlamps with their increased light output, the radiator grille with integrated 3-pointed star and chrome-coloured type number and red CDI logo (e.g. 316 CDI), and by the air intake slits in the right-hand wing. Two tread-plates are built into the plastic air dam to help clean the windscreen. The front end has been extended by 57 mm compared to the predecessor model, thereby improving the vehicle's crash safety.
As a highlight of the optional extras – and unique among the competition – window bags will be available from 2000. The air conditioner is now automatically controlled by a sensor in the instrument panel, so that the interior temperature is maintained constant regardless of the weather outside. All seats, including the middle seat of the passenger compartment, are fitted with 3-point seat belts. Another new feature is the optionally available engine start-stop system, which cuts off the engine after about 3 seconds at standstill and restarts it as soon as the driver steps on the clutch. The advantages of this system are that both pollutant emissions and fuel consumption are reduced by up to 8%.
The facelifted Sprinter can be ordered from November 2nd 1999 and will be unveiled to the public in February at the RAI Commercial Vehicles Show in Amsterdam ((The Netherlands)).
End of DaimlerChrysler press text - remarks by MBEP webmaster in ((blabla)), but (blabla) belongs to original text.


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