The 122mph Delivery Van from Mercedes
By Andy Bannister
Unlikely as it may seem, the three-pointed star is one of the biggest players in the hard-fought market for panel vans in Europe.
North American customers have tasted a little of what the company has to offer in the shape of the Dodge Sprinter, based on a Mercedes van of the same name. The company also offers an attractive smaller van in two wheelbases, the Vito.
Whilst most of these vehicles, built at the company’s Spanish van plant, will spend a fairly mundane life trundling around the city, the same is unlikely to be the fate of the new limited edition Vito Sport-X the company is now selling in the UK to special order.
Powered by a turbocharged 3.0-litre V6 diesel engine, producing a massive 204bhp, the Sport-X can reach 60mph in just 8.3 seconds, and a maximum speed of 122mph.
Available in red, silver and black, the Sport-X is quietly understated but has a few clues to show this is no ordinary load-carrier. It features Brabus 18″ alloys and an aggressive Brabus-designed front spoiler. Chrome detailing on the vehicle includes distinctive side bars.
Inside there is a long list of standard equipment including smart leather-trimmed seats, steering wheel and gearshift, cruise control with Speedtronic speed limiter and air-conditioning.
As well as the Panel Van, there is a Dualiner version with rear seats, complete with privacy glass.
How much for this ultimate delivery van? In the UK the Sport-X costs just under £25,000 ($50,000) as long as it is being purchased for business use. Private customers pay an additional 17.5% in Value Added Tax.
Those people who might turn their noses up at being seen in a delivery van should remember that Mercedes offer basically the same vehicle to European consumers as the Viano, an 8-seater MPV which is basically a fully glazed and trimmed Vito with a much steeper price tag, but minus the 122mph version.
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