Holiday Accommodation With Star Quality: Mercedes-Benz Camper Vans

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World premiere: the new Westfalia James Cook Sprinter

New: Sprinter with low-frame chassis

New: Viano CDI 3.0, piezo-electric ignition, cockpit/instrument cluster

New: comprehensive upgrade for Vario large-capacity van

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STUTTGART - August 25, 2006: Discerning travellers who seek out hotels with a high star rating are no less demanding when it comes to choosing a camper van. Whether it is a question of a weekend break or an annual vacation, a Mercedes-Benz camper van offers accommodation with guaranteed star quality. At the 45th International Caravan Salon in Düsseldorf, Mercedes-Benz (Hall 16, Stand D42), DaimlerChrysler subsidiary Westfalia Van Conversion (Hall 12, Stand A06) and numerous partners from the body manufacturing sector will be showing camper vans bearing the three-pointed star.

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The Mercedes presence at this year's show centres around the world premiere of the new Westfalia James Cook Sprinter as well as the Sprinter, which is available as a camper-van base vehicle with a low-frame chassis – a first for rear-wheel-drive vehicles. World premiere: the new Westfalia James Cook Sprinter

The world premiere of the new Westfalia James Cook Sprinter is the highlight of the Mercedes-Benz stand. The third generation of this perennially popular model – one of the most successful camper vans of all time – once again sets new standards with its technology, design and build quality. For the first time, the James Cook is being presented in a complete range of models based on two body variants with differing roof concepts. Two design and equipment lines as well as numerous individualisation options offer customers an even wider choice.

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The new layout brings together the advantages of the previous generations of the James Cook: the living area is made up of a bench seat and the swivelled front seats while the rear section (viewed in the direction of travel) comprises the washroom and wardrobe on the left and the kitchen on the right. Innovative technology has always been one of the hallmarks of the James Cook and the new generation is no exception: there is the bench seat/bed unit, an all-new, patented design with a new pivoting mechanism and a bed with a sprung base; a hot-water-based heating system with convectors which can be complemented with optional underfloor heating (available in the first half of 2007); combined glass/plastic side windows and the elegant high roof of the James Cook Classic with an integrated awning: as always, the new James Cook sets new standards.

Sprinter chassis

And the same is true of its platform, the new Mercedes-Benz Sprinter. With its wide range of variants and spacious cab, it offers exemplary ergonomics, seating comfort and stowage facilities. The engines which make up the range of CDI diesels, whose top model, the V6 CDI, has an output of 135 kW (184 hp), impress with their advanced technology, pulling power, economy and low emissions (all are equipped with a particulate filter as standard). Special mention should be made of the exemplary safety features to be found in both the closed and the chassis variants. Chief among these is Adaptive ESP®. This enhanced version of the electronic stability program features Load Adaptive Control functionality which allows it to take account of the vehicle's load status with great precision when determining the measures required to stabilise the vehicle.

New: Sprinter with low-frame chassis

Another first for the 2006 Caravan Salon is the Sprinter with a low-frame chassis, the first of its kind for vehicles with high-traction rear-wheel drive. The top edge of the frame is approximately 500 mm above the road, 205 mm lower than in the case of a chassis with a conventional frame. Developed in cooperation with ALKO, the low-frame chassis is available in three wheelbases for gross vehicle weights of 3.5 and 3.88 t.

New: Viano CDI 3.0 with V6 diesel engine

The 2006 Caravan Salon is the first to feature the Mercedes-Benz Viano CDI 3.0. With its output of 150 kW (204 hp) and its 440 Nm of torque, its impressive V6 CDI diesel engine not only boasts record performance figures for this vehicle class, but is also characterised by exceptional refinement and favourable fuel consumption. All Viano models with four-cylinder CDI diesel engines now feature piezo-electric fuel injectors whose response time is only about a third of that of solenoid versions. This results in even more precisely controlled injection which has a positive effect on output, fuel consumption and smoothness. The new injection technology is accompanied by changes to some of the output and torque figures. The output of the Viano CDI 2.0 has increased to 85 kW (115 hp) and its maximum torque is now 290 Nm.

With the introduction of piezo-electric technology, all the new Mercedes-Benz Viano diesels sold in the EU are now available exclusively with engines which comply with the EU 4/III emissions standard. Furthermore, in Germany, all Viano models with CDI diesel engines are equipped with a particulate filter as standard. The introduction of piezo-electric injection technology has also made it possible to reduce fuel consumption in all power categories compared with the previous EU4/III-compliant power plants.

From autumn this year, the cockpit of the Viano will be enhanced with a new instrument cluster which will be available in two variants. The new unit is built around large, clear speedometer and rev counter dials. Depending on the version, the space between the dials is occupied by an LCD display or a pair of pixel matrix displays showing the mileage reading, coolant temperature, time, outside temperature and fuel level (in the case of the matrix variant, there is a separate analogue display for the fuel level). Large display fonts and bright illumination ensure optimum legibility.

New: comprehensive upgrade for Vario large-capacity van

Also appearing at this year's show is the new generation of this irrepressible classic which forms the basis for high-end camper vans. All models are now equipped with a six-speed manual transmission while a new five-speed automatic transmission with lockup clutch is available as an alternative. The instrument panel and interior trim panels have been redesigned. Available in three power categories ranging from 95 kW (129 hp) to 130 kW (177 hp), the engines, which are equipped with BlueTec technology, comply with the Euro 4 emissions standard. The adoption of BlueTec technology has been made possible by enhancements to the diesel engines. Chief among these is the further reduction in emissions achieved by optimising the combustion process to minimise particulate formation while reducing fuel consumption. The exhaust gases undergo aftertreatment in a catalytic converter where the AdBlue agent reduces the oxides of nitrogen to harmless nitrogen and water. This process has been used extremely successfully in some 20,000 Mercedes-Benz Actros trucks and is now being implemented in all Mercedes-Benz light and heavy trucks as well as the brand's large buses and coaches.

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