Mercedes-Benz will be introducing an all-new Sprinter 4×4 for the 2019 model year. At the IAA Show in Hannover last week, the company was exhibiting an ambulance version of the Mercedes-Benz Sprinter 4×4 2019 and company officials told us it will feature the upgraded chassis, interior and technology of the new generation, but the 4×4 technology will remain the same.
The Mercedes-Benz Sprinter is now almost 25 years old, and 4×4 versions have been available since the model was introduced in 1995. Four-wheel drive versions were especially popular with the second-generation, launched in 2006, when a new 4-wheel drive system and new technology greatly increased its off-road capabilities.
Presented in 2018, the third-generation Sprinter is considered to be the most advanced panel van to be produced to date with features like the Mercedes PRO Connect and Mercedes-Benz User Experience. However, currently the van is only available in front or rear-wheel drive, but the company has now confirmed a 4×4 version will be available from early 2019.
Sprinter 4×4 system
As with the previous generation, Mercedes-Benz has partnered with Austrian-based specialist Oberaigner. They will come with a choice of either a selectable or permanent 4-wheel drive system, but both versions feature two additional reduction stages (one for heavy loads and steep ascents and the other for low traction surfaces) and up to three mechanically-operated diff locks (front, rear and cross axle).
Compared with other 4-wheel drive systems, the Oberaigner product is relatively lightweight and compact. This means there’s very little intrusion into the payload (just 135kg for 3.5t derivatives and 105kg for the 4.6 and 5.0-tonners) and also the chassis doesn’t need to be lifted quite so high (just 120mm at the front and 80mm at the rear).
Additionally, control systems like ESP and ABS are active during normal operation, and the ESP is only temporarily disabled by active locking.
Mercedes-Benz Sprinter 4×4 2019 price and availability
Prices have yet to be announced but on the previous Sprinter, 4×4 models were a £5,800 plus VAT premium. Given that the technology has remained the same, it’s expected the premium will only increase slightly (see current Sprinter pricing). We imagine the medium wheelbase, low roof model in 314CDi form (the lowest spec 4×4 Sprinter) will cost around £37,500 plus VAT.