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Mercedes-Benz V-Class

With the V-Class Mercedes-Benz redefines the MPV. As the youngest and largest member of the passenger car family from Stuttgart, it sets new benchmarks in its segment with its design and a host of innovations. The new V-Class combines room for up to eight people and exemplary functionality with the high-class appeal, comfort, efficient driving pleasure and safety that distinguish the automobiles bearing the three-pointed star. This makes the Mercedes among MPVs the perfect vehicle for everyone who appreciates great spaciousness but does not want to sacrifice style and comfort.

Whether off on a shopping spree or travelling with the whole family, heading out for a mountain bike holiday with friends in the Alps or driving prominent guests to a red carpet event - the new Mercedes-Benz V-Class provides optimum flexibility when it comes to use of the interior and always cuts an elegant figure at the same time. With the two equipment lines V-Class and V-Class AVANTGARDE, an Exterior Sports package and an Interior Design package for each line, two wheelbases, three body lengths from 4895 to 5370 millimetres, three engines and also many optional extras, the new MPV can be individualised to suit any taste and requirement. As a result it meets a wide variety of customer needs and is just as attractive for families as it is for people who need a variable and spacious interior for their leisure and sports activities. In addition, it is ideally suited as a luxurious VIP or hotel shuttle.

Exterior design: Emotional, powerful, dynamic - the restaging

A power-emphasising front end with an upright radiator grille, a superior gaze from the headlamps in a design characteristic of the brand, a sinewy, elongated body reflecting the dynamic interplay of sculptural surfaces and clearly defined lines - unmistakably, the new V-Class presents itself as a member of the Mercedes-Benz passenger car family and embodies the brand-distinguishing design philosophy of sensuous clarity.

The distinctive design of the front end stresses the affinity to the Mercedes-Benz saloons and strengthens the brand identity. The upright radiator grille and the progressive headlamp design are the dominant features of the MPV's face. The three-dimensional, centrally positioned star is flanked by sporty twin louvres with inserts in high-grade chrome. The sculptured V-shaped bonnet merges elegantly into the chrome frame of the radiator grille and the headlamps. Its sharply etched contours and the wing-like shape of the headlamps signal dynamism and passion. The bumper, like the bonnet, excitingly alternates between convex and concave surfaces with precisely traced contours. Both the lower air intakes and the radiator grille do not have diamond-shaped perforations, but narrow louvres in high-gloss black. In conjunction with the headlamps, which extend far into the wings, they emphasise the width of the vehicle - and underscore the self-confident appearance of the new V-Class.

"Sensuous, dynamic contours, intelligently showcased high tech and exquisite high-class appeal make the Mercedes-Benz V-Class an automotive icon that blends elegance and functionality to perfection. The new V-Class is a self-confident statement of modern luxury and embodies our design philosophy of sensual purity in striking fashion," says Gorden Wagener, Head of Design at Daimler AG.

All light functions with LED technology

The design idiom of the headlamps deliberately cites the S-Class and so highlights the claim to leadership of the Mercedes among MPVs. The V-Class is the first vehicle in the segment which provides all light functions in LED technology as an optional feature. The all-LED headlamps with Intelligent Light System make for a visual highlight and at the same time enhance safety (see "Mercedes-Benz Intelligent Drive" section). Their inner workings are arranged on three levels from top to bottom. At the top are the LED indicators, which form the brand's hallmark "torch" and span all other lighting elements like an eyebrow. Underneath, running in a sweeping line, are the LED daytime driving lamps. Low beam, high beam and cornering light are arranged on the lower level. All in all, 34 LEDs in each headlamp give the vehicle an unmistakable appearance and, compared with conventional systems, offer much improved vision in the dark.

Dynamic, flowing lines

The clearly contoured side wall is structured by two elongated, taut lines. The interplay of concave and convex surfaces conveys a sculptural and thus very sensuous character. Both lines smoothly continue the distinctive contour lines of the front bumper and rise slightly as they continue on towards the rear. The side view thus appears elongated and signals dynamism. This impression can be additionally enhanced by an optional chrome strip along the window line.

The side view is completed by the wraparound tail lamps, which likewise feature LED technology depending on equipment line. Three vertically arranged fibre optics produce especially elegant and dynamic looking indicators, brake lights and tail lamps. The reversing lamp and rear fog lamp are horizontally arranged below them. They create a visual link with the defined line above the tailgate release handle and emphasise the width of the rear end.

Tail lamps, headlamps, doors and bonnet - all detachable body parts are of high precision and fitted with minimal clearances. This contributes to an extraordinarily low noise level in the interior because disruptive wind factors are eliminated. On the other hand, the small clearances together with the structure lines stretching from the front around to the rear give the MPV the appearance of a sculpture cast from a single piece.

As standard, depending on equipment line the V-Class rolls on 16-inch steel wheels or 17-inch 5-spoke light-alloy wheels. Optionally, 17-inch 20-spoke light-alloy wheels and 18-inch 5-twin-spoke light-alloy wheels are available. Optional extra 19-inch 5-twin-spoke light-alloy wheels, painted black with a high-sheen finish, make for an especially dynamic look.

Interior design: Sophisticated style and high-class appeal

A progressively dynamic design idiom full of lightness and elegance, coupled with exquisitely finished high-grade materials - an unmistakable passenger-car styling for the new Mercedes-Benz V-Class. With this the Stuttgart-based premium brand elevates quality and aesthetic appeal to a new level in this vehicle class. The V-Class is a confident statement of an independent lifestyle.

As in all current Mercedes-Benz passenger cars, the V-Class interior provides an inviting feel-good ambience. It follows the new design idiom, which embodies sensuous clarity. The typical contrasting interplay of organic surfaces and clear lines, along with high-quality materials in warm and cool colour tones, conveys an exceptional sense of harmony and serves to underline the high-class feel of the vehicle. The car offers a perfect synthesis of function and emotion. This sophisticated finesse is rounded off by discreet ambient lighting in three colours.

Curved cockpit for a generous sense of space full of lightness

One of the most eye-catching features is the cockpit. For the front passengers, it is like sitting in a typical Mercedes passenger car. The dynamically shaped dashboard is based on a two-section design with the emphasis firmly on width, allowing different surface structures. The upper and lower sections are made of hard-wearing soft-touch materials. For the first time in this class, a leather-look cockpit upper section with lavishly finished topstitching is optionally available.

The upper and lower sections are separated by a large, three-dimensional trim element that creates a sense of width and conveys high-class appeal. It is available in a high-gloss piano-lacquer look, a matt anthracite wave-look trim, high-gloss dark brown wood-look ash trim or high-gloss dark anthracite wood-look ebony trim. The lower section is sculptural in design. This emphasises the generous sense of space while also making lightness tangible.

This high-quality impression is reinforced by the free-standing central display. The standard equipment for the new V-Class includes a 17.8-centimetre display with a high-gloss black frame. An all-glass 21.3-centimetre display with bonded glass and a frame in galvanised silver shadow is available as an option. This new and particularly elegant looking display provides an even more detailed and high-contrast image.

There is another new feature located below the central display: the central control panel that features in Mercedes passenger cars with a Controller (rotary pushbutton) and, for the first time, a multifunctional touchpad (see "New operating and display concept" section). The size, design and ergonomics of the central control panel were adapted specifically for the V-Class. It blends harmoniously into the dynamic lines of the dashboard, further emphasising the sporty shape and lightness of the cockpit.

Multifunction steering wheel as standard

Another sporty, elegant touch is provided by the circular nozzles that are a hallmark feature of Mercedes-Benz passenger cars. Their design is inspired by aviation. All four ventilation outlets are galvanised in silver shadow, creating a metallic surface impression with "cool touch" effect - and an exciting contrast with the warm wood or leather look.

The standard equipment for the Mercedes-Benz V-Class also includes a 3-spoke multifunction steering wheel with twelve buttons and a DIRECT SELECT lever plus DIRECT SELECT gearshift paddles if an automatic transmission is specified. The steering wheel is adjustable for height and tilt, improving ergonomic posture and allowing a relaxed seating position. A leather-look upper section of the dashboard with lavishly finished topstitching is an additional option.

Individualisation through light, materials and colours

In the AVANTGARDE equipment line the three-dimensional design of the dashboard trim is echoed on the sliding doors and the side wall. This creates a feeling of security and further emphasises the spacious interior setting. From front to rear, the interior appears to be cast from a single mould. In the rear, discreet ambient lighting below the trim on the side walls and the sliding door ensures a pleasant, cosy light. As soon as the doors are opened, the LED fibre optics are activated and offer a "welcome home" effect. In addition to this, the ambient lighting is activated and deactivated with the exterior lighting, is dimmable in five stages and has three colour shades for creating an individual lighting mood: neutral (white), solar (amber) and polar (ice blue). The ambient lighting is an exclusive standard item of equipment on board the V-Class AVANTGARDE. The convenient overhead control panel likewise exclusively features LEDs as standard: an interior light with fibre-optic cable and reading lamps for the driver and front passenger.

An exclusive choice of materials and colours for the seat covers also provides great scope for individualisation. As is the case for all Mercedes-Benz passenger car models, optional interior design packages are available. In standard specification the newly developed luxury seats in the V-Class are covered with black or crystal grey Santiago fabric, and in the V-Class AVANTGARDE with Lugano leather in black, crystal grey or silk beige. In the AVANTGARDE variant, the Interior Design package also offers nappa leather in black, silk beige and marron.

Likewise new is the sporty seat upholstery layout, allowing an expressive two-tone concept for the fabric seats, thus further emphasising the feeling of lightness throughout the entire interior. With leather upholstery, topstitching in a contrasting colour lends the seats a degree of aesthetic appeal that is unparalleled in this segment - for example marron nappa leather with silk beige topstitching. Exclusive topstitching can also be found on the upper section of the dashboard, the armrests and the centre section of the side panelling, emphasising the high-value appeal of the entire vehicle interior.

The perfectly coordinated concept, comprising contrasting shapes, materials and colours, creates an exclusive interior with high-class appeal and underlines the premium claim of the V-Class. The overall impression is a unique combination of hallmark Mercedes elegance with a high-quality feel and sophisticated, sporty lightness.

Drive system - Efficient driving pleasure: six-cylinder power with four-cylinder fuel consumption

Clean, economical, torquey: The new Mercedes-Benz V-Class offers an ultramodern turbodiesel with three power output levels. The 2.1-litre four-cylinder with common-rail direct injection is available with an output of 100 kW (136 hp), 120 kW (163 hp) and 140 kW (190 hp). The power plant, internally designated OM 651, has proven itself in almost all car models of the brand from the A-Class to the S-Class. It has been further developed specifically for use in the V-Class. The focus of these efforts was to combine the effortlessly superior performance of a six-cylinder engine with the exemplary efficiency of a four-cylinder. As a result, the top-of-the-range model V 250 BlueTEC has a torque curve and power delivery on a par with the current 3-litre V6 turbodiesel, but consumes up to 28 percent less fuel and, thanks to BlueTEC, complies with the Euro 6 emissions standard.

Mercedes-Benz achieves this through numerous measures such as fourth-generation common-rail injection, a switchable water pump, an on-demand oil pump and two-stage turbocharging. For the variants with 7G-TRONIC PLUS automatic transmission the ECO start/stop function also is a standard feature. Common characteristics of all three four-cylinder units are the durable cast iron engine block, the weight-optimised high-strength aluminium cylinder head, two overhead camshafts, the low-friction valve train with cam followers, and four valves per cylinder.

Lower consumption, better torque

Two-stage turbocharging ensures responsive start-off ability and high peak power. The compact module for the two-stage turbocharging consists of a small high-pressure (HP) turbocharger and a large low-pressure (LP) turbocharger. These are connected in series, and each has a turbine and a compressor driven by this turbine. This means that the optimum charge pressure can already be built up at low engine speeds.

The most important advantage of this concept is the improved cylinder charge and the resultant high torque at low engine speeds. The V 200 CDI has 330 Newton metres to offer, while the V 220 CDI mobilises 380 Newton metres - 20 Newton metres more in each case in comparison to the predecessor. On the other hand, the combined NEDC consumption of the V 200 CDI is reduced by twelve percent to 6.1 litres per 100 kilometres. Running on 5.7 litres per 100 kilometres which represents an 18 percent reduction in fuel consumption, accompanied by emissions of 149 grams of CO2 per kilometre, the V 220 CDI occupies an outstanding position in its vehicle class. On the road the complex turbocharger control makes itself noticeable through harmonious driving characteristics, a continuous torque curve, spontaneous throttle response and appreciably better performance.

Top variant V 250 BlueTEC with 440 Newton metres of torque

The engine of the top-of-the-range V 250 BlueTEC impresses with powerful torque up to a maximum of 440 Newton metres. This is the same figure as for the 3-litre V6 diesel in the predecessor model. Fuel consumption, on the other hand, stands at 6.0 litres of diesel per 100 kilometres, or 28 percent less than the six-cylinder engine, despite comparable performance. If the driver activates "Sport", "Comfort" or "Manual" transmission mode with the AGILITY SELECT switch, the characteristics of the accelerator pedal change so that the engine responds more quickly to the throttle and the maximum torque rises to 480 Newton metres ("overtorque").

Comfortable and economical: ECO Gear 6-speed manual transmission

To transmit the power to the rear wheels, the V 200 CDI and V 220 CDI models are fitted as standard with the ECO Gear 6-speed manual transmission. It makes an essential contribution to the moderate fuel consumption and the dynamics of the V-Class. Its outstanding feature is the particularly large gear ratio spread, with a short first gear and a long sixth gear with moderate rpm level. This design makes allowance for typical situations such as moving off on slopes with a horse or boat trailer in tow as well as long-distance journeys on motorways.

Superbly comfortable: 7G-TRONIC PLUS

The top-of-the-range model V 250 BlueTEC is equipped as standard with the 7G-TRONIC PLUS transmission with DIRECT SELECT lever and DIRECT SELECT steering wheel gearshift paddles. The automatic transmission is available as an optional extra for the V 200 CDI and V 220 CDI models. Owing to its seven gears, the automatic can adjust the engine speed even more precisely to suit the driver's intentions. More pulling power is available for flat-out acceleration, while during relaxed cruising the engine speed is reduced to an economical level. And since the changes in engine speed while shifting are smaller, gear changes are even less perceptible and more comfortable.

The features of the latest version of the 7G-TRONIC PLUS to emerge include a new torque converter with reduced slip, an ECO shift mode with a wider ratio spread, and an auxiliary oil pump to maintain the operating pressure when the ECO start/stop function is activated. Low-friction components in conjunction with low-friction oil help to reduce the operating pressure. Another benefit to comfort: with the DIRECT SELECT lever on the steering column, drivers can set the transmission positions "P", "N", "R" and "D" with a light tap without taking their hands off the steering wheel.

ECO start/stop function with direct-start

The ECO start/stop function, a standard feature with the 7G-TRONIC PLUS automatic transmission, operates with starter-supported direct-start. This means that when the engine is switched off, the attitude of the crankshaft is registered by a new crankshaft sensor so that the engine control unit knows the positions of the individual pistons. On restarting, it can then select the cylinder that is in the most suitable position for first ignition. This ensures that the engine starts up immediately.

Even more economical with BlueEFFICIENCY package

The ECO start/stop function is a part of the BlueEFFICIENCY package, which is standard equipment in all versions featuring the 7G-TRONIC PLUS automatic transmission and is optionally available for all variants with 6-speed manual transmission. It also comprises the on-demand fuel pump control as well as complete engine compartment and underbody panelling, which ensures turbulence-free air flow underneath the vehicle body.

Long maintenance intervals are also conducive to the sustainability and economy of the V-Class. The standard-fit ASSYST service interval indicator flexibly computes the oil change intervals depending on vehicle use. Intervals for all engines extend to up to 40,000 km (alternatively two years). Depending on the strain on the vehicle and the driving style, larger kilometre intervals also are possible.

Individual driving experience with AGILITY SELECT

As an option in combination with the 7G-TRONIC PLUS transmission, Mercedes-Benz offers the AGILITY SELECT system, which permits individualising the driving experience. Four transmission modes vary the throttle response and shift points of the automatic transmission: "ECO" (E), "Comfort" (C), "Sport" (S) and "Manual" (M). No other manufacturer in this vehicle segment offers such an extensive choice.

"Comfort" automatically is activated when the engine is started and includes a comfort-emphasising, harmonious accelerator characteristic. The ECO start/stop function is activated. In "ECO" mode the 7G-TRONIC PLUS changes gears at particularly low revs. At the same time the output of the air conditioner, the heated rear windscreen and the seat heating is reduced. When the vehicle is stopped at a traffic light or in a tailback, the ECO start/stop function goes into action.

When the driver switches to "Sport" mode the characteristic of the accelerator pedal is changed to make the engine respond more quickly to the throttle. The automatic transmission makes use of the entire engine speed range to change gears, and shifts faster. The ECO start/stop function continues to be active.

In "Manual" mode the automatic transmission can be operated by hand using the gearshift paddles on the steering wheel. This appreciably shortens the shift times compared with the Comfort and ECO modes. The ECO start/stop function is deactivated, but can be activated manually.

Suspension: New benchmark for agility and safety

The V-Class raises the bar in the MPV segment in terms of ride comfort and handling safety. Ground-breaking and unrivalled features in this category of vehicles are the AGILITY CONTROL suspension, with selective adjustment of the damping system to the road conditions, and the latest generation of ADAPTIVE ESP®, with many assistance functions. The light and precise electromechanical power steering likewise contributes greatly to the balanced driving sensation in the new V-Class.

The front wheels of the V-Class are guided by a McPherson suspension with elaborately mounted lower wishbones. This enabled the Mercedes-Benz developers to minimise the longitudinal and lateral movement of the axle and ensure precise handling in all situations. A further feature of the front suspension is a stabiliser that effectively limits body roll also during fast cornering. The carefully dampened front axle carrier effectively neutralises engine and transmission influences on the front axle and so improves road roar and tyre vibration characteristics.

Independent suspension with semi-trailing arms is used on the rear axle. The transmission of lateral and longitudinal forces is effectively separated so that handling precision and ride comfort are further enhanced. As at the front, an anti-roll bar of large dimensions effectively limits body roll of the MPV.

As a result, the V-Class not only is extremely precise in its handling, calculable and safe to drive. It also gets top marks for ride comfort and noise level. As an optional extra, Mercedes-Benz offers a sports suspension with sporty-taut dampers and springs, a reinforced stabiliser up front, and a body lowered by 15 millimetres.

AGILITY CONTROL suspension with variable damping as standard

As an exclusive feature in the MPV segment, the Mercedes-Benz V-Class AVANTGARDE has an AGILITY CONTROL suspension with frequency-dependent variable damping as standard. During normal driving with little excitation of the shock absorbers, the damping forces are automatically reduced, with tangible effects on the road roar and tyre vibration characteristics - but no sacrifices in terms of handling safety. At higher shock absorber excitation levels, for example during dynamic cornering or evasive manoeuvres, the maximum damping force is activated to effectively stabilise the vehicle.

Speed-dependent electromechanical power steering

The new V-Class is equipped as standard with a speed-dependent electromechanical power steering system. The electric motor which provides the power assistance is located directly on the steering gear. During manoeuvring and at low speed, the steering mobilises maximum steering assistance, slowly reducing it as the speed increases so as to improve driving stability. This makes for absolutely easy operation during manoeuvring and exemplary straight-line stability at higher speeds, as required. When returning the steering to straight-ahead position after cornering, the so-called active axle return reduces the driver's steering effort.

In addition, the electromechanical assistance has substantial fuel-saving potential since energy only is required when the steering wheel is turned. The electromechanical power steering also is an essential prerequisite for the optional Active Parking Assist (see "Mercedes-Benz Intelligent Drive" section). Via the interface with the assistance system it actively supports autonomous entering and leaving of parking spaces though selective steering intervention. The driver only has to operate the accelerator and brake pedal. At speeds of 10 km/h and higher this interface automatically is deactivated.

A further benefit to comfort: the steering detects vibrations as caused, for example, by tyre imbalance, and is able to compensate them for the most part. Moreover, the system detects a constant holding moment applied by the driver to the steering wheel on account of crosswind or because the road surface slopes to one side. Driving straight ahead, as long as the driver keeps his hands on the steering wheel the steering system actively reduces the applied retaining force. The assistance is deactivated as soon as the driver takes his hands off the steering wheel.

Efficient brakes, numerous ESP® assistance functions

Large brake discs at the front and rear provide the technical basis for safe and reliable deceleration in all driving situations. At the front, vented disc brakes with a diameter of 300 millimetres are used - 330 millimetres on the V 250 BlueTEC and if the Exterior Sports package is specified. The diameter of the solid rear discs is a uniform 300 millimetres.

With anti-lock brake system, acceleration skid control, BAS brake assist and the latest generation of ADAPTIVE ESP® all featuring as standard, the V-Class is also exemplary in terms of its driving safety systems. ADAPTIVE ESP® has been extended to incorporate important new functions such as Brake Disc Wipe and Electronic Brake Prefill.

The Brake Disc Wipe function serves in wet conditions to wipe the water film off the brake discs automatically with regular brief brake pulses so that the brakes always can operate with full efficiency. The finely modulated brake pulses are not noticed by the driver. This automatic brake drying function is always activated after a certain period of windscreen wiper operation. When the accelerator is suddenly and quickly released, the Electronic Brake Prefill function automatically applies the brake pads lightly in order to reduce the clearance between brake pad and brake disc in advance. If full brake application is then initiated, valuable milliseconds have been won since the friction surfaces of pads and disc already are in contact and immediately make effective deceleration possible. This function, too, provides an advantage in terms of stopping distance which perhaps can help avoid an accident or reduce the accident severity.

Moving off comfortably on slopes

ADAPTIVE ESP® also incorporates the Hill-Start Assist as standard. It ensures that the process of moving off on uphill gradients can be carried out very comfortably. Brake pressure is maintained briefly after releasing the brake pedal. This enables stress-free transfer of the foot from the brake pedal to the accelerator without allowing the vehicle to roll backwards. The start-off assist is active on gradients of about four percent and more. When moving off on level ground, downhill, or if the emergency brake is engaged, it is not activated.

Another optional system function is the automatic activation of the emergency stop signal: The ESP® control system is able to detect a critical braking situation and sends a signal via the CAN data bus to the central electronics, which in turn cause the brake lights to flash and, if necessary, switch on the hazard warning lamps when the vehicle is standing still.

Support in critical cornering situations

Mercedes-Benz also has developed a control logic for ADAPTIVE ESP® which provides even better support to the driver in critical cornering situations. The likewise optional ESP® Trailer Stabilisation feature, which is activated if the V-Class is equipped with a trailer coupling, detects dangerous oscillating movements of the trailer and restabilises it automatically by sending precisely measured brake pulses to the front wheels of the towing vehicle. In case of emergency, the system applies the brakes to reduce the car's speed automatically while reducing the engine torque until the trailer is stabilised by the brake pulses. Trailer stabilisation is active at speeds of 65 km/h and higher and cannot be switched off.

The bodywork and passive safety: High-strength passenger cell and the very latest in restraint systems for optimum occupant protection

The new Mercedes-Benz V-Class affords high levels of spaciousness and safety. Three body lengths, six airbags and PRE-SAFE® preventive occupant protection make the Mercedes-Benz model an exception among the MPVs. The body structure was designed so that in a collision the forces of the impact are distributed over a large area and the protecting passenger cell remains intact.

With three body lengths and two wheelbases the new V-Class provides the basis for the maximum in terms of individualisation options to comply with the individual requirements of the different target groups. At market launch the long V-Class will roll to the dealerships. The compact and extra-long variants will follow in due course.

An advantage shared by all variants is their good suitability for everyday use. With a standard overall height of 1.88 metres, the Mercedes-Benz V-Class can be driven into all normal-sized garages, multi-storey car parks, underground car parks and car washes.

High-strength body structure for exemplary occupant protection

The basis for the excellent passenger protection in an accident is the intelligently designed body with large deformation zones at the front and rear. They absorb the impact forces of a collision over a large area so that the passenger cell, made of high-strength steel alloys, remains intact. The substructure consists of a frame with four longitudinal members and four cross members which in a crash effectively ensure the distribution of the impact forces. The construction also underscores the excellent torsional rigidity of the new V-Class.

In addition, the front end meets the high requirements pertaining to pedestrian protection. Owing to the larger deformation space between the bonnet and the components underneath, the loads that possibly will occur in an accident are reduced.

Lightweight design solutions with a high stability factor

To cut vehicle weight, all doors and the tailgate are designed as lightweight steel components with a monocoque design. Pinpoint reinforcements help improve the crash safety of the MPV in spite of the weight-optimised construction.

As standard the V-Class has a sliding door on the right side of the vehicle. A second sliding door on the left side is standard-fit if the AVANTGARDE equipment line is specified. The complex 3-rail guide system of the sliding doors is evidence of the great effort put into design and manufacture. While the upper guide rail precisely locates the door, the middle and bottom rails additionally have a supporting function. Spring-mounted guide wedges with integrated buffers ensure particularly comfortable and smooth closing. Additional seals at the top and in the area of the B-pillars prevent annoying wind noises. Special aeroacoustic seals also are employed for the tailgate to improve acoustic comfort.

Restraint systems: six airbags as standard

With six standard-fitted airbags for driver and front passenger, the new V-Class offers a still more comprehensive array of passive safety features than the previous model. The airbags, which can deploy very rapidly in the event of an accident, include:

As an optional extra, larger window airbags are available which extend over three seat rows from A-pillar to D-pillar. Driver and front-passenger seats are additionally fitted with a height-adjustable 3-point safety belt, belt tensioner and belt-force limiter as well as seat-belt reminder and 4-way head restraint. The rear seats also afford a high level of safety. All rear seats have integrated 3-point safety belts with belt-force limiter and 4-way head restraints.

Anticipatory occupant protection with PRE-SAFE®

Occupant protection in the V-Class begins before an accident occurs. As optional extra the PRE-SAFE® system familiar from the passenger car models is available for the MPV. When an accident threatens it initiates protective measures so that the belts and airbags can develop the best possible protective effect during the collision. A comparable technology is not offered by any other manufacture in this vehicle segment.

PRE-SAFE® is modelled on nature: In the same way as living beings react reflexively and seek cover in the face of danger, by way of precaution the Mercedes system activates protective measures to prepare the occupants and vehicle for the impending collision. Early accident detection is possible because PRE-SAFE® is an intelligent synergy of active and passive safety: It is linked to Brake Assist and the Electronic Stability Program ESP®, whose sensors detect potentially critical driving situations and send the relevant information to the electronic control units.

In addition, the system uses the information provided by the short-range radar sensors of the optional DISTRONIC PLUS adaptive cruise control system in conjunction with COLLISION PREVENTION ASSIST to tension the front seat belts at the very last moment before an unavoidable collision, thus reducing the forces exerted on the driver and front passenger during the crash. The PRE-SAFE® function is literally the "ultima ratio" of preventive occupant protection, since the accident occurs around 200 milliseconds later.

Preventive occupant protection is activated in the event of emergency braking or high lateral acceleration - heavy understeer or oversteer, for example, or fast, sudden movements of the steering wheel by the driver.

PRE-SAFE® protective measures are reversible: if the accident is averted, the preventive tension of the seat belts is released automatically, and the occupants are able to reset the positions of the seats. The preventive occupant protection system is then ready for action again.

Safety precautions also after the accident

If a crash does occur despite all countermeasures, and the belt tensioners and the airbags are triggered, the airbag control unit sends a corresponding message to the CAN data bus of the V-Class. The connected control units then autonomously carry out a series of measures designed to protect the occupants and, if possible, assist rescuers. The measures include:

New control and display concept: Multifunctional touchpad with gesture control

The Mercedes-Benz V-Class sees the arrival of the very latest control and display concept in this segment. The major innovation is the multifunctional touchpad on the dashboard. Like a smartphone, it can be controlled using gestures or by inputting letters and numbers. In addition to this, operating and display elements that have already been used successfully in numerous Mercedes-Benz passenger car model series are being introduced for the first time in this segment, including COMAND Online with COMAND Controller (rotary pushbutton), the DIRECT SELECT lever on the steering wheel, the central display and the colour display in the instrument cluster.

The newly designed operating and display concept is easy and intuitive to use. The operating logic and various switches have been adopted from the new S-Class and thus meet the highest standards in terms of user-friendliness and ergonomics. These include the elegant rocker switches on the air conditioning control panel, the pull/push switch modules for the power windows in the door panels and the rotary light switch.

Innovative touchpad with new recognition technology

The touchpad newly developed by Mercedes-Benz is available for vehicles equipped with Audio 20 CD or COMAND Online. It is located together with the central control panel and the COMAND Controller below the central display on the dashboard. The touch-sensitive area, made of scratch-resistant plastic in high-gloss black with a silver shadow real metal surround, blends stylishly into the interior design concept and has the look of a high-quality tablet PC. All telematics functions can be controlled intuitively using gestures or by handwriting. The touchpad therefore offers an additional input option over and above the COMAND Controller and LINGUATRONIC voice-operated control.

The multitouch sensor system recognises one- and two-finger gestures such as scrolling, swiping or zooming and spreading the fingers or bringing them together. To prevent incorrect entries and increase operating reliability, the Mercedes-Benz engineers have developed a new recognition technology that evaluates the sensor signal three-dimensionally. Particular importance was attached to the correct identification of speed when developing the gesture recognition. The V-Class driver can therefore use slow or fast gestures, which lead to different but also reliable movements of the cursor.

Furthermore, users can input letters, symbols and numbers in their natural handwriting thanks to the character recognition feature. The touchpad recognises the characters and uses them automatically - for navigation destinations, for example. This speeds up input and generates considerable additional benefits. There is another advantage: the new telematics operating concept with touchpad allows a reduction in the number of buttons in the head unit, making for a tidier appearance.

Ease of operation is also enhanced by three touch-sensitive buttons behind the 65 x 45 millimetre touchpad, which can be used to call up key functions quickly and directly: the "Back" function, the "Favourites" menu and the audio quick menu. The user receives clear haptic feedback when using the touchpad or the buttons. To make the system easier to use at night, both the symbols and the borders of the touchpad are illuminated indirectly.

Neat and tidy command centre: instrument cluster and multifunction colour display

The instrument cluster consists of two large, analogue round dials, each with a small bar graph. The multifunction colour display for the on-board computer information is located between the two round dials and displays control and warning messages, especially those from the numerous driver assistance systems such as DISTRONIC PLUS, Traffic Sign Assist and Lane Keeping Assist. There are also convenience displays, the trip computer and messages about operating statuses. With the pushbuttons on the standard-fit 3-spoke multifunction steering wheel, the settings on the colour display can be changed without drivers having to take their hands off the steering wheel.

Central display: high resolution and colour

The information from the telematics system is shown on a high-resolution central display. As in numerous new Mercedes-Benz passenger car models, it is free-standing and located above the central ventilation outlets and the air conditioning control panel.

Two display variants are available, depending on equipment: in combination with Audio 20 USB and Audio 20 CD, the monitor measures 17.8 centimetres diagonally. The frame is finished in high-gloss black. A 21.3-centimetre display with high-brilliance resolution is installed in combination with COMAND Online. In this case, the frame is galvanised in silver shadow. This display is equipped with a special, bonded glass cover. The anti-glare mineral glass is directly joined to the surface of the TFT display using an optical adhesive and a lamination process, thus ensuring that no air or dust can get between the display and the glass. This enhanced technology virtually eliminates optical distortions and reflections. As a result, images are particularly detailed and high in contrast.

In addition to manual brightness setting via the COMAND Online menu, both displays have a light sensor for automatic brightness control. As well as displaying telematics functions, the screen available in combination with COMAND Online can display photos and allows manual scrolling similar to a slide show. New display forms also allow easy operation when listening to music. The CoverFlow function, for instance, sorts the cover images of the stored music albums in carousel-like form so that V-Class drivers can easily scroll through their music collection. This collection may be very large, as there are 10.8 gigabytes of memory available for compressed audio files (mp3, wma, aac).

Greatest convenience is afforded by the Music Search function, which enables drivers and passengers to search the hard disc, SD memory cards, USB sticks, CDs and DVDs for specific music tracks and artists. The search can be by various criteria, for instance album, music category or composer. If a name needs to be entered, the software will also tolerate spelling mistakes. The driver is therefore able to devote full attention to the traffic. There is another advantage: the passengers are able to search all connected media and devices simultaneously.

Infotainment programme: Unique selection that caters to every need

The new Mercedes-Benz V-Class comes with a choice of three infotainment systems, offering a bespoke state-of-the-art solution for all budgets and requirements. At the top of the range are the optional COMAND Online fully integrated multimedia system and the Burmester® surround sound system. With these, the V-Class raises the bar in its segment in terms of navigation, internet use and listening pleasure.

The latest generation of COMAND Online has fast 80-gigabyte hard-disc navigation, a DVD player, internet access and numerous additional functions. It features an improved photo-realistic map display, relaying of traffic data in real time, useful apps and an additional Bluetooth® profile allowing internet access using an iPhone®, for example. It is operated with the innovative touchpad, the COMAND Controller or LINGUATRONIC voice-operated control.

Real-time traffic reports and easy internet use

In conjunction with COMAND Online the latest traffic information is transmitted to the vehicle in real time by Mercedes-Benz Live Traffic Information. Thanks to a special communications module, which ensures permanent connectivity to the cloud, the driver of the V-Class receives early information about problems such as tailbacks, increased traffic volumes or other possible delays along the route, allowing them to adjust their route planning in good time. The COMAND navigation system can show the beginning and length of a tailback on a map to within 100 metres of the exact position and compute an improved dynamic route with shorter travel times. The potential loss of time is taken into account automatically in real time for the arrival time displayed by the COMAND Online navigation.

Internet access via COMAND Online provides substantial added benefit: customers can either browse freely when the vehicle is stationary or call up a Mercedes-Benz app with pages that load extremely quickly and are also easy to use while driving. The integrated apps include Googleâ„¢ Local Search and weather as well as the option of downloading a route previously configured on the PC using Googleâ„¢ Maps and sent to the vehicle. Apps for Googleâ„¢ Street View and Googleâ„¢ Panoramio also are available. With Street View, places all over the world can be viewed from a 360-degree perspective and at street level. Panoramio provides access to millions of photos taken at places around the globe by other users and made available by them. Street View and Panoramio enable users to gather comprehensive information about destinations and points of interest before the journey begins. With the News app, news from politics, business and technology can be obtained online in the vehicle. The news is displayed in a way that makes it particularly easy to read. Additional apps such as stock market news tickers or parking space finders can be activated by the Mercedes Online Shop.

3-D view and LINGUATRONIC for audio, telephone and navigation

The 3-D view with three-dimensional city models makes it easier to find one's bearings in unfamiliar city centres. The dynamic route guidance function HD-Traffic with real-time traffic information helps drivers steer clear of tailbacks in good time. Convenient for frequent travellers who often visit certain regions: driven routes can be recorded and retraced again later. Moreover, special personal destinations can be saved or imported via SD card, and four alternate routes can be displayed on the navigation map, one of them a particularly economical variation.

Mercedes-Benz customers in Europe receive the latest map updates for their COMAND Online system free of charge for three years: authorised Mercedes-Benz dealers will upload updates for navigation data in 39 European countries into the navigation system as part of a visit to the dealership. In Europe, as an optional extra COMAND Online also comprises Speed Limit Assist, which receives its information for traffic sign recognition via a camera and the navigation database.

Also on board if COMAND Online is specified is the LINGUATRONIC voice-operated control system for audio, telephone and navigation. The new "one shot" input function for the navigation system is particularly convenient, allowing the place and road to be spoken directly after one another. This function is currently available in seven languages and significantly enhances ease of operation. With COMAND Online and LINGUATRONIC, music can also be easily searched for using voice control. The system first asks in which category it should conduct the search (artist, title, year). The category is selected by saying it or by saying the row number of the relevant category which appears on the screen. This is then followed by further questions about title, artist or album. As additional option a 6-disc DVD changer is available.

Audio 20 USB and Audio 20 CD

There are two further audio systems to choose from in the shape of Audio 20 USB (standard) and Audio 20 CD (optional). Standard features of the entry-level Audio 20 USB radio include a twin tuner for interference-free reception and a universal interface for Bluetooth®, USB, AUX-in and SD cards. It allows mobile audio devices such as MP3 players or iPods® to be connected to the vehicle's telematics architecture.

There is a host of Bluetooth® functions as well: the mobile phone's directory can now be automatically transferred en bloc when connected, and wireless music reproduction is possible from Bluetooth®-capable devices. Text messages can also be shown, or emails read, on the central display; audio formats can be displayed, and even pictures viewed using Picture Viewer. The settings for the air conditioning system are also displayed on the telematics screen (when in use), as is the fuel consumption over the past 15 minutes.

The Audio 20 CD system also has an MP3-capable CD player. Thanks to the "Cover Art" function, the covers of the music albums currently being played are shown if their data are stored in the audio file. An upper line in the Audio 20 CD's menu navigation makes orientation easier and can be operated via the touchpad or the controller.

As an option, Audio 20 CD can be combined with the Burmester® surround sound system, Convenience Telephony in the centre console and digital radio (DAB). For the navigation system there is also an optional pre-installation package with GPS receiver, interlinked satellite navigation and aerials. The navigation software and the map data record are on an SD card which likewise is available as an optional extra. If no card is inserted, the GPS receiver can be used to support local Mercedes-Benz Apps services.

The optional navigation system can be operated by controller, touchpad or voice input. Navigation information always is displayed in full-screen format. Its advantages over aftermarket solutions include integrated operation via the central controls of the new V-Class, voice output via the vehicle's loudspeakers, display on the Audio 20 screen, and updates and enhancements via an internet portal.

Burmester® surround sound system for an exceptional listening experience

The optional Burmester® surround sound system offers music lovers an acoustic experience that is unparalleled in the MPV segment. Optimised for the vehicle, this sound system features 16 high-performance speakers including a bass reflex loudspeaker and a 10-channel DSP amplifier with a total output of 640 watts for first-class "Feelgood Sound".

The listening experience can be enhanced even further if desired. The surround function generates a virtual surround sound from a mono or stereo music signal to maximise the spatial effect. Genuine 5.1 multi-channel sources also can be reproduced. The Front/All/Rear function enables selectively optimising the sound for the two front seats, the rear seats, or for all seats. Thanks to highly advanced vehicle noise compensation (VNC) the sound quality is maintained despite driving noise, thus ensuring the best possible listening pleasure at all times - on the motorway or in city traffic. The systematic use of analogue crossovers in the medium and high frequency ranges ensures an extraordinarily expressive natural and spatial sound.

In combination with COMAND Online it is possible for the Burmester® surround sound system to support in-car communication: if need be, to improve communication a microphone in the overhead control panel transmits the conversations of the driver and front passenger to the rear loudspeakers so that the passengers sitting farther away also can hear them.

Mercedes-Benz Intelligent Drive: Assistance systems on board

The new V-Class features a comprehensive array of comfort and safety features, including numerous innovative driver assistance systems based on state-of-the-art radar, camera and ultrasound sensors, first introduced under the name "Mercedes-Benz Intelligent Drive" in the new E-Class and S-Class. They minimise the risk of hazards such as strong crosswind gusts, blind spots or insufficient following distance. The new MPV is even as easy to park as a compact car. The intelligently networked assistance systems enhance both comfort and safety.

The new MPV is equipped as standard with Crosswind Assist and ATTENTION ASSIST, which can warn of inattention and fatigue. As optional extras, nine further assistance systems are available - from Active Parking Assist, COLLISION PREVENTION ASSIST and Traffic Sign Assist with wrong-way warning function, to Adaptive Highbeam Assist and the all-LED Intelligent Light System. Most of these assistance systems are available for the first time in this segment.

Safely on course: Crosswind Assist

With a relatively large and long side area compared with passenger car models, the new Mercedes-Benz V-Class is more susceptible to the effects of strong gusts of wind. Especially when travelling on main roads or motorways - for example, when overtaking a truck or crossing a bridge - danger lurks when a gust of wind catches the vehicle from the side and results in sudden track displacement. To protect the up to eight occupants from such effects, the V-Class, as sole vehicle in the segment, features Crosswind Assist as standard. This is able to reduce the effects of wind and keep the MPV right on track.

If the system, by way of the sensors of the Electronic Stability Program ESP®, diagnoses a need for controlling action, the driver is assisted by applying the brakes to the front and rear wheels on the upwind side of the vehicle. This creates a yaw moment that reduces the effects of the crosswind on the MPV. Crosswind Assist is active at speeds of 80 km/h and higher on straight sections and in gentle bends. But the driver always remains in command: if he or she makes pronounced or rapid steering movements, Crosswind Assist automatically fades into the background. The system filters out weak crosswind signals, only coming into action when a certain threshold has been exceeded. Constant, persisting crosswind also is ignored because studies have shown that this situation has less of an effect on comfort and the feeling of safety and is intuitively compensated by the driver.

Warns of fatigue and inattention: ATTENTION ASSIST

Especially on long journeys or when driving at night without stopping for breaks, the risk of falling asleep momentarily (microsleep) increases. The standard-fit ATTENTION ASSIST can detect signs of fatigue or inattention in a V-Class driver in good time and signal the driver to take a break. To do this, the system continuously analyses the driver's behaviour based on more than 70 metrics. The chief metrics are time of day, duration of journey and speed, steering movements, vehicle longitudinal and lateral acceleration, yaw rate, and the actions of drivers when they operate the radio, direction indicators or the multifunction steering wheel. In the ATTENTION ASSIST menu on the multifunction display of the instrument cluster a five-stage bar graph visualises the driver's current attention level. It also indicates the time elapsed since the last break and whether the system is inactive, for example, on the basis of vehicle speeds above or below certain thresholds.

If the attention level is low, an audible signal sounds and a coffee cup symbol advises the driver to take a break. At the same time, COMAND Online offers to search for a service area. ATTENTION ASSIST is active at speeds between 60 and 200 km/h and can be adjusted for sensitivity or switched off using the "Assistance" menu of the instrument cluster. If the setting "Sensitive" is selected, the system warns the driver even earlier.

Parking made easy: Active Parking Assist

The V-Class makes parking an MPV an easy and stress-free affair. Active Parking Assist makes both searching for parking spaces and parking in parallel and end-on spaces easier. If desired it will also handle the steering and - in conjunction with the 7G-TRONIC PLUS automatic transmission - the braking work. What's more, the system also can help manoeuvre the vehicle out of parallel parking spaces with automatic steering and (if automatic transmission is specified) brake intervention, assuming the vehicle was parked there automatically previously. Active Parking Assist thus supports the driver in difficult situations and helps avoid typical minor damage. This system makes the V-Class unique in its segment.

Employing two ultrasonic sensors in the front bumper, Active Parking Assist searches for suitable parking spaces. Up to a vehicle speed of 30 km/h, with a "P" and a direction arrow in the multifunction display of the instrument cluster the system indicates that it has found a large enough space. If the driver engages reverse and confirms the parking offer, Active Parking Assist performs the steering manoeuvre all by itself up to a speed of 7 km/h, also performing braking when an automatic transmission is installed. The driver only operates the accelerator. After a maximum of seven moves the parking operation is complete. At all times the option exists to intervene in the process and correct the parking manoeuvre.

Everything in sight, everything under control: the 360-degree camera

The 360-degree camera is another USP for the V-Class in its segment. It can be set to switch on automatically when reverse gear is engaged. Four networked short-range cameras are used to provide a bird's-eye view of the vehicle on the central display, allowing a realistic all-round view when parking and manoeuvring. Consequently, even obstacles located below the window line of the V-Class and outside the driver's range of vision can be detected. This helps when approaching kerbs, for example.

One camera is mounted centrally at the front end in the radiator grille, plus there is one camera in each of the exterior mirrors and a further camera in the tailgate handle. The virtual viewpoint calculated based on the camera images covers an area of around 3 metres ahead of and behind the vehicle and 2.5 metres on either side of the vehicle. The display can show various views in addition to the bird's-eye view, including PARKTRONIC information, additional guide lines and steering lines to make manoeuvring easier, and the vehicle's range of movement when the driver turns the steering wheel. If a trailer coupling is fitted, there is also a special view available when reverse gear is engaged to make it easier to manoeuvre the ball head up to the drawbar.

The 360-degree camera can be activated by engaging reverse, by pushing a button, or via the menu of COMAND Online or Audio 20 CD. The views change automatically, for example when the driver switches between forward and reverse gear, and additionally can be individually selected. Images are displayed up to a speed of up to 30 km/h. Should Active Parking Assist not be in use, the electronic parking aid PARKTRONIC monitors the front and rear areas during manoeuvring and warns the driver if it detects the danger of a collision. It is active up to a speed of 18 km/h.

Alternatively, for the Mercedes-Benz V-Class the Parking package also is available in combination with a reversing camera which switches on automatically when reverse gear is engaged. It shows the driver the area behind the vehicle on the central display and superimposes the PARKTRONIC information on the vehicle contour. The reversing camera also provides a view that makes it easier to manoeuvre the ball head up to the drawbar if a trailer is used.

For an even better all-round view: Blind Spot Assist

Vehicles located in the blind spot easily can be overlooked when a driver changes lanes in town or overtakes on highways and motorways. With the radar-based Blind Spot Assist the new V-Class supports the driver in such situations by providing audible and visual warnings. The system uses two short-range sensors in the rear bumper. The warning zone (blind spot) starts near the B-pillar and extends around 3.50 metres to either side of the V-Class and 3 metres beyond the back of the vehicle. Detected vehicles which are in the process of overtaking or which change lanes from two lanes away to the adjacent lane are displayed when they enter the warning zone.

The warning is provided by a triangular indicator in the exterior mirrors which lights up red. If the driver nonetheless sets the direction indicator for a lane change, the red triangle flashes and an additional audible warning is triggered. The system is activated when the speed reaches 30 km/h.

Prevention of rear-end collisions: COLLISION PREVENTION ASSIST

The V-Class offers a further new feature in the MPV segment in the shape of a radar-based collision warning system with adaptive Brake Assist, which reduces the risk of rear-end collisions. COLLISION PREVENTION ASSIST uses a radar sensor positioned behind the front bumper. It is active in a speed range between 7 km/h and 200 km/h. At a speed of up to 70 km/h the sensor system also warns of a stationary obstacle in the direction of travel.

If there is a risk of a collision with moving or stopping vehicles, COLLISION PREVENTION ASSIST gives the driver a visual and audible warning. The assistance system supports the most precise possible brake application, calculating the braking power required to avert the collision in the best-case scenario. At the same time, the remaining distance is optimally used so that following drivers have a better chance of avoiding a rear-end collision themselves. Braking is initiated at the moment the driver of the V-Class clearly presses the brake pedal. The braking pressure is re-adjusted if the situation changes. If the driver clearly reduces the braking effort or accelerates, the braking pressure is reduced. If the gap to moving and stopping vehicles decreases, the braking pressure is increased further. When the PRE-SAFE® system is fitted, COLLISION PREVENTION ASSIST is one of the parameters governing the activation of the preventive safety systems, for example the reversible belt tensioners.

The safest by a distance: DISTRONIC PLUS adaptive cruise control

The DISTRONIC PLUS adaptive cruise control system in conjunction with COLLISION PREVENTION ASSIST marks the debut of a radar-based assistance system in the MPV segment which makes the driver's job easier and also helps to prevent rear-end collisions. The system, activated with the cruise control lever, controls the speed at the level preselected by the driver between 0 and 200 km/h when the lane is clear. If the radar sensor system detects a slower-moving vehicle ahead, or a vehicle that cuts into one's own lane, DISTRONIC PLUS reduces the speed and follows the vehicle in front, maintaining the pre-programmed desired distance. Adaptive cruise control accelerates the V-Class back up to the desired speed when the driver moves into a clear lane or when the vehicle in front increases its speed and the driver follows it while maintaining the desired distance.

The radar sensors enable the system to detect the threat of a rear-end collision. It warns the driver visually and audibly and computes the braking pressure which adaptive Brake Assist must develop to bring the Mercedes-Benz V-Class to a stop in good time. This brake boosting effect is available as soon as the driver steps on the brake pedal, and helps to avoid a rear-end accident or at least reduce the speed of impact.

DISTRONIC PLUS can decelerate the V-Class at up to 5 m/s² and, if necessary, bring it to a full stop. The system sets the car into motion again when the driver either actuates the cruise control lever or briefly presses the accelerator. As DISTRONIC PLUS is a convenience system that only brakes the vehicle with moderate deceleration and also only accelerates the vehicle to a limited extent, the driver receives a visual and audible warning and is prompted to intervene if greater deceleration is required. If the driver applies the brakes following this prompt, BAS Pro adaptive brake assist intervenes to assist the driver.

Helps to prevent unnoticed lane changes: Lane Keeping Assist

Distractions, inattention or fatigue can lead to unnoticed lane changes, for example on long holiday journeys. The camera-based Lane Keeping Assist can detect this and warn the driver of the new V-Class by causing the steering wheel to vibrate in pulses as a tactile warning for the driver. To this end, the system evaluates the images provided by a camera positioned behind the windscreen. Lane markings are detected based on differences in contrast. Based on these data and on registered driver activity, Lane Keeping Assist determines whether the vehicle is leaving its lane intentionally or unintentionally. If the driver presses the turn indicator, accelerates heavily or cuts a tight bend, for example, intervention may be suppressed from the outset. The system is active at speeds between 60 and 200 km/h and can be switched on and off with a button.

Wrong-way warning function to assist the driver: Traffic Sign Assist

Another system Mercedes-Benz uses to help prevent accidents is the Traffic Sign Assist in the new V-Class, available in conjunction with COMAND Online. The system detects speed-limit signs and no-overtaking signs and can warn the driver if it detects no-entry signs. To do this, the camera inside the windscreen monitors the road signs, including those on overhead gantries or at road works. The image data are compared with the navigation system information and can be displayed both in the instrument cluster and on the COMAND display map view. This relieves stress on the driver of the V-Class especially on long journeys with frequently changing speed limits, at road works or in unfamiliar cities, and effectively assists them to observe traffic regulations.

If the camera does not detect any speed-limit signs or if a speed limit no longer applies, the legally allowed maximum speed based on the navigation data is displayed. No-overtaking zones and the signs cancelling them are also registered and displayed. If a no-entry sign is detected, the system's wrong-way warning function gives the driver a visual and audible warning - an effective way of helping to reduce serious accidents caused by "wrong-way drivers".

More light, more sight: All-LED Intelligent Light System

The new V-Class is the only model in the segment offering all-LED headlamps, which combine the fascinating daylight-like colour effect of LED technology with great functionality and energy efficiency. The light system, with a total of 34 LEDs, combines the proven Intelligent Light System with the Adaptive Highbeam Assist, resulting in an entirely new level of support at night-time. At 10,000 hours, the average life of an LED is around five times longer than that of a xenon bulb. Since LED headlamps come closest to the colour of daylight, they accommodate the way the human eye sees. The driver thus benefits from appreciably greater brightness on the road at night. All headlamp functions of the Intelligent Light System feature energy-efficient LED technology. They adapt the light distribution to the given driving situation, thereby making an important contribution to safe driving.

Dynamic headlamp range control for country roads distributes the light of the low-beam headlamps so that the left-hand edge of the road also is well illuminated. The main function of the fog lamp is to distribute the light more broadly so as to better illuminate the periphery. The left-hand LED headlamp pivots outwards by eight degrees and simultaneously lowers its light cone. The new light function is automatically activated as soon as the rear fog lamp is switched on. At speeds above 100 km/h the enhanced fog light function is automatically switched off again. Activation of the new motorway mode takes place automatically. When driving straight ahead at speeds of 110 km/h and above, the setting of the headlamp on the inside of the lane additionally changes at 130 km/h at the latest, to illuminate the roadway over a distance of around 120 metres.

The active light function operates with both the low-beam and main-beam functions. Its electronic control unit uses current information about the steering angle, yaw rate and road speed. The LED modules follow the driver's steering wheel movements and can pivot sideways by as much as 15 degrees in a split second whenever the V-Class enters a bend. Mainly sharper bends are then illuminated much better.

If the main headlamps are on, the integrated cornering light is also switched on automatically when the driver actuates the direction indicators or turns the steering wheel. The maximum speed for activation is 40 km/h.

Infinitely adjustable headlamp range: Adaptive Highbeam Assist

Adaptive Highbeam Assist automatically adjusts the headlamp range to the distance of preceding or approaching vehicles. In every situation the driver thus automatically has the best possible available light. The course of the road, pedestrians or danger spots can be detected still better and earlier.

The technology is based on a camera, located on the inside of the windscreen, which monitors the traffic situation in front of the car, detects other vehicles and computes the distance to them. The range of the variable-control LED headlamps is then set based on these findings and adapted continuously depending on the distance to the vehicle in front or the oncoming traffic, ensuring that the light cone of the headlamps ends before the vehicles. The range of the low-beam headlamps thus can vary between 65 and 300 metres, without dazzling other drivers. Adaptive Highbeam Assist additionally takes into account the steering angle in order to dim the headlamps on tight bends. If the road ahead is clear, the system performs a gradual transition to high-beam mode.

Adaptive Highbeam Assist is ready to respond at speeds above 30 km/h, and operates autonomously once the driver has moved the rotary light switch to "Auto" position and selected "High Beam" using the multifunction stalk on the steering column.

The model range: Versatile and individual for the most widely ranging requirements

Fascinating versatility is the hallmark of the new Mercedes-Benz V-Class. With the two equipment lines V-Class and V-Class AVANTGARDE, an Exterior Sports package and an Interior Design package for each line, two wheelbases, three body lengths, three engines and many additional optional extras, the new MPV can be individualised to suit any taste and requirement. This makes it the perfect offer for different target groups who appreciate great spaciousness but do not want to sacrifice style and sportiness. The new V-Class is just as attractive for families as it is for people who need a spacious interior for their extensive leisure and sports activities. In addition, it is ideally suited for commercial use, for example as a luxurious VIP or hotel shuttle. At market launch the special model V-Class Edition 1, which will only be on sale in the market launch year of 2014, will join the line-up.

With its sporty character and stylish, comfortable appointments, the Mercedes-Benz V-Class creates an emotional highlight in its segment and clearly sets itself apart from the competition. Even the basic V-Class version features a comprehensive scope of equipment as standard. It includes Audio 20 USB with free-standing 7-inch central display, piano-lacquer-look trim, 3-spoke multifunction steering wheel with twelve buttons and sporty DIRECT SELECT lever (gearshift paddles for automatic transmission), a steering column adjustable for height and tilt, LED reading lamp up front, front luxury seats with thorax/pelvis sidebags, electric parking brake and active arrest for the rear sliding door.

The V-Class AVANTGARDE equipment line features additional highlights as standard, such as leather seats, leather steering wheel, ambient lighting, wood-look trim (also in the rear), all-LED headlamps with Intelligent Light System, separately opening rear windscreen with second loading level, an additional sliding door on the left, laminated glass windows for additional noise reduction, and AGILITY CONTROL suspension with selective damping system for even better agility and ride comfort.

Made-to-measure individualisation

Five non-metallic and seven metallic paint finishes are available as standard for both equipment lines. Colours range from arctic white, jupiter red or navy blue to brilliant silver metallic, cavansite blue metallic or obsidian black metallic. For further individualisation, for each equipment line Mercedes-Benz has put together an Interior Design package and an Exterior Sports package.

In addition, there are many optional extras available for still more individual comfort and driving pleasure. For instance, sliding doors and tailgate can be operated electrically if desired. Also, driver's and front passenger's seats are electrically adjustable and will be available as swivelling seats as well (50° outwards and 180° inwards). To configure the passenger compartment as required, a folding and sliding table and different seating variants with almost unlimited seating configurations are available to choose from - from individual seats (as standard) to two- and three-passenger bench seats and even a sleeper.

To enhance personal driving pleasure, the V-Class is the only vehicle in its segment to offer the AGILITY SELECT function. The driver is able to choose between four transmission modes at the push of a button: economical, comfortable, sporty and manual. Engine, accelerator and transmission response are then adapted accordingly.

Three engines and three body lengths

The V-Class and V-Class AVANTGARDE are powered by a 2.1-litre four-cylinder turbodiesel of the latest generation, featuring two-stage turbocharging. It is available in three power output levels: as V 200 CDI with 100 kW (136 hp), V 220 CDI with 120 kW (163 hp) and V 250 BlueTEC with 140 kW (190 hp). Owing to two-stage turbocharging and numerous other measures, (see "The drive system" section) the V 250 BlueTEC with a peak torque of 440 Newton metres has as much pulling power and agility as the predecessor's six-cylinder diesel - but much lower consumption.

Both equipment lines will be available in three body lengths: with a short wheelbase of 3200 millimetres and short rear overhang of 800 millimetres or long overhang of 1045 millimetres, as well as with a long wheelbase of 3430 millimetres and a long rear overhang of 1045 millimetres. The standard vehicle height is 1.88 metres, allowing the V-Class to be driven into normal-sized multi-storey car parks.

The new V-Class can be ordered starting in March 2014. The market launch will take place at the end of May in Germany and the European launch will be in June 2014. Despite a new design, new technologies and considerably increased equipment levels, the base prices compared with the previous model will be only moderately adjusted and will remain within an attractive range within the segment.

Exclusive model at launch: V-Class Edition 1

Like every new Mercedes-Benz passenger car model series, the Mercedes-Benz V-Class will also start out with a limited Edition 1. The features of the 140 kW (190 hp) special model with 7G-TRONIC PLUS automatic transmission include a sports suspension or, alternatively, AGILITY CONTROL suspension with selective damping system, 19-inch 5-twin-spoke light-alloy wheels, tinted windows in the rear, marron nappa leather seats, leather-look dashboard with topstitching, velour floor mats with "Mercedes-Benz" label, dark anthracite wood-look ebony trim, and a high-quality "Edition 1" badge on interior trim and wings. Ensuring utmost comfort are the active seat ventilation for driver and front passenger, THERMOTRONIC automatic climate control plus separate TEMPMATIC semi-automatic climate control in the rear, COMAND Online, the Burmester® surround sound system, electric sliding doors on the right and left, the electric EASY-PACK tailgate with separately opening rear windscreen and the Parking package with 360-degree camera. COLLISION PREVENTION ASSIST, Lane Keeping Assist and Blind Spot Assist plus the PRE-SAFE® system offer exemplary safety.

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