Thanks to the impact of Social Media through Twitter and Webcasts, the world’s automotive industry was able to tune into the introduction of the new Mercedes-Benz V-Class, previously known as the Viano.
In order to escape from it’s Vito van sibling, the new V-Class has had a thorough makeover the effect of which has been to give it a vastly more distinctive and more stylish exterior appearance, improved interior spaciousness, a host of technical and safety enhancements, plus a number of high-class features that raise it beyond the purely practical and into the realm of luxury.
It is expected that the new V-Class will appeal to an even wider cross-section of owners than might have been the case when its predecessor was launched. High on the list will be large families with pets and paraphernalia that need to be transported. Another target will be that growing band of adventurers and outward-bound types who head out of the urban environment at weekends and whose recreational pursuits are filled surf boarding, sailing, hang gliding and mountain scaling. For them, V-Class is a true multi-purpose vehicle with oodles of room inside for passengers and cargo plus plenty of length and lateral space above for luggage boxes and rooftop racking. Another interested market will be the hospitality sector, shuttle service operators, health and remedial service providers and the occasional business person whose need is for an office space that is truly mobile.
For all of these, the new V-Class will top the calling list. Amongst its many features is an extensive range of safety items and innovative driver assist elements that use radar, camera and ultrasonic sensors to deliver a result – features that warn the driver against drowsiness, inattention and the effects of crosswinds plus an array of systems that help with braking, blind spot, parking and 360-degree collision prevention assist.
As standard, the vehicle is equipped with four individual luxury seats (with armrests) that can be folded forward intuitively to allow easy access. All rear seats can be fully removed to optimize space. Options include a scratch-resistant folding table and a seat arrangement that allows for comfortable overnight sleeping. Comfort features include active seat ventilation and a system that adjusts automatically according to the position of the sun and kicks in automatically to eliminate fumes and odours that arise in heavy traffic and when driving through tunnels. A fully integrated infotainment and multimedia system with 80GB capacity includes optional surround sound, DVD player, internet access, apps usage, photorealistic mapping and real time traffic info. Other elements that underline its versatility as a people carrier include a versatile seating arrangement with centre table seating, fore/aft swivel adjustment and full clip-in/clip-out seat removal plus 4-way lumbar support, discreet ambient lighting and a 12-button multifunction steering wheel.
The model range comprises three 2-litre, 4-cylinder TDI engine versions (V200 CDI, V220 CDI and V250 BlueTEC in automatic transmission only) plus a choice of three body lengths – Compact, Long and Extra Long. Though exact prices and model details will not be known until closer to launch date, Mercedes-Benz sales manager in Ireland, Ciaran Allen said that a figure tagged closely to the current version could be anticipated. “Despite its improved design, enhanced specifications and numerous technical advancements, we expect to introduce the new V-Class at prices no more than modestly above current levels” he said.