That Mercedes-Benz would offer its Vito commercial van in the U.S. has been an open secret for some time. Now the company is officially confirming the sub-Sprinter offering, announcing an American-market name, and trying to whet our appetite by means of four concepts for the SEMA show in Las Vegas.
The van, which has just been launched in Europe, will be called the Metris on our shores. As for actual details on the thing, they’ll have to wait until “a later date in 2015″ according to Mercedes. Here’s what we predict: The Metris will come standard with rear-wheel drive and be powered by the brand’s 2.1-liter turbo-diesel four-cylinder. All-wheel drive will most likely be offered as an option. You will be able to order a panel van and a passenger van with windows. (In Europe, the Vito is also offered as a front-wheel-drive model, powered by a Renault-sourced 1.6-liter turbo-diesel. That model won’t make it here.)
Mercedes-Benz offers an uplevel version of the Vito/Metris in Europe; it is called the V-class, and it is probably the most advanced and luxurious offering in its segment right now. Some V-class parts are fitted to the SEMA versions of the Metris detailed below—the LED taillights, for example. A U.S. launch of the V-class can’t be ruled out, but according to our intel, it is quite unlikely.
RennTech Party/DJ Van
The roof opens clamshell-style and features a massive display to serve as backdrop for both a turntablist and the bunch of drunk groupies leaning over the roof rails. There’s also a metric—because it’s European, you see—buttload of seizure-inducing lights and totally-not-lame “Mercedes-Benz Vans” lettering on the side. “Hey, did you see that Mercedes-Benz Vans show last night, it ruled!” “Yeah, but their new album sucks.”
Garmin Mobile Golf Pro Shop
Commercial vans are about nothing if not commerce, and this one takes that concept literally, with a whole raft of golfy products stashed in the way back. It offers a golf simulator and allows folks to have their game analyzed anywhere. Because any golfer who seeks out a GPS-branded golf van has surely lost their fair share of balls.
RADO Fire Chief Concept
A light bar, fire-truck red paint, and race-style sponsor stickers—H&R springs!—this van has everything today’s upwardly mobile fire chief needs to direct his department. (Including rims. You always need rims to fight fires.) The second row is made up of a pair of jump seats designed to accommodate fully equipped firefighters and their oxygen tanks.
HQ Custom Design Luxury Van
Rest assured, this tidy-looking silver van is much more interesting inside. It’s all about the interior anyway, which features top-shelf A/V components, wood flooring, and privacy curtains so no one can see you fondling the aggressively quilted and strangely organic tablet stand.