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Dodge and Airstream Unite to Debut Sprinter Westfalia RV

LOUISVILLE, Ky., Dec. 3 -- Dodge and Airstream have entered into an exclusive distribution agreement to market the new Dodge Sprinter Westfalia. Setting the latest standard in the recreational vehicle (RV) and compact camper-van segment, the new 2004 Dodge Sprinter Westfalia debuts as a smart alternative that offers the outdoor enthusiast increased benefits in terms of comfort, convenience, safety, functionality, and quality. Branded as Dodge and outfitted by Westfalia, it will be sold by Airstream.

As the latest addition to the global Sprinter family of commercial vans, this unique vehicle is the only U.S. Sprinter that provides expanded living and sleeping capacity for four people. It has a full kitchen with refrigerator, stove top burners, plenty of storage, and a fold out dining table to seat five. The bathroom is complete with a shower, sink and toilet. Offering the perfect combination of comfort, functionality and safety, the new Dodge Sprinter Westfalia will add to the revolutionary change that both Dodge and Airstream are making in commercial and recreational transportation.

"We're very excited to be able to introduce the Dodge Sprinter Westfalia to the North American marketplace," said Craig Fisher, Dodge Director of Commercial Marketing. "Combining the best elements of both commercial and recreational vehicles, we believe this vehicle will set a new standard and raise the measure for camper-van products. Partnered with one of the RV industry's most respected brands and manufacturers, Airstream, the Westfalia is a tremendous complement to the Sprinter portfolio and RV products in general."

"This is the beginning of a new era for camper-van users," added Airstream President Richard Riegel. Continuing, he said, "With its revolutionary interior space concept, user-friendly features, and exceptionally high standard of workmanship, it should soon be regarded as the benchmark for quality and reliability in the compact camper-van segment. We're enthusiastic and encouraged by this new relationship with Dodge and look forward to the future and very bright prospects this tremendous product brings."

Both Dodge and Westfalia are part of the DaimlerChrysler family whose products and innovations have helped define the global van market for decades. Likewise, Airstream products have led the RV industry in quality, innovation and design for over 70 years. A mutually beneficial relationship, this innovative camper-van is created by Westfalia and sold by Airstream. Together, with the introduction of the Sprinter Van to North America, the companies are changing the way America thinks about vans and recreational vehicles.

Detlef Scheunert, President of Westfalia Van Conversion GmbH, stated "With a rich tradition and reputation for high quality, innovation, clean European styling, and technological and engineering excellence, Westfalia has maintained a strong relationship with both the American market and customer for over 50 years. We are particularly glad to have the opportunity to continue that tradition with such renowned partners who share our ideals and high quality service standards. We remain optimistic and are encouraged at the prospect of growing and expanding on this relationship with future opportunities of mutual interest."

Dodge Sprinter Westfalia - "At Home in the Great Outdoors"

Those who require more space but nonetheless appreciate the size and maneuverability of a fully fitted panel van will find the right match in the Dodge Sprinter Westfalia. Offering a host of comforts, options and upscale amenities, this world-class vehicle is set to make an impact on camping and outdoor enthusiasts with its spacious and impressive interior intended to make you feel "at home in the great outdoors." As a camper-van, also suitable for longer holiday trips, the vehicle features loads of interior space as standard by virtue of its raised roof.

Standard features include air conditioning (front and rear) with automatic temperature control, three-way adjustable driver's seat, swivel seats for driver and front passenger, two-vent windows in raised roof side (with mosquito nets and roller blind), heat-insulated vent window (left and roof), and compass. For added comfort and convenience, included also are power windows, mirrors and door locks with remote keyless entry, cruise control, armrests on the driver and front passenger seats, ventilation system with filter, and worktops in the kitchenette. The high roof means that the Westfalia comfortably sleeps four as standard with easy access to the upper level bed. Up to five people can be seated around the pullout dining table: two on the rotated driver and front passenger seats, and the other three on the bench seat. And, ensuring a comfortable temperature inside, the vehicle is equipped with a fuel-powered heating system (with timer) that quickly warms and heats up the interior. There is also an LP gas operated hot water heating system for the shower.

The 2004 Dodge Sprinter Westfalia also features two roof windows, one in the bathroom and one in the kitchen. A larger, remote-controlled tilting roof window with rain sensor can be specified as an option. Access to the upper level bed in the Westfalia has been made simple thanks to steps which have been integrated into the kitchen cupboard so that occupants can now easily climb up to the bed. With upgraded cooking and washroom areas, the sink, gas knob and shower fittings are chrome, and a water point for the outside area is fitted as standard. Where the cupboards are concerned, roller-style sliding doors are the norm, which means that even when the cupboards are open, the full room space is still available.

Functionality is fundamental

When it comes to functionality, the Westfalia sets the standard. Anticipating most camper needs, it has a 14-volt 200-amp alternator, two auxiliary 80-amp-hour gel batteries, outside shower connection, an LP gas tank, gas-fired water heater, and a built-in lockable safe. Its central control and monitoring panel manages heating, refrigerator, water tank levels and battery capacity. In addition to its large removable dining table and a side folding table, the Westfalia holds two double beds: one below and one above with high-comfort springs and safety net. Armed with Sprinter's impressive 5,000-lb towing capacity, there's a square bar cross bearer and electrical equipment for power outlet for trailers. Coupled with its impressive, streamline look, the 2004 Dodge Sprinter Westfalia offers an outstanding level of quality, comfort, safety and functionality.

All the comforts of home . . . away from home

While the choice will always be yours to cook by campfire or sleep outside, with the Dodge Sprinter Westfalia we've made the decision easier with spacious living arrangements and features. The sensation of space comes from the four-zone principle used in its design as the kitchen, washroom, living area, and bedroom are at different levels and optically separated from one another. With one hand, a single lever releases the driver and front passenger seats and allows them to be rotated towards the living area converting the cab into a comfortable living space. Grouped around a table, there is ample room here for five people. Four lamps in the living room alone provide the right ambience and necessary lighting, and the fuel-powered auxiliary heater keeps your feet warm. To keep your food fresh and cooked to your liking, the kitchen area hosts a 1.8-square foot refrigerator, twin- burner stainless steel gas stove top, moisture extraction hood, stainless steel sink with glass cover, chrome faucets, and a fold-out stainless steel draining board. Hot water heats up for "at home" comfort in the complete bathroom with shower, hand basin, storage cupboard, large mirror, towel rack, and toilet. In addition, there is storage racks and wardrobe space at the rear of the vehicle, accessible either from inside or via the rear door and a main switch for 12-volt supply and pump switch. There's also a hot water heater, a 110-volt recharger for extra battery, external power connection with 25-foot cable, and an LPG tank with separate outlet and fill-level indicator. For water storage, there is a 26-gallon fresh water tank, a 7-gallon black- water tank toilet system, and an 18.5-gallon gray-water tank. All are linked by external fresh and wastewater connections.

Market leading fuel economy and low maintenance

Like all Sprinters, a powerful yet economical 5-cylinder in-line 2.7-liter Turbo Diesel engine with common rail injection technology (CDI) drives the Westfalia. In comparison with competitive vehicles in its class, the CDI engine boosts power, provides more torque and smoother running, and has significantly lower fuel consumption. With a vehicle range of about 550 miles, its fuel performance leads the market class averaging over 22-mpg. And, the long oil-change intervals of 10,000 miles or two years also contribute to a higher level of economy, with even longer, flexible oil-change intervals of up to 20,000 miles possible with the available "ASSYST" maintenance computer. The 2004 Dodge Sprinter Westfalia provides excellent value for its owners through reduced fuel consumption and vehicle maintenance costs.

Automatic five-speed "Touch-Shift" transmission

Drivers will definitely appreciate the automatic five-speed transmission system that offers optimum power, while still being economical and fuel- efficient. Equipped with toggle-easy shifting ("Touch-Shift") capability, this electronically controlled transmission with lock-up torque converter allows interchangeable manual operation by simply tipping the gearshift left or right.

Spacious cockpit with a "car-like" atmosphere

Once inside the Dodge Sprinter Westfalia, your "holiday" begins as soon as you turn the key. Spacious and comfortable, the van's driver area has been designed fully in accordance with the principles of modern ergonomics. Standard power rack and pinion steering ensures ease of handling, and a best- in-class turning radius makes the vehicle easy to maneuver in tight areas. Providing excellent all-around vision for drivers and passengers, the clearly laid out "soft look" instrument panel with an integral shift lever provides you with all the information you require and is an eye-catching feature in the cockpit. The Westfalia's spacious interior provides ample legroom and freedom of movement, and it leaves a completely clear access space between the front seats -- seats comfortable enough to ensure that even on long journeys you reach your destination as relaxed as you were when you began. In the center console there is a compact control panel spotlighting a radio, the heater controls and an array of switches. For passengers, equal attention has been devoted to their traveling conveniences including a cupholder, penholder and notepad clip on the center console. Generously sized storage pockets are integrated into the driver and front passenger doors.

Safety will always be standard

Safety is a core component of every Dodge, Airstream and Westfalia product and this vehicle is no exception as the Sprinter is the first North American van in its class to be fitted with ESP(R) (Electronic Stability Program) as standard. ESP corrects both driving errors and tendencies to skid on icy and wet surfaces, gravel, loose chippings, or other adverse road surfaces. In addition, standard Sprinter safety features include four-wheel disc brakes with Anti-lock Braking System (ABS) and Electronic Brake Distribution (EBV), and integrated Acceleration Skid Control (ASR) to minimize skidding. These state-of-the-art safety features not only ensure improved braking and steering stability but also improved lateral stability of the vehicle in critical handling situations. For all passengers, every seat has 3-point seatbelts and head restraints for all seats. For added safety, both a fire extinguisher and safety detectors -- (3) for smoke, CO and CO2 -- are included. Full size driver and passenger air bags are also standard helping lessen the chance of serious injury in front-impact collisions. Dodge Sprinter Westfalia has been put through rigorous safety tests, including five vehicles in crash tests, and passed with superior results.

More options and extras mean more customization

When it comes to amenities, options and the visual appearance of their camper-van, many customers have their own ideas and demands, be it a particular color scheme or certain seat upholstery. With the Dodge Sprinter Westfalia, it is now possible to fulfill almost all of these wishes. Apart from a wide range of special paint finishes, the realm of possibilities also consists of individual floor coverings and a number of new optional extras for even more safety and comfort. These include the heated windscreen with rain sensor, heated driver and front passenger seats, microwave oven, an awning, a glass tilting / sliding sunroof, a trailer hitch, and a surfboard holder. For entertainment enhancements, a premium AM/FM stereo radio with CD, and combo TV/DVD player is also available.

Depending on options, MSRP is $79,000 not including tax, license and destination charge.