In 1995, at the presentation of the family Mercedes-Benz SPRINTER representatives of the company announced that it starts an active attack on the European market with their trucks. According to the plans, within three years have been fully updated types of vehicles designed to operate on European roads. So, after “polutoratonny” SPRINTER van appeared “odnotonnymi” VITO.
It owes its name to the Spanish city of Vitoria, where one of the companies of the famous company started its serial production. VITO has managed to win the honorary title of “Van of the year 1996”, and in the late spring of the same year at the test site in the Dmitrov held the introduction of Russian journalists.
The representative of the company Mercedes-Benz announced that VITO SPRINTER are designed to increase the share in the Western European market for light trucks from 13 to 20 percent. Hopes the leadership of the company Mercedes-Benz imposes on the marketing of VITO in Russia. The fact that in contrast to the prestigious automobile models that are in demand among wealthy Russians, a new car — simple and practical van for owners of small family shops, cafes, and also for small producers and workers in urban service sector. He carries a ton of cargo, and speed qualities not inferior to a passenger car. With unified van van, the car more versatile with legkodelimae seats. To all, VITO with a three-beam star on the grille (as well as his colleagues) is characterized by high quality workmanship, durability (up to 300 thousand kilometers of mileage) and reliability.
The relatively low selling price of the machine is the result of extensive work to reduce the cost of production. To a large extent this was influenced by the location of the production base in Spain and the plant equipment is the latest equipment. Suffice it to say that 700 million German marks turned shop, where Vitoria was going obsolete model “100D”, one of the modern enterprises. Two thousand people working on it, let out 80 thousand cars, among which 60 thousand are VITO. In fact, forty cars per year per worker — this is a very high level of production.
Mercedez-Benz VITO in option cargo van. The front transverse powertrain allowed to make VITO cargo compartment with a flat floor and as high as possible, given the restrictions on overall height of machine
Mercedes-Benz VITO in the van (top — layout of passengers in the cabin)
The driver’s workplace. The shift lever in the instrument panel
Graphs of power (P), fuel consumption (b) and the torque (M) depending on frequency of rotation of the crankshaft of the engine ОМ601 D23LA.
At a maximum level of 230 Nm schedule M in the Rev range — from 1600 to 2400 Rev/Inn that provides the car with high traction qualities
We present three modifications of VITO: two vans and a minibus on its base — all with different engines. It begs comparison with minivans. However, a more Spartan interior and a modest standard equipment given to understand that VITO is a utilitarian workhorse, designed to be an assistant to the owner at work and at play. However, the minivan with the body frame from VITO still appears, but later. It will be powered by other powertrain, different suspension, wheels and significantly different from the previous model for comfort.
White diesel van models “108D” apparently has a maximum optimal size: it free — very importantly — fits in a standard garage cars and passes through a conventional automatic unit, designed for cars on the website www.gs-trade.ru. Three-meter wheelbase and made into a tip body wheels lend the VITO sustainability. Two non-parallel ribs on the sidewall of the body give the impression of swiftness, which reinforce the sloping lines of the lower drip edges, and hood.
It should be noted that VITO is the first in the history of the company front-wheel-drive model with a transverse power unit. Cargo compartment of the car immediately attracted attention. Progressive layout made it possible to obtain a smooth and fairly low floor, loading height at VITO is 525 mm. the height of the cargo compartment is 1277 mm. Access to cargo space is performed through the back, climbing up the door or through sliding door width 950 mm located in the right side: its size allows you to load standard pallets (you can get a sliding door in the left side). Under the floor of the body — the gas tank and spare tire. The rear spring with a progressive characteristic much lower than usual, they don’t steal usable space from the cargo compartment: 4.9 m3 just have to attract the buyer that, in General, small in the look of the car.
The driver’s seat is unusually high, but helps out footrest, lockable door. But as comfortable in the driver’s seat! Stand the windshield did not interfere with the review. Instrument panel with classic round scale speedometer, gauges water temperature and availability of fuel are supplemented by sixteen control lamps. They have different colors and symbols that become visible when the ignition is on. For example, they inform the driver about critical wear of the brake pads and the drop in the level of fluid in the brake system. On the dashboard there is a clock, but the tach is not: it is an additional charge. By the way, in custom-made equipment also includes a mechanism for adjusting the position of the steering wheel.
Double-shaft 5-speed gearbox with mechanical cable switches are made extremely short in length
The engine of Mercedes-Benz VITO — turbocharged 4-cylinder diesel OM601 D23LA a displacement of 2300 cm3
Front suspension type “McPherson” with the lower pressed lever mounted on a subframe with rack and pinion steering gear and stabilizer bar
Rear suspension independent, semi-trailing arm, with the short springs. The stabilizer bar is missing. The figure shows that inside the disc rear disc brake and placed the drum the Parking
The gear lever is quite short, not sticking out from the floor and from the dashboard, just under the right arm, and has a metal seal in the form of a ball. So to shift gears very convenient, given the small passages shift and the sharpness of the actuation of the actuator. Cable shift linkage on a transversely mounted gearbox, of course, makes life easier for its creators, but it is hoped that in the Russian frosts it will work just as well as in the summer heat.
Where is the Parking brake lever? Between the seats is the void… the Parking brake here — from the pedal under the left foot. And returns the pedal to its original position after the lighter touch of a hand to the button on the instrument panel.
Front-wheel drive is sometimes the cause of the understeer of the car, but VITO fits easily in a turn with a radius of only 6.2 M. And the steering just is a delight: it is very effective and has good feedback.
At the Dmitrov landfill was carried out testing on the highway a van with a gasoline engine, which is used in passenger cars, “C200” and “E200”. For VITO it had to be deportirovat, but traction has remained on top. Perfect electronic control system of injection and ignition takes into account the intake manifold pressure, engine speed, temperature, intake air and coolant. Candles of every two cylinders in this engine receives energy from a common ignition coil.
VITO is the smallest utility vehicle Mercedes Benz He wears the title “Van of the year 1996”, which is not less honorable than the widely known “car of the year”. The machine is available as two versions: a cargo van-“odnotonnymi” and comfortable minibus And the other variants are equipped with petrol and diesel engines ranging from 79 to 129 HP.
Firm Mercedes-Benz has taken a number of measures to ensure the safety of passengers: minibus safety belts provided for all seats, and they are not fixed on the side walls, and on the frame the seats in two or three points. The solution to the original and provides greater safety in the event of a collision. Carrying the body of the car features a powerful base frame, designed for minimal deformation of the passenger compartment in an accident. Kick front, side, rear perceive special items at media-nanii which the impact energy is absorbed.
The engine, front suspension and steering mounted on a single subframe, forming part of the frame. Moving the power unit at impact are also programmed: in cases of emergency, he does not get to the salon. The suspension subframe is on rubber mounts, so-called “secondary suspension” — effective way of sound proofing.
And airbags? This affordable car, they are additional equipment, by the way, is quite extensive.
For the test on the “mountain roads” Dmitrovsky autorange, including up to “30 percent of the hill” and speed passage of the “streamers” was prepared by van with a turbodiesel displacement of 2.3 litres, developed specifically for the VITO to dramatically raise its dynamic qualities while maintaining high sanmicheli. The engine torque increased by 51 per cent, the maximum power of 24 percent compared with diesel without turbocharging. While the torque curve in the range from 1600 to 2400 rpm is a horizontal line than guaranteed high traction at low revs. A hill with a slope of 30 percent of the VITO without overclocking overcame first to the second, then in third gear. And his ability to “pull” the car out of tight corners on mountain roads is simply amazing.
Technical characteristics of the car Mercedes-Benz VITO
The best results among the three submitted for testing machines showed VITO-110D: it has good dynamics, high adaptability to changes of load, it is economical and easy to manage. I wonder what good handling characteristics have been achieved in the absence of stabilizer bar independent suspension rear wheels. Very effective disc brakes on all wheels, although it is safer to have a rear drum — very fast work of brake lining of disc brakes!
Familiarity with the latest development VITO would be incomplete without a list of additional custom hardware. The list is huge, it is difficult to be completely. Here, the airbag, and the system ABC, and the audio equipment and anti-theft devices, and air conditioning, and even… an ultrasound device that helps the driver when Parking car in tight urban streets. So from VITO if you wish, you can make even a luxurious office on wheels.