Effective immediately, the new Sprinter will serve as the basis for UPS’s typical brown delivery vans. The vans will get their box bodies and the characteristic bonnet from the body manufacturer Spier. The basis of the cooperative development between UPS, Spier and Mercedes-Benz is the new Sprinter 513 BlueTec with its 95 kW-strong Euro VI engine and long wheel base. Three models will be produced – the UPS P60, the UPS P70 and the UPS P80 – each with different body lengths. The first of the new vehicles will be delivered to the parcel service in August.
As a start, the new UPS Sprinter will be produced in a small series, and will put into service in Germany, Great Britain and Ireland. The Mercedes-Benz van with Spier body has already proven itself in the delivery service’s stressful day-to-day work in the framework of a year-long test with a prototype, which was started after the 2012 IAA trade fair. The “test run” used a Sprinter 519 CDI as its basis, and experts from Spier, Mercedes-Benz, and UPS, including a driver, were involved.
The new delivery vehicle will now replace the traditional UPS model, which was based on the Mercedes-Benz Vario. The main advantages of the vehicle, which has a maximum permissible weight of 5.3 t, are its excellent ergonomics and safety, a high carrying capacity with a considerably lower kerb weight, and its fuel-efficient, environmentally friendly drive concept.
Operational ergonomics and safety were important factors in the development of the new Sprinter-based vehicle. A prime example is the passenger-side sliding door typical for UPS delivery vehicles. With a maximum clearance of 2,075 mm by 840 mm, the door is a good bit higher and wider than that of its predecessor, the Vario-based UPS delivery vehicle. The new door makes it easier for the deliverer to get in and out with parcels in arm. The same goes for the first of the three wide steps to the driver’s cab. In an unloaded vehicle, it is only 380 mm off the ground.
The sliding door, the doors between the cab and the load compartment and the rear door can be locked electronically. They can be opened and closed using a transponder that the driver wears around his wrist – thus eliminating time-consuming fiddling with a key.
The additional windows on the passenger side provide a big plus for safety. They are in total more than one-third larger than those on the UPS Vario. They allow the driver to better see pedestrians or bikers on the right side of the vehicle. The safety measures also include a rear view camera. Anything going on behind the vehicle is shown on a monitor that is ergonomically placed in the driver’s direct field of vision.
Thanks to the elevation of the driver’s cab by means of the fibre-glass reinforced bonnet, even a very tall driver won’t have to stoop when getting out of the driver’s seat. Other ergonomic advantages are standard in the new Sprinter: they include the gearshift, which is now installed in the dashboard rather than on the cab floor. That makes it easier to move to the passenger side or into the load compartment. An improved specially-developed start button, designed specifically for this vehicle, is also highly practical – it allows the driver to start and stop the engine without a key.
As in the Vario, the driver can enter the load compartment from the driver’s cab. But now the cab and the compartment are on the same level – the elimination of the small step reduces the danger of tripping. The flooring in the load compartment is slip-proof chequer plate, which also serves the deliverer’s safety.
The approx. 20.7 m³ load compartment in the UPS P70 contains a built-in shelving system of solid aluminium. Moulded edges on the rows of shelves on both sides and cargo safety nets provide secure storage of the parcels.
The new Sprinter 513 BlueTec, with its maximum permissible total weight of 5.3 t was chose as the basis vehicle due to its considerably reduced fuel consumption and thus its considerably lower CO2 emissions. The UPS Vario, in comparison, was a 7.5-tonne vehicle. The new parcel Sprinter nevertheless gets high marks for its large carrying capacity: the UPS P70 can carry about 2,300 kg. The UPS P60 and UPS P80 models have minimal variances of about 50 kg up or down.
The correspondingly low kerb weight of the 4,325 mm wheelbase van, at about 3,000 kg, was achieved with numerous weight reducing measures. The body weighs about 200 kg less, thanks to thinner yet maximally stable side walls, a smaller rear step, or polycarbonate rather than glass insets in the passenger door.
The new delivery vehicle is based on the new Sprinter – and thus on a van that sets standards. For example with its engine: all three models have an efficient four-cylinder OM 651 engine. The Mercedes-Benz 95 kW engine fulfils the strict Euro VI exhaust emissions standard.
The vehicle’s extensive safety features include a standard driver airbag and a new innovation – the Crosswind Assist, which uses ADAPTIVE ESP. Sensors detect lateral wind forces and the Crosswind Assist selectively brakes individual wheels on the side facing the wind, preventing the vehicle from yawing.
Also on board the new UPS Sprinter is COLLISION PREVENTION ASSIST, which protects against rear-end collisions. If the distance to the preceding vehicle drops below a critical threshold, the system warns the driver with a light in the instrument cluster.If the probability of an imminent collision increases, the light begins to blink and an acoustic warning signal sounds. This second warning level kicks in early enough to allow the driver a chance to react.