Mercedes-Benz Vans All-Wheel-Drive Event in Turin 2011: all-wheel drive for all
Stuttgart/Turin
Apr 15, 2011
Mercedes-Benz Vito 4x4: rugged practicality with outstanding traction for professional tradespeople
  • Permanent all-wheel drive for professional applications
  • Practical vehicle with rugged, easy-to-maintain interior
  • Model-specific suspension for panel van and crewbus
Durable, indestructible, dependable – attributes that apply to the new Vito in general, and in particular to the Vito 4x4 with all-wheel drive. This is the right choice of van for when the going gets tough. Its all-wheel drive enables the Vito 4x4 to operate where others are forced to throw in the towel. The target group includes building contractors, utilities and municipal service providers who are often underway in rough terrain. Alternatively, the crewbus version is the appropriate solution for hotels and tourism enterprises. The Vito 4x4 is a star when it comes to mastering tasks under topographically and climatically challenging conditions. It benefits from a new generation of engines, a retuned suspension with model-specific versions for carrying either cargo or passengers, and a user-friendly cockpit. Its superior traction is allied to an extremely easy-to-use permanent all-wheel drive.
Permanent all-wheel drive for the professional user
The driving dynamics and handling of the Mercedes-Benz Vito benefit from its conventional rear-wheel drive system. The Vito is well known for its highly agile and precise handling. The Vito 4x4 enhances this impression thanks to its traction with permanent all-wheel drive and consequent maximum safety even under the most unfavourable conditions. Whether in an excavation pit or on a dirt track, in snow or on ice or in the role of a first-rate towing vehicle – the Vito 4x4 is the right answer for professional tradespeople, coming into its own as the going gets too tough for other vans.
Its permanent all-wheel drive system could hardly be more user-friendly: even in the trickiest situations, all that is required of the driver is well-judged use of the accelerator − sophisticated electronic traction systems take care of everything else. The all-wheel drive is perfectly integrated into the standard-equipment ESP Electronic Stability Programme. All-wheel drive and safety systems complement each other to produce a unique drive and safety system capable of satisfying the most exacting needs.
The Vito 4x4 is available in combination with the new CDI four-cylinder engines with power outputs of 100 kW (136 hp) and
120 kW (163 hp). The result is a synthesis of a powerful drive system and an advanced, economical, smooth-running, clean engine equipped as standard with a particulate filter, compliant with the Euro 5 emissions standard.
Practical vehicle with rugged, easy-to-maintain interior
The Vito 4x4 is at the same time a dependable and practical vehicle. Its rugged yet high-quality interior is easy to maintain – users need have no fear about getting into the Vito 4x4 in working shoes. Especially in off-road situations, the driver benefits from the Vito 4x4's ergonomic instrument panel and is able to focus fully on the road ahead. Yet there is also a more elegant side to the Vito 4x4: with a four-spoke multifunction steering wheel and numerous other customised extras, the Vito 4x4 is capable of bringing pleasure to the hearts and minds of drivers.
In the latest generation of the Vito, rear passengers in the crewbus version can sit back and enjoy a successful blend of functionality and beauty: this is true, among other things, of the latest colour scheme, including floor covering, and the sophisticated interior lighting.
The load compartment of the panel van and Mixto is available without limitation in the Vito 4x4. As the additional weight of the all-wheel drive comes to just 80 kg, it is rarely the case that the driver is subject to any restrictions with regard to loading up the vehicle.
Model-specific suspension for panel van and crewbus
As in the Vito with conventional drive configuration, the suspension of the Vito 4x4 comes in model-specific versions and is tuned to the particular application. In the panel van and the Mixto, the focus is on a high loading capacity whereas in the crewbus the emphasis is on the comfort of the rear passengers. Both designs impress with their high levels of driving stability and safety, backed up by an unmatched abundance of driver support systems.
Vito 4x4: perfectly tuned, permanent all-wheel drive
The permanent all-wheel drive in the Vito 4x4 is ideally suited to users who need to get to their destination regardless of weather or road conditions and where this frequently calls for maximum traction and driving stability: when starting off, accelerating and cornering, on ice, in snow, with leaves on the road, in wet conditions or on poor roads, dirt tracks and rough terrain or when towing a trailer. The driver's job could scarcely be easier: all that is required is measured use of accelerator and steering wheel − the rest is taken care of by the traction control system. The all-wheel drive is based on the Mercedes-Benz 4ETS Electronic Traction System, which has proved highly effective, for example, in the ML-Class. Although all-wheel drive does not transform the Vito 4x4 into a cross-country vehicle, it does guarantee maximum tractive power − and therefore safety − when the going gets tricky.
The traction system takes the place of up to three differential locks
With the Vito 4x4's permanent four-wheel drive, under normal driving conditions the power from the engine is transmitted to the front and rear axles in a 35:65 ratio. This guarantees handling which, in everyday situations, does not differ significantly from that of the conventional rear-wheel-drive Vito.
Instead of using mechanical differential locks, the all-wheel drive system employs the 4ETS Electronic Traction System. If one or more wheels lose traction on a slippery surface, 4ETS automatically brakes the spinning wheels by applying a series of short pulses while consequently increasing the drive torque at the wheels with good traction by a similar amount. The 4ETS system uses the ABS wheel sensors for this purpose. Automatic application of the brakes by 4ETS is capable of simulating the effect of up to three differential locks: inter-axle differential lock, rear-axle differential lock and front-axle differential lock.
The transfer case is flanged directly onto the main gearbox. The front-axle drive, which is of highly compact design, is provided with a lifetime oil fill and is maintenance-free, as are the additional front-axle drive shafts, which have only a small articulation angle in the interests of a longer service life. The new front-axle subframe is designed to provide the same exemplary crash performance in the Vito 4x4. Wear is reduced by a new mounting of the front-axle drive unit and an increased oil volume. Helical gearing of the differential results in improved smoothness of operation.
Full integration into the ADAPTIVE ESP stability programme
The 4ETS system is fully integrated into the ADAPTIVE ESP Electronic Stability Programme. While its control characteristics are specially matched to the all-wheel drive, all the functions of the ADAPTIVE ESP are retained: ABS anti-lock braking system, ASR acceleration skid control, EBV electronic brake-force distribution, BAS brake assist and AAS start-off assist. In combination with a factory-installed trailer tow hitch, the system is rounded off by the Trailer Stability Assist system, which counteracts fishtailing movements of the trailer by means of selective application of the brakes. The interaction between all-wheel drive and ESP functions to perfection: the vehicle is stabilised and brought back onto course.
Although the Vito 4x4 is not a fully fledged cross-country vehicle, it is certainly no mean performer in off-road conditions. Thanks to its raised body, its approach angle is 20 degrees (conventional drive: 14 degrees) while, in the variant with short wheelbase and short overhang, the departure angle is 28 degrees (conventional drive:
22 degrees). The breakover angle – which is important for driving over humps – is 19 degrees in the Vito 4x4 with short wheelbase and is otherwise 14 degrees. The ground clearance is 150 mm at the front axle and approximately 210 mm at the rear. Depending on engine version, the hill-climbing capability is around 20 percent higher than that of the Vito with a conventional drive system.
The Vito 4x4 has what it takes to handle heavy loads
The additional weight of the all-wheel drive system is just 80 kg, which means that the payload is not significantly lower than that of the conventional-drive VITO. As the all-wheel drive raises the overall height by only just under 70 mm depending on model, the Vito 4x4, like the original Vito, has an overall height of less than two metres, allowing it to pass through low entrances, into multi-storey car parks and car washes – a key factor with regard to total flexibility and suitability for everyday use.
On the road, the Vito 4x4 impresses with its exemplary driving stability and perfect traction. It conveys an air of safety and effortless superiority typical of the brand. As the vehicle starts off, the rear wheels first spin briefly if there is limited traction. The warning lamp flashes at any speed if at least one tyre has exceeded the grip limit. For optimum traction, the driver should select an increased accelerator position at lower speeds despite the flashing warning lamp. The 4ETS system automatically controls the wheel slip and optimum locking power on each individual wheel.
ASR disengageable for certain driving situations
Depending on the driving situation, it may be advisable to disengage the ASR acceleration skid control, which can be done at the touch of a button. This briefly raises the control thresholds so as to increase the traction by increasing the wheel slip, which is advantageous, for example, when snow chains are being used or when the vehicle is being driven on a gravel road. The ASR function is automatically reactivated at speeds between 40 and 60 km/h. The same is true if wheel slip exceeds permissible limits or after more than ten seconds in ASR Off mode. ESP remains active even if ASR is deactivated.
In any case, 4ETS prevents critical driving situations from arising. For instance, with increasing vehicle speed, the locking effect on the axle is reduced in order to prevent yaw (rotation about the vertical axis) in the interests of driving stability. Also, the braking torque on all wheels is so controlled that braking torque is almost always applied on no more than three wheels. If the total slip of all wheels exceeds the computed slip, 4ETS reduces the drive torque from the engine. Despite such interventions, there is no possibility of the braking system overheating: if, under extreme off-road conditions, the temperature of the brakes rises excessively, 4ETS automatically reduces the locking effect until the brakes have cooled down again. The driver is made aware of this by an indicator lamp.
Powerful engines, BlueEFFICIENCY technology as standard in the Vito crewbus
Clean and extremely fuel-efficient with outstanding performance: the Mercedes-Benz Vito is powered by the new generation of diesel engines from Mercedes-Benz. The Vito sets a new benchmark in terms of environmental compatibility: all engines comply with the Euro 5 emissions standard. At the same time, low fuel consumption means reduced CO2 emissions. This is where a key role is played by BlueEfficiency technology, which is standard for the Vito crewbus and is available as an optional extra for the panel van.
Highly advanced, smooth-running engines
Both diesel engines are equipped with an oxidizing catalytic converter, a particulate filter and cooled exhaust gas recirculation. The Vito 4x4 comes in two variants of the new CDI four-cylinder engine displacing 2.15 litres:
  • Vito 113 CDI 4x4
    Output: 100 kW (136 hp) at 3800 rpm
    Max. Torque: 310 Nm at 1400-2400 rpm
  • Vito 116 CDI 4x4
    Output: 120 kW (163 hp) at 3800 rpm
    Max. Torque: 360 Nm at 1600-2400 rpm
The long-stroke engines impress with their high tractive power. The two overhead camshafts operate a total of 16 intake and exhaust valves. Camshaft drive is by a combination of gearwheels and a short chain, a basis for virtually unlimited durability.
Particularly broad useful engine speed range
A common-rail system takes care of fuel injection, which is done with extreme precision by especially durable solenoid valves and seven-hole injection nozzles. Both engine variants include a turbocharger with variable turbine geometry. The combination of a rated speed of 3800 rpm and high torque even at low engine speeds results in an exceptionally wide usable engine speed range between approximately 1500 and 4000 revolutions per minute. This is highly advantageous especially in off-road conditions since, thanks to its engine characteristics, the Vito 4x4 requires only few gear-changes, which would otherwise mean loss of power and consequently, traction in off-road situations.
The combination of common-rail injection, rear camshaft drive and two counter-rotating balancer shafts results in outstandingly smooth running.
BlueEFFICIENCY reduces fuel consumption
BlueEFFICIENCY technology, standard for the Vito crewbus (optional in the panel van), lowers both fuel consumption and emissions. Battery management, tyres with optimised rolling resistance, ECO power steering pump, on-demand regulation of fuel pump and in-engine measures are hallmarks of the state of the art, also in the Vito 4x4.
Automatic transmission and all-wheel drive – a perfect combination
The power from the Vito 4x4's engine is transmitted as standard by the Mercedes-Benz five-speed automatic transmission, which is not only especially driver-friendly but also tried and tested a million times over. The combination of automatic transmission and all-wheel drive assists the driver particularly in off-road conditions. Thanks to 4ETS, the driver can let the all-wheel drive take care of itself, while the automatic transmission dispenses with the need to select the appropriate gear. As a consequence the driver can concentrate fully on the road ahead.
Functional workplace, comprehensive standard equipment specification
Some things are difficult to improve on. One of them is the Vito's cockpit, which is at once functional and aesthetically pleasing. The driver's workstation is fully trimmed in high-grade materials to an excellent build quality – giving rise to a workplace that meets the driver's every expectation. The instrumentation is available in two different versions. Likewise, there are different variants of the driver's seat.
A typical feature is the superior equipment specification: already the panel van comes with radio-remote-controlled central locking, reflection-type headlamps with daytime running lamps, front fog lamps, window aerial, electric power window switches and two-way adjustable steering wheel. On top of a host of additional details, the especially comfortable Vito Shuttle even features an on-demand controlled air conditioning system and light-alloy wheels.
Customised rear compartment in panel van, Mixto and crewbus
The load compartment in both the panel van and the Mixto is lined as far as the waistline and is separated by a partition wall (only in panel van, optional in Mixto). Sturdy lashing eyes in the floor and lashing points in the side wall provide a sound basis for the securing of loads.
The Vito Mixto is additionally provided with a rear headliner, wood flooring and side trim in the passenger compartment. Side windows allow light into the passenger compartment. Thanks to a quick mount device, the bench seat can be removed with just a few turns of the hand.
The equipment specification on the Vito crewbus is even more extensive. Its exterior mirrors are heated and electrically adjustable. The rear passenger compartment is provided with vent windows. In keeping with its field of application, the suspension of the crewbus is tuned for comfort. The standard equipment on the crewbus also includes fuel-saving BlueEFFICIENCY technology. The interior trim is of a superior standard. The roof of the passenger compartment features a liner and the floor is protected by a special covering.
Vito 4x4 – the customised all-wheel-drive van for professionals
The Vito 4x4 can be customised with numerous factory-installed optional extras, especially for off-road use. All-weather tyres and M+S tyres provide improved traction in rough terrain. All Vito 4x4s in the "long" and "extra-long" versions are equipped with a fully-fledged spare wheel. In the panel van and Mixto "compact", a spare wheel can be mounted on the inside side wall of the load compartment.
All-wheel drive and high towing capacity – this is the perfect combination. The Vito 4x4 can tow a load of up to 2.5 tonnes with its optional trailer tow hitch.
As not only the Vito 4x4 but also its crew can get pretty dirty in off-road situations, man-made leather seat covers are a practical option for such conditions. Hot-water auxiliary heating guarantees the well-being of the crew during on-board break times while also adjusting the Vito 4x4 to a pleasant temperature in winter prior to use. A navigation system directs the driver reliably to his destination.
Customised equipment packages and interior fittings
Professionals know what they want. That's why Mercedes-Benz offers a range of customised packages for the Vito 4x4 just as in the model with conventional drive. "CARGO" includes a wooden floor and load-securing equipment for the panel van. "TOP LOAD" includes a roof carrier system. Comfort packages are available to upgrade the interior of the Mixto and crewbus. "SAFETY", "SECURITY" and "LIGHT & SIGHT" refine both the interior and exterior of the crewbus and the Shuttle.
With its "Van Solution" programme, Mercedes-Benz offers the panel van with a range of fully custom-made interior fittings from renowned specialists. This means that the Vito 4x4 is available not just as a panel van, but also as a deep-freeze or refrigerated vehicle as well as with a Trades basic module and special fittings for the sanitary/heating/air conditioning and electrical trades. The Vito 4x4 is also available as a service vehicle.
Vito 4x4: all-wheel drive for a large proportion of the model range
Mercedes-Benz offers the Vito 4x4 in a multiplicity of variants for a wide range of different trades applications.
The Vito 4x4 can be ordered in all three length variants "compact", "long" and "extra-long" in combination with a flat roof. It is available for the Vito panel van, the flexible Mixto with a second row of seats and the especially versatile Vito crewbus. The diverse programme of Vito crewbus models also includes all-wheel drive for the Vito Shuttle – an attractive combination for users such as hotels in topographically challenging regions or areas with lots of snow in winter.
The Vito 4x4 is especially versatile in its crewbus version, which is available either without seating or with a two- or three-passenger row of seats in the centre and a three-passenger row of seats in the rear. In applications where the focus is on transporting passengers without luggage, a wise choice is the extra-long version with two two-passenger bench seats and one three-passenger bench seat. With this wide range of models – plus the Vito Shuttle with its particularly high-grade appointments – the Vito 4x4 covers a broad spectrum of applications.
The Vito 4x4 is available in combination with CDI four-cylinder engines with an output of 100 kW (136 hp) or 120 kW (163 hp). All-wheel drive is always in combination with automatic transmission, affording a superior driving experience under virtually all conditions. In all cases the permissible gross vehicle weight of the Vito 4x4 is 3050 kg.
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