Mercedes lifts the lid on new Vito range30 July 2014

Mercedes-Benz has announced the launch of the new Vito range, the first in its class to offer front-wheel and real-wheel drive options.

The new model, promises the manufacturer, delivers versatility and efficiency. With up to 1,369kg cargo capacity and gvw of 2.8 to 3.2 tonnes, the Vito comes as a panel van or crew cab, as well as the new Vito Tourer option.

Two turbodiesel engines are offered with five power ratings. The front-wheel drive Vito is designed for maximum payload at low to medium gvw. It has a 1.6-litre, compact four-cylinder engine, available with 88bhp (the Vito 109 CDI) or 114bhp (the Vito 111 CDI).

For higher gvw, or where the vehicle is used for towing, Mercedes recommends the real-wheel drive option with a 2.15-litre, four-cylinder engine. Output levels are: 136bhp for the 114 CDI model; 163bhp for the 116 CDI; and 190bhp for the 119 BlueTEC – the first to offer a Euro 6 engine in this class, according to Mercedes.

A six-speed manual transmission is standard, with a 7G-TRONIC PLUS automatic transmission with torque converter available for the Vito 114 CDI and Vito 116 CDI, and standard on the Vito 119 BlueTEC. Again, Mercedes is claiming a first, as the world's only automatic transmission with torque converter and seven gears for vans.

A BlueEfficiency package is offered for the rear-wheel drive Vito, and is standard on all Tourer models with automatic transmission – the 116 CDI BlueEfficiency, for example, achieves 49.6 mpg.

Safety features include: airbags and seatbelt reminders in the panel van, for both driver and passenger; Crosswind Assist and Attention Assist as standard; tyre pressure monitoring as standard; and optional systems such as Active Parking Assist and Blind Spot Assist.

As yet, UK pricing has not been announced.

Laura Cork

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Mercedes Benz Uk Limited

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