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Bet some of you didn't know that. :wink:

Racing both the new Vito (Metris!) and Sprinter through the desert in Morocco!


Mercedes-Benz said:
An all round victory! The Sprinter and Vito on a roll at the Rallye Aicha des Gazelles 2015. When Chrissie Beavis and Alyssa Roenigk complete the final leg through the Moroccan desert they can hardly believe it: they have won the Rallye Aicha des Gazelles 2015 in the Crossover category with their Mercedes-Benz Sprinter 4x4! The team from Mercedes-Benz USA crossed the finish line almost without any breakdowns and with the fewest kilometers clocked up. Mercedes-Benz Vans has succeeded in its mission to defend the title!

But that is not all! The women’s teams from Mercedes-Benz also took second and third place. The two German Mercedes-Benz employees, Andrea Spielvogel and Julia Salamon Silber, won in the new Vito 4x4. The master craftswomen, Viola Hermann and Vanessa Wagner, took bronze. Just like the new Vito 4x4, the two competed in the desert rally for the first time and are pleased to receive the “Most successful Newcomer 2015” award.

At the official finish on the coast of Essaouria, all of the competitors had a reason to celebrate. Because they have not only left 2,500 km of desert sand, sweat and tears behind them but have also experienced an unforgettable adventure.
 

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Well that certainly makes the van seem a lot more interesting. Don't see vehicles like this doing stuff like that very often.
 

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I want to take my Metris to desert rally in Death Valley California, that's why I'm going to get the enhanced power AC for $1000. The catalog says it has an extra heat exchanger, does that mean an extra evaporator or extra condenser???


thanks.
 

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I don't know how stock they are, either. But I bet you that a 4X4 Vito is quite capable of handling it, especially with an enhanced cooling system. Why not?
 

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I don't know how stock they are, either. But I bet you that a 4X4 Vito is quite capable of handling it, especially with an enhanced cooling system. Why not?
Cooling is indeed key, the biggest killer to prolonging how long it can be out there in the rally.

What sort of beefing up do you guys thing they did to the suspension and even the chassis/frame?
 

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Cooling is indeed key, the biggest killer to prolonging how long it can be out there in the rally.

What sort of beefing up do you guys thing they did to the suspension and even the chassis/frame?
I doubt much of any. Remember, that chassis was running empty when it's designed to handle 2500lbs of payload. It could probably take it just fine.
 

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turns out they were pretty stock

Both teams will be in the 3.0L V6 turbo diesel with the 5-speed automatic transmission. The BlueTEC diesel is a super-clean engine, on a par with a modern gasoline engine. This goes hand in hand with the Gazelle Rally’s mandate of environmental sustainability and it’s ISO 14001:2004 certification. This certification is based on the identification of environmental impacts and possible solutions for improvement, and the introduction of suitable processes.

The Gazelle Rally Sprinter vans knock out 188 horsepower and 325 lb/ft of torque. While certainly not a vehicle you want take rock crawling, the Sprinter will be a strong contender in the crossover class at the Gazelle Rally. The all-wheel drive system is push button activated, which distributes the torque 35:65 between the front and rear axle. The Sprinter is also equipped with an Electronic Traction System, which will help the Sprinter get through the notorious Moroccan desert.
 

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Then it can be said.... that is some good hot weather testing, as well as testing to it suspension, components vital to its rigidity as well as how it handles and feels.
 

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I just wonder how the Metris held up after the test as there is bound to be quite a bit of sand lodged everywhere but it is a testament to the engine cooling system if it's lasted throughout the rally.
 

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I think most cars go through testing that is somewhat like this. You want to make sure dirt or sand can't build up in places that would cause a defect or possibly catch fire as that build up can catch fire if the car gets hot enough in the right circumstances.
 

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Suspension lift kit

Im trying to find a suspension kit that would allow me to use the same tires they used during the rally. (245/70R17 Cooper Discoverer). Any suggestions? Thanks
 
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