Vaneo W168 A-Class Light Commercial Vehicle
Fourteen photos below optim. for 800x600 screen res.493KB..Updated April 20th '00

Articles from "Auto Bild", "Auto Motor und Sport", "Auto Bild", "Auto/Strassenverkehr", "Auto Bild"
and DaimlerChrysler Press Text
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Computer graphics and text: Auto Bild     Background retouching and further preparation for the web by MBEP webmaster
Please note that the above graphics shows how the car magazine thinks the car will look like and doesn't show an actual photographed car
From the end of the year 2001 on the small Mercedes van will be built 50.000 times a year in
Ludwigsfelde ((Germany)). Above all it shall be a competitor to Renault and the PSA-group
Despite all rumours: The minivan is no lengthened A-Class, it only drives with its technique

Translation of an article from German car mag "Auto Bild" from Oct. 1999 written by Michael Specht
Here comes Anton

To leave the field easily to the others Mercedes-chief Juergen Hubbert after all does not want to. Just to reach the promised 1 million (sale of passenger cars per year) it counts to occupy every niche in the market.
That was the case in 1997 with the A-Class, so it will be at the end of 2001 with the compact-van "Anton" (working name up to now). Because Citroen/Peugeot and Renault prove: Models like Berlingo/Partner as well as the Kangoo are the ideal "light commercial vehicles" - and successful. For the family with two children plus a dog as well as for workmen, taxi drivers and delivery men. Not to forget: Young people who need space for their hobbies (wind surfing, mountain biking, bike riding).
photo w168lcv1bs.jpg  32KB In the meantime slightly disguised prototypes pass through the hard daily test routines. The complete drivetrain with sandwich-floor derives from the Mercedes A-Class
Photo and photo text left: Auto Bild


Market analyses talk about a two-million demand in Europe. Nearly half a million of that fall to Germany. Mercedes is optimistic to be able to sell roughly 50.000 units a year from the small van.
The engine concept and the sandwich-architecture come from the A-Class ((W168)). That means there will be three gasoline (140, 160, 190) and two diesel engines (160, 170) with manual and automatic transmissions. With a length of 4,20 metres (height 1,74 m, width 1,83m) "Anton" swallows three cubic metres of cargo and can carry up to 700 kg maximum payload (with a curb weight of 1.195 kg). Loading and unloading can be done via two sliding doors on the sides and via a asymmetric double doors ((on the rear)).
Citroen Berlingo Photo: PSA/Citroen Renault Kangoo      Photo: Renault
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Mercedes-typical: The security. An "early death of workmen" it shall not give in "Anton". The small van gets all features of the A-Class (four airbags, brake assist BAS) inclusive the moose-tamer ESP. That is valid for both versions, van and station wagon.
With new-style variability the Stuttgarters want to convince in the interior, too. The backseat divided one third to two thirds is not only foldable but also "wrapable" (similar to the legendary Renault 4 from 1961 on) so that an as big as possible cargo compartment results.
Cup holders please the workmen in the morning break, the foldable passenger seat allows the transport of wooden beams from the do-it-yourself shop around the corner.
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Photo and photo text: Auto Bild
The cockpit is similar to that of the A-Class. Workmen please note the big compartment for papers in the dashboard

In terms of buying price "Anton" drifts away far from Berlingo and Kangoo. Mercedes is sure that also from DM 35.000 on ((USD 17.500 assumed USD 1 = DM 2.00)) enough customers will get aboard. Because it is known that the craft has a golden basis.
Michael Specht
End of article from "Auto Bild" - translation by MBEP webmaster
As usual remarks in ((blabla)), but (blabla) belongs to original text.

Translation of an article from German car mag "Auto Motor und Sport" from October 1999
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Both graphics: DaimlerChrysler Both graphics text: Auto Motor und Sport
Sliding doors and a big tail gate identify the Vaneo based upon the A-Class

With A-Class technique
Compact Van from Mercedes

Under the model designation Vaneo Mercedes at the end of the year 2001 brings a new compact van onto the market which technically bases on the A-Class. Though with 4.19 metres the Vaneo is easily 60 centimetres longer than the A-Class and has a noticeably stretched wheelbase, too. In the interior the van shall give space for five grown-ups or for two grown-ups and three cubic metres of cargo. Access to the rear is enabled by two standard sliding doors. As motorization the front drive vehicle gets the A-Class units. The van developed in charge of the Mercedes commercial department will be built in the Berlin-Ludwigsfelde plant. Per year 50.000 vehicles are planned ((to be built)).
End of article from "Auto Motor und Sport" - translation by MBEP webmaster.
As usual remarks in ((blabla)).

Translation of an article from German car magazine "Auto Bild" issue 49/1999 from Dec. 10th

Comes 2001: Mercedes mini-van Vaneo
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Both photos and photo texts: Auto Bild Both photos: Additional preparation for the web by MBEP webmaster
With longer wheelbase the van grows to 4.2m Still slightly taped the first prototypes are on test drive

Five years. So long the Stuttgarters enviously have to watch how the French make a mint with the practical mini leisure-time vans a la Citroen Berlingo, Peugeot Partner and Renault Kangoo.
Only from 2001 on they can counterattack with the Vaneo; but with DM 35.000 ((USD 17.500 assumed USD 1 = DM 2.00)) it will be DM 10.000 more costly. Technically the Vaneo is based on the A-Class ((W168)) which means it takes over the engines (diesel and gasoline) as well as the sandwich construction and all safety features.
End of article - translation by MBEP webmaster

Translation of an article from German car magazine "Auto/Strassenverkehr" issue 12 from June 1999
Big A-Class
Mercedes lengthens the small one to a city delivery vehicle
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Computer graphics: Auto/Strassenverkehr    Two-piece mounting and further preparation for the web by MBEP webmaster
Please note that the above graphics shows how the car magazine thinks the car will look like and doesn't show an actual photographed car

For the end of the year 2001 Mercedes plans the introduction of the Compact Van. The high-roof sedan on the platform of the A-Class after all shall serve as a manoeuvrable vehicle for delivery purposes. Mercedes falls back on the body structure of the A-Class and the arrangement of engine and auxiliary units in the sandwich floor remains the same. At first the city delivery van comes with closed steel body instead of rear windows, but a version with windows is being discussed. The entry to the back is enhanced by rear sliding doors on the sides, the end closes with a conventional tail gate. With a length of roughly 4.20 metres the A-Class Van is shorter than a station wagon in the compact class, but the removable rear seats provide a greater variability. The vehicle will be produced in ((the city of)) Ludwigsfelde ((German federal state of)) Brandenburg where DaimlerChrysler invests roughly DM 625 million ((USD 312.5 billion assumed USD 1 = DM 2.00)). ((Rest of article not translated because it is not regarding the A-Class Van)).
End of article from "Auto/Strassenverkehr" - translation by MBEP webmaster
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DaimlerChrysler Press Text, April 14th 2000

Winter trials of the “Vaneo” compact van
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Both photos: DaimlerChrysler Further preparation for the web by MBEP webmaster

• Tuning of electronic systems such as ESP and ABS
• Numerous tests at temperatures of down to minus 35°C
• Market launch of the Mercedes-Benz compact van in Autumn 2001

Stuttgart – while Spring is already setting in here, icy temperatures are still prevailing in north Sweden. Just the right conditions for putting a prototype through its paces. That is exactly what's happening at the moment to the Vaneo compact van, which is due to be launched on the market in autumn 2001. On the agenda is the tuning of electronic systems such as ABS, ASR (acceleration skid control) or ESP (Electronic Stability Program) under low-friction conditions – ranging from snow to sheet ice – both on the level and on hills. For this purpose, special test tracks are set up and are prepared every year with snow and ice. Some of these test tracks are on frozen lakes. In addition, the cold start characteristics as well as the heating and ventilation system are also being tested under extreme conditions.

All Mercedes-Benz basic vehicles for every model series are channelled through the "cold chamber" either in Arjeplog, Sweden or in Rovaniemi, Finland, where temperatures of minus 35°C are not unusual in the depths of winter. All of the components must stand the test in the Arctic circle. Engineers from Stuttgart-Untertürkheim test whether engine components and equipment are capable of doing what the customer expects of them, even in the worst of winters. And some of these components can only be really tested under extreme conditions. The trials specifically involved the following:

· Door seals (for icing)
· Locking systems
· Power windows/hinged quarter lights
· Deicing of all windows
· Keeping the windscreen free of (airborne) snow
· Vehicle controls (ease of movement in extreme cold)
· Heated seats
· Windscreen, rear screen heating and exterior mirror heating
· Screen wash system
· Dirt/ice accumulation on the vehicle as a whole

In addition to stationary testing such as the measurement of forces under the influence of cold, large distances are driven on icy and snowy roads to assess all a vehicle’s components and systems. The future Vaneo compact van passed all the tests with flying colours, including, for instance, handling trials involving extreme lane-change manoeuvres.

The future Vaneo compact van from Mercedes-Benz stands out by virtue of its unique dimensions. At 4.19 m length, 1.74 m width and 1.83 m height it offers enough room for five adults and two children or for two adults and a load of up to three cubic metres. Accesss to the rear is via either one or two sliding doors. Due to its variability the Vaneo from Mercedes-Benz is ideal both for dual-purpose (i.e. commercial/private) use and as a family vehicle.
End of DaimlerChrysler press text - Some minor mistakes corrected by MBEP webmaster

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Photo: Auto Bild    Add. background retouching by MBEP webmaster Photo: Auto Bild    Two-piece mounting by MBEP webmaster
Translation of an excerpt from an article from "Auto Bild" from 04/1999 written by Stefan Diehl.
The A-Class Shows Size
...And at the end of the year 2000 a delivery van ((will come))
...The second step to the complete A-Class family makes the LCV in the next year. A city delivery van lengthened to roughly four metres which in a basic version aims at workmen. Trendy-chic equipped the other version shall serve parents as an alternative to ((Renault)) Kangoo and co. Platform and interior until the B-pillar are the same as with the A-Class, in  the rear sliding doors are planned...
End of excerpt from article - translation by MBEP webmaster
As usual remarks in ((blabla)), but (blabla) belongs to original text
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