First details on next-generation Mercedes-Benz Sprinter revealed

The Mercedes-Benz Sprinter has been a long-time favorite for commercial fleets around the world, and the United States has been the number two market behind Germany for parent automaker, Daimler. Ahead of its launch next year, Mercedes-Benz today took to the North American Commercial Vehicle Show in Atlanta to provide the first details on the next-generation Sprinter van.

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Notably, the brand released a design sketch to serve as a teaser to the production van's design. For the most part, the design seems to follow the Vision Van concept's design motif, and the headlights and grille match spy shots of the next-generation Sprinter as well. Mercedes-Benz says the Sprinter's new design will embody emotion and intelligence. Overall, it's a more streamlined and fluid appearance than the current van's frumpier looks.

The other big news surrounding the Sprinter is Mercedes-Benz's new Charleston, South Carolina, assembly plant. Sprinters sold in the United States will be built at the all-new facility. Currently, due the the chicken tax, Daimler assembles the vans in Germany, then disassembles them for shipment to the U.S. where they are reassembled at a soon-to-be-defunct South Carolina facility. The van will remain in production in Germany for other markets as well.

Mercedes-Benz says to expect a major leap forward in technology, too. A suite of driver assistance systems will be available with the new Sprinter and facets from the brand's "adVANce initiative" will help implement new telematic systems to enhance fleet management capabilities.

The major details, such as powertrains and body styles, haven't been discussed yet, but Mercedes-Benz says the range of variants will be considerable extended. More information will arrive in the coming months. The next-generation Sprinter will launch in the first half of 2018 in Europe, and other markets will follow shortly thereafter.

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