New Mercedes-Benz Sprinter takes one Van Giant leap

Bespoke conversion specialist Van Giant has raised its game by building its first motorhome based on the revolutionary new Mercedes-Benz Sprinter.

A Long-bodied, high-roofed 316 CDI L3 H2 model, the base vehicle was supplied by Dealer Ciceley Commercials. Carlisle-based Van Giant then transformed it into a luxurious ‘sporthome’, with living accommodation behind the cab and a garage area at the rear for storing motorcycles.

The Sprinter is powered by a smooth and efficient 163 hp engine which drives the rear wheels through an optional 7G-TRONIC PLUS seven-speed automatic transmission – other versions of the Sprinter are also available with front- or all-wheel drive.

Like all of Van Giant’s creations, the vehicle is a ‘one-off’, designed and built to individual specifications chosen by the convertor’s customer, who has already taken delivery of the finished vehicle.

“We’ve built lots of sporthomes and motorhomes based on previous versions of the Mercedes-Benz Sprinter,” said Van Giant Director Oliver Lee. “It’s been the most popular choice of our customers for many years. This, though, was the first vehicle supplied to us by Ciceley Commercials and I was impressed by the attentive, professional service from sales executive Andrew Kinnersley. We’re already talking about taking more, and looking forward to an ongoing partnership.”

He continued: “The Sprinter has always been a cut above the competition, but the new model is a game-changer. The cab environment is superb. Exciting features like the innovative Mercedes-Benz MBUX infotainment system, and the comfortable and supportive seats, and even details like the quality of the head-lining, all combine to give a real premium feel which makes it an ideal base vehicle for our high-end conversions.”

The Sprinter’s living accommodation has an L-shaped seating area – along with the driver and passenger seats, this is upholstered in top-quality leather. Equipment includes a gas stove, microwave oven and fridge, as well as hot and cold running water, and a television.

Steps lead to a full-sized double bed while the rear garage compartment beneath is fully lined with durable aluminium chequerplate and capable of carrying three motocross bikes, tools and spares.

The new-generation Sprinter range is recognisable as such from its reworked front end, which features slender new LED lights, a more upright windscreen and blistered wheel arches. The cab interior, meanwhile, has been transformed to create the most car-like driving experience yet seen in a van, with unrivalled levels of comfort, quietness and smoothness.

New Sprinter also breaks new ground thanks to its 4G Internet connectivity. This advanced manufacturer solution incorporates the Mercedes PRO connect range of fast, efficient and cost-effective vehicle management services, while the cutting-edge Mercedes MBUX system incorporates a user-friendly voice control function that responds to “Hey Mercedes!” followed by the command, in conjunction with Navigation.

To a reassuring armoury that has enabled the Sprinter to dominate the safety category at awards events for years, Mercedes-Benz has now added more innovation. New features include the autonomous Active Brake Assist system with another ‘first’ in the shape of pedestrian recognition technology, and ATTENTION ASSIST, which detects drowsiness in the driver and encourages them to take breaks when tired.

Like all Mercedes-Benz vans, Van Giant’s first new Sprinter is covered by a three-year, unlimited mileage warranty, and the manufacturer’s MobiloVan scheme, which includes free 24-hour emergency roadside assistance across Europe.

“The MobiloVan back-up is a big plus for us,” said Mr Lee. “Our customers frequently take their vehicles on long, Continental journeys, to race events or just on motorhome holidays. Even though it’s very unlikely that something will go wrong, the fact that they are never more than a single phone call from help gives them great peace of mind.”

Family-owned Van Giant has been designing and building high-quality motorhomes for 10 years. Mr Lee and his team of three expert fabricators turn out approximately 50 hand-built conversions per year, for a customer base which includes several champion motocross and enduro riders, as well as keen amateur enthusiasts.

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Thursday 6th December 2018