Mercedes-Benz Vito / Viano: two of the casket …
Mercedes-Benz Vito is presented in three ways at once: a thoroughbred workhorse, a cargo-and-passenger van and a roomy minibus; and the Mercedes-Benz Viano was originally conceived solely as a comfortable business car.
No one had expected such a thing from DaimlerChrysler: the company simultaneously launched two models that looked like twin sisters, but completely different in nature. Mercedes-Benz Vito is presented in three ways at once: a thoroughbred workhorse, a cargo-and-passenger van and a roomy minibus; and the Mercedes-Benz Viano was originally conceived solely as a comfortable business car. It seems that in one fell swoop the creators decided to kill two birds with one stone.
Second generation Vito
The starting point in the fate of the Mercedes-Benz V-class is considered to be 1995. Then, at the factory of DaimlerChrysler in Vitoria, in the north of Spain, in the heart of the Basque Country, the Vito began mass production. The car turned out to be very attractive in design and in terms of consumer qualities. However, the high selling price for the majority of Russian carriers did not allow making it a hit on the market of low-tonnage vans. But as an office on wheels, a family minivan or corporate taxi, Vito has established itself well. In total, about half a million of these machines have been sold since the beginning of serial production, and this is the best counter argument in the discussion with skeptics.
The most important news: the company abandoned the transverse layout of the power unit and drive to the front axle. Now Vito has received the traditional longitudinal engine layout and rear-wheel drive. What is it done for? According to Dietmar Baker, director of the conceptual minivan division, the longitudinal installation of the motor allowed for an increase in passive safety in the front of the car and reduced vibrations. True, the price for this was a slightly increased noise in the cabin. The classic drive circuit optimized axle-weighting and improved tractive effort for any degree of loading. German engineers had the courage to admit that the previous solution for a commercial vehicle was far from the most successful.
The second-generation Vito comes with three body length options (Compact – 4748 mm; Long – 4993 mm; Extralong – 5223 mm), two wheelbase sizes (3200 and 3430 mm), two roof versions (low and high, with a usable volume from 4.65 to 6.49 m3, cargo compartment length 2224-3099 mm) and five engines from 88 to 218 hp. By the way, since 2005, the average version of the roof will appear. According to the developers, one of the most attractive for customers should be the so-called Panel van – a van with a net volume of 6.49 m3 (its predecessor is 4.8 m3 maximum) and a payload of up to 1140 kg and a six-seater Vito Mixto for combined traffic with a luggage compartment volume of 970 l For those who care about the number of seats in the cabin, the Vito, which is designed to carry 9 people, including the driver, may like.
Depending on the version of the low-tonnage car, the rear doors open and lock at 180 ° or 270 °. The distance between the arches of the rear wheels is 1277 mm, which allows you to load three euro pallets one by one. The useful length of the cargo compartment can reach 2897 mm. This is enough to transport office or residential furniture. The convenience of loading and unloading operations is facilitated by rather wide side sliding doors: 985 mm in width and 1240 mm in height on the Crewbus version or 920 mm in width and 1259 mm in height on the Panel van.
The variety of transport problems new Vito is able to solve with a wide motor range. A choice of 4-cylinder in-line diesel engines CDI second generation capacity of 88, 109 and 150 hp, as well as gasoline V6 with a return of 190 and 218 hp. with system of injection Bosch Motronic ME 2.8. Each version has its own torque characteristics, the peak of which is stretched over a wide rpm range.
The new Vito is equipped with disc brakes with a diameter of 300 mm at the front and 296 mm at the rear. Ventilated front discs, rear – solid. In the standard equipment of any model there is an electronic stability control system ESP, including anti-lock braking system ABS, anti-skid ASR, brake force regulator and hydraulic brake assist Brake Assist. This set is enough to feel confident driving a car on any road.
Yes, yes, gentlemen, it is a family, not a “lonely knight.” Mercedes-Benz Viano replaced at once three cars: the V-class itself, the Vito F and the Vito Marco Polo. He has three lines of execution (Fun, Trend, Ambiente plus camper Marco Polo) and three options for special equipment (Bike, Life, Business). The degree of unification of the Viano with the Vito, depending on the equipment, is from 80 to 93%, so the nickname like “two of the casket” here, as they say, in the subject.