IT GOES BOLDLY (IN BRIGHT YELLOW GARB!) WHERE
NO SPRINTER HAS GONE BEFORE IT
Its purposeful bright presence on the road has
impressed members of the South African public
so much that the driver of the demo vehicle reports
that he frequently had to pull over to the side
of the road to give curious fellow-drivers off-road
enthusiasts, no doubt! an exciting little sneak
preview of the first 4x4 Sprinter to hit our soils.
Mercedes-Benz Commercial Vehicles has just introduced
the Sprinter 4x4 permanent four-wheel-drive model
this month after identifying a need in the southern
African market for an all-terrain vehicle. For
this venture they teamed up with a German body
conversion company, Messrs Iglhaut GmbH.
Mercedes-Benz Commercial Vehicles is aware of
the imperative need for emergency services and
disaster management in the informal settlements
around our cities and in rural areas. This Sprinter
4x4 will be able to gain immediate access to such
places due to its agility and speed. Even in permanent
four-wheel drive, the Sprinter 4x4 can travel
at high speed when required, says Gert Grobler,
product manager for the Mercedes-Benz Van Division
of DaimlerChrysler SA. He adds that many requests
were received from the emergency services in the
various provinces, NGOs and other semigovernment
sectors for an all-terrain vehicle with high ground
clearance in a van execution.
It will also open up new business opportunities
for mobile banking, retailing and tourism, he
Sprinters offer a wide variety of conversions
to suit specific requirements, such as ambulances,
fire-engines, mobile workshops, motor homes and
Emergency services, telecommunications companies,
electricity suppliers and tour operators are typically
the operators interested in the Iglhaut GmbH unit.
They were also informed that the Iglhaut GmbH
team from the Wuerzburg area of Germany will support
the local conversion with a fully equipped factory
and workshop in Gauteng.
Although there are a number of 4x4 vehicles
on the market, the Sprinter has the advantage
of interior space and headroom and its chassis
is easily adaptable to many different applications,
With 25 years experience in the off-road market,
the company has unsurpassed expertise and knowledge
in the conversion of the Sprinter 4x4 vehicles.
We are delighted with the opportunity this partnership
opens up, says Michael Iglhaut, dealer principal
of Iglhaut GmbH.
We are aware of the harsh southern African conditions
and the local units will be converted to suit
these conditions, adds Iglhaut. The Sprinter
4x4 is a real off-road vehicle, not to be confused
with the standard all-wheel drive available from
the factory in Germany.
Iglhaut GmbH supplies off-road vehicles to a
number of high-profile customers all over Europe,
including the Red Cross. The company exports to
Iceland, where the conditions are treacherous
and mountainous, as well as to England and Australia.
Production of the Sprinter 4x4 in Europe has reached
150 per year and Iglhaut expects to manufacture
a similar number in South Africa.
All-wheel Sprinter hi-roof here
The current test demonstration vehicle is the
Sprinter 313 CDI, panel van or chassis cab. However,
the model chosen for the southern African Sprinter
4x4 is the new Sprinter 315 CDI, which will be
introduced into the subcontinent in March 2007.
The basic drive train used is the same as for
the standard Sprinter; however, the front axle
has been converted into a driving axle together
with three diff-locks and a transfer gearbox,
including low-range (i = 2,5). The vehicle is
fitted with a range of tyres (245/265/285 x 16
inch), depending on the application and use of
Power output: 110 kW with 330 Nm of torque
Gearbox: Five-speed manu
Ground clearance: 315 mm (max)
Approach and departure angles: Dependent
on the wheelbase but typically will have a front
approach angle of 39 degrees and a departure angle
of 29 degrees.
Wheelbase: 3 550 mm
Safety features: Standard ABS (anti-lock brake
system), integral ASR (acceleration skid control)
and ESP (electronic stability programme), airbags
for the driver and front passenger, integral three-point
seat belts on all seats, two- or four-way head
Standard equipment: parcel shelves, side panels,
fire extinguisher, grab handle at the entrance
and emergency exit
Once the 4x4 conversions of the Mercedes- Benz
panel vans or freight carriers have been undertaken
by Iglhaut, the body conversions can be done only
through recommended Mercedes- Benz body builders,
who are SABS approved.
NAB THE NICHE
Operators that are gearing towards greater diversity
in their fleets and that are looking at the opportunities
presented by the 2010 World Cup event, should
take a closer look at niche vehicles currently
in the pipeline
Practical new additions to some of the Mercedes-Benz
commercial vehicle ranges have widened the choices
for operators looking for specific vehicles to
complete specific tasks.
Robust, reliable Atego
This range places emphasis on the needs of distribution
transport reliability, long service life, low
lifecycle costs with its fuel economy and ease
of maintenance, as well as a particular vehicle
design that focuses on agility and driveability.
Whether used for refrigerated transport, specialist
trades or furniture carrying, the Atego is always
a solution. Specially designed for the rigours
of local distribution work its compact dimensions
and outstanding handling make the Atego impressive.
In the first quarter of 2007 the lightest member
of the Atego range, with a four-ton payload, will
be making its bow. The Atego 817/33 features all
the sophisticated technical improvements of the
entire range but it is especially when precise
manoeuvrability is called for in narrow city
streets and tight loading bays, for instance
that it will come into its own.
The Atego 817/33 in a nutshell
Smaller than the popular Atego 101
Standard light-weight distribution
It can be fitted with the air-suspension
that is specific to German models
Ideal for the movement of fruit and vegetables,
postal delivery and emergency deliveries
High performance Axor
During development of the Axor, only one benchmark
was used right from the start: practical operation.
And the result is plain to see out on the road.
For the haulage operator, cost factors such as
low fuel consumption, a high payload and major
assemblies designed for a long service life are
critical. Repair times have been kept short by
taking vehicle repairs into account as early as
the development stage.
Another arena where it is also increasingly shouldering
its weight, is in construction tasks. With the
current growth in this industry, especially as
its builds towards 2010, an extra-heavy Axor 3335
6x4 heavy duty tipper will be welcomed.
The Axor 3335 in a nutshell
Well proven engine that made ADE famous
Six-cylinders in-line developing 260 kW
Robust tipper with a gross vehicle mass (GVM)
of 33 ton
Two 13-ton rear axles with hub-reduction gearbox
6x4 configuration is ideal for on- and off-road
To be launched in the first quarter of 2007
The Axor 3535 in a nutshell
If you are looking for maximum legal capabilities
and optimal payload, the Axor 3535 8x4 vehicle
should be ideal.
Its 8x4 twin-steer axles are great for manoeuvring
on a construction site
Typical fleet workhorse with a GVM of 35 tons
Torquey engine that develops an output of 260
kW (354 hp) through a 16-speed gearbox
Hub-reduction rear axles
Off-road it offers maximum ground clearance
Increasing focus on economy
The Actros the flagship heavy truck range
is also focusing on customers specific orientation.
The Actros 2644, successor to the popular models
of the previous Powerliner range, promises to
provide value for money and reduce life-cycle
costs on par with the other heavies in this GVM
category, the 2640/2648. A Voith retarder comes
standard as does a full premium sleeper-cab, double
bunks and high roof.
The Actros 2644LS/33 in a nutshell
To arrive locally in April 2007
V8 engine developing 320kW (435 hp) with a new
Technology in the Actros is a step above the
rest of the market. The Telligent systems such
as Telligent automatic version are well proven,
while the Telligent brake systems give the Actros
excellent stopping distances. The Telligent driver
assistance systems such as the Lane Assistant
and proximity control gives significantly higher
levels of safety. Lane Assist is now a standard
safety feature on all Actros truck tractors.