A few weeks ago, we looked at one of the cooler uses of a Mercedes Sprinter chassis in the Hymer Van S. As it happens, Mercedes has some pretty cool ideas of its own. Billed as the "ultimate work machine," the Sprinter Extreme Concept boasts serious hauling capabilities and a bright neon paint job. Whereas something like the Brabus Business Lounge is the ultimate Sprinter for white collars, the Extreme might just be the ultimate Sprinter for blue collars.
The large cargo bed, chrome exhaust stacks and G-Class-inspired beadlock wheels make the Extreme virtually unrecognizable as a Sprinter. The oversized build coupled with the Mercedes badge on the grille might mislead you into thinking it's something from the Unimog family. At over 20 feet (6 m) bumper to bumper, it's actually a little longer than the Unimog 5023, but it's also shorter in height at 95 in (241 cm).
In designing the Extreme, Mercedes brought its 3500 Sprinter Cab Chassis to the tuners at Renntech for some help and insight. A suspension lift adds to the vehicle's imposing size, and the combination of custom roof rack with lighting, custom brush guard with fog lights, winch and off-road tires adds to its rugged look. Custom rear fenders provide the room necessary for the suspension and tires.
The headlining addition is the Scattolini ScattoMaax Tipper Bed out back. Made from high-strength steel and alloys, this large bed offers 5,200 lb (2,355 kg) of payload, which it can dump to the left, right or straight back. Add the 7,500 lb (3,400 kg) of towing the Sprinter's stock four-cylinder Bluetec diesel engine is capable of muscling forward, and this truck won't leave anything behind. The Sprinter's standard Load-Adaptive ESP works to keep the Extreme stable, even when fully loaded.
If the massive size isn't enough to draw Chicago Auto Show visitors to the Sprinter Extreme exhibit, the bright vinyl wrap should pull them in like insects to a light bulb. We wouldn't expect any serious work truck to feature a mud-splashed neon green wrap, but it works for a show truck.
Mercedes is known to be working on a new pickup truck, but that model is sure to be far less "extreme." It will share some underpinnings with the Nissan NP300 Navara and won't be a "fat cowboy truck," as Mercedes Vans chief Volker Mornhinweg made clear to CAR magazine last year. We'd say the Sprinter Extreme packs more fat than even the most serious cowboy needs.
Don't expect to see the Extreme added to the Sprinter lineup as an official package, but the Tipper Bed is offered through Mercedes' MasterUpfitter program. Innovative Vehicle Solutions (IVS) is the exclusive US supplier of the beds.