It’s a tough sell convincing Americans that European vehicles can make the grade when it comes to the rough stuff. If anyone can manage it, however, it’s likely to be Mercedes-Benz.
The firm recently unleashed the Sprinter Extreme concept on an unsuspecting Chicago Auto Show crowd.
While the paint job adds to the wow factor, the most amazing thing about this 20′, 4-tonne beast is that the vast majority of it can already be ordered at any Mercedes dealer.
The Sprinter 4×4 is a well-established production model and by ordering a chassis cab variant with a number of additional options the Sprinter Extreme can pretty much become a reality. There’s also an existing 6×6 Sprinter conversion for hardcore off-road use.
US customers may not by as familiar with Merc’s off-road heritage as we are in Europe, of course. I suspect that’s the reason for this flamboyant display at this year’s Chicago Auto Show. If you’re interested in the nitty gritty technical detail, here are some of the highlights (bearing in mind that this is intended for the US market):
- Payload: 6,400 lbs (approx. 2,900kg)
- Towing capacity: 4 tons
- Powertrain: 2.0-litre BlueTEC diesel combined with 7-speed 7G-TRONIC automatic transmission
- Scattolini ScattoMaax tipper bed
- Beadlock wheels and off-road tyres with long-travel suspension
US customers can buy the Sprinter from Freightliner dealers and are able to specify many of the options seen on the Sprinter Extreme through Freightliner’s MasterUpfitter program.