Automotive

Hymer previews the future of Mercedes Sprinter 4x4 adventure camper vans

Hymer previews the future of M...
Hymer has given its off-road show van a black-out look and rugged all-terrain tires
Hymer has given its off-road show van a black-out look and rugged all-terrain tires
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Hymer shows a Hymercar Grand Canyon S off-road show vehicle to highlight the new Sprinter's upcoming AWD option
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Hymer shows a Hymercar Grand Canyon S off-road show vehicle to highlight the new Sprinter's upcoming AWD option
We found out at the Caravan Salon that the new Sprinter looks very much like the old Sprinter, but the best trick we found for telling the vans apart was to look at the front-end. The new Sprinter has horizontal headlamps, as opposed to the tall headlamps on the old Sprinter. The new Sprinter's grille is also a bit smoother and less pointed
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We found out at the Caravan Salon that the new Sprinter looks very much like the old Sprinter, but the best trick we found for telling the vans apart was to look at the front-end. The new Sprinter has horizontal headlamps, as opposed to the tall headlamps on the old Sprinter. The new Sprinter's grille is also a bit smoother and less pointed
A peek in the drive cab of Hymer's off-road show van. The Grand Canyon S relies on swivel front seats for its dinette
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A peek in the drive cab of Hymer's off-road show van. The Grand Canyon S relies on swivel front seats for its dinette
The Grand Canyon S (and GC-S off-road show van here) has a kitchen block just inside the sliding entry
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The Grand Canyon S (and GC-S off-road show van here) has a kitchen block just inside the sliding entry
"Offroad-show vehicle"
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"Offroad-show vehicle"
A quick look inside the doors shows the folding dining table and two-seat bench
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A quick look inside the doors shows the folding dining table and two-seat bench
Dining table folded out
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Dining table folded out
The new Sprinter offers the MBUX infotainment system with 10.3-in touchscreen and voice control. It also has plenty of cupholder space for those long drives
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The new Sprinter offers the MBUX infotainment system with 10.3-in touchscreen and voice control. It also has plenty of cupholder space for those long drives
Kitchen block with drawers, drop-top sink/stove and mid-height refrigerator just next to it
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Kitchen block with drawers, drop-top sink/stove and mid-height refrigerator just next to it
A look under the kitchen's lid
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A look under the kitchen's lid
The Grand Canyon S has a transverse rear bed that folds up to clear the middle aisle
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The Grand Canyon S has a transverse rear bed that folds up to clear the middle aisle
The compact wet bath saves space with a flip-away sink
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The compact wet bath saves space with a flip-away sink
The fold-out sink and bench toilet
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The fold-out sink and bench toilet
Looking in the back of the Grand Canyon S at the Caravan Salon
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Looking in the back of the Grand Canyon S at the Caravan Salon
This Hymercar Grand Canyon S was a bit cheaper but still well above base price at just over €80,000
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This Hymercar Grand Canyon S was a bit cheaper but still well above base price at just over €80,000
Try as we might, we never get such pretty interior photos
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Try as we might, we never get such pretty interior photos
Hymer offers two choices of wood finish for the Grand Canyon S
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Hymer offers two choices of wood finish for the Grand Canyon S
A better look at the Grand Canyon S off-road show vehicle's bathroom
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A better look at the Grand Canyon S off-road show vehicle's bathroom
A better look at the Grand Canyon S off-road show vehicle's bathroom
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A better look at the Grand Canyon S off-road show vehicle's bathroom
The foldaway bed is a great solution for surfers, skiers, bikers and others who want to load big, long gear into the van
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The foldaway bed is a great solution for surfers, skiers, bikers and others who want to load big, long gear into the van
The Hymercar Grand Canyon S 4x4 model will launch next summer
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The Hymercar Grand Canyon S 4x4 model will launch next summer
Hymer has given its off-road show van a black-out look and rugged all-terrain tires
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Hymer has given its off-road show van a black-out look and rugged all-terrain tires
The Hymercar Grand Canyon S is one of the first looks at the next generation of Sprinter off-road camper vans
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The Hymercar Grand Canyon S is one of the first looks at the next generation of Sprinter off-road camper vans
It doesn't look as crazily upgraded as many off-road vans, but this Grand Canyon S show van wore a price tag over €90,000 euros - way up and over the €57,000 GC-S base price
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It doesn't look as crazily upgraded as many off-road vans, but this Grand Canyon S show van wore a price tag over €90,000 euros - way up and over the €57,000 GC-S base price
Yep, an off-road show car
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Yep, an off-road show car
A look inside the non-4x4 Grand Canyon S Hymer revealed earlier this year
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A look inside the non-4x4 Grand Canyon S Hymer revealed earlier this year
Hymercar Grand Canyon S rear bed
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Hymercar Grand Canyon S rear bed
Hymercar Grand Canyon S kitchen drawers
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Hymercar Grand Canyon S kitchen drawers
This Grand Canyon S includes the pop-up roof with built-in bed, a ladder to access it
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This Grand Canyon S includes the pop-up roof with built-in bed, a ladder to access it
The available pop-up roof bed makes the Grand Canyon S a four-sleeper
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The available pop-up roof bed makes the Grand Canyon S a four-sleeper
Hymercar Grand Canyon S floor plan
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Hymercar Grand Canyon S floor plan

German motorhome giant Hymer enjoys a particularly close working relationship with Mercedes-Benz, a relationship that was quite apparent at this year's Düsseldorf Caravan Salon. At Hymer's booth, the all-new Mercedes Sprinter 4x4 got out of the gates a little early, finding use as an off-road camper van concept. Hymer gave us a feel for what the new generation of off-road adventure Sprinter will look like while also showing one of the first production camper vans built on the third-generation Sprinter.

Mercedes debuted the all-new Sprinter van back in February. After inking a deal for thousands of vans several weeks later, it announced Hymer as a top new Sprinter customer. In fact, Hymer worked together with Mercedes on the development of the new Sprinter, particularly the newly added tractor head variant that sweeps the powertrain and other large components in front of the B-pillar, giving motorhome manufacturers more freedom on the back of the chassis for developing camper bodies.

Not long after signing that deal, Hymer took delivery of some of the first new Sprinter vans to roll off Mercedes lines. It presented its new Sprinter-based Hymercar Grand Canyon S camper van at a company product presentation in May.

Hymer could have just used the Düsseldorf Caravan Salon to show the all-new Grand Canyon S and larger Sprinter-based motorhomes in a much more public setting, but it went a step further, previewing the upcoming Grand Canyon S 4x4 with what it called an off-road show vehicle. It wasn't a pie-in-the-sky concept car or overdressed SEMA van, and actually looked quite straightforward and production-ready – it even wore a price sheet. The show van simply featured the Sprinter driver-activated AWD system that will be offered optionally in the future, along with the added bite of all-terrain tires.

Hymer shows a Hymercar Grand Canyon S off-road show vehicle to highlight the new Sprinter's upcoming AWD option
Hymer shows a Hymercar Grand Canyon S off-road show vehicle to highlight the new Sprinter's upcoming AWD option

Honestly, we like that Hymer didn't go too crazy, but it wouldn't have hurt to throw on a bull bar or kayak-loaded roof rack. But we guess it wanted to show something representative of the Grand Canyon S 4x4 models that will be rolling out to dealerships beginning in Summer 2019.

The AWD option won't affect the Grand Canyon S' interior layout or trim, which will look the same as the rear-wheel drives that are on sale now. The 19.4-foot (5.9-m)-long Grand Canyon S offers a single floor plan with a 77 x 53-in (195 x 135-cm) transverse rear bed made possible by the side expander panels you can see jutting out slightly at window level in the photos.

The Hymercar Grand Canyon S is one of the first looks at the next generation of Sprinter off-road camper vans
The Hymercar Grand Canyon S is one of the first looks at the next generation of Sprinter off-road camper vans

Moving forward from that bed, you'll find a central wet bath compartment with folding sink, shower and bench toilet; a kitchen area with dual-burner stove, sink and mid-height 90-L compressor refrigerator; and a dining area with expandable table between a dual-seat bench and swivel driver cab seats. An optional pop-up roof offers sleeping space for two more people, bringing total sleeping capacity up to four.

Hymer offers two choices of wood finish for the Grand Canyon S
Hymer offers two choices of wood finish for the Grand Canyon S

The Grand Canyon S may not be available as an all-wheel adventure van just yet, but it does have some features that are sure to be appreciated by both RWD and AWD owners. The elevated rear bed includes a fold-away mid-section that opens up a central aisle for storing bikes, boards and other oversized gear. The extended space is directly accessible via the rear double doors for easy loading/unloading, taking the hassle out of escaping off the beaten path with your favorite tools of the trade all packed up and ready for action.

The foldaway bed is a great solution for surfers, skiers, bikers and others who want to load big, long gear into the van
The foldaway bed is a great solution for surfers, skiers, bikers and others who want to load big, long gear into the van

Another handy feature for the adventure set is the bathroom shower that extends out the window and mounts to the side of the van, working as an outdoor shower - perfect for weary, trail-spattered weekend warriors, throughly used, dirtied gear, and muddied, exhausted canines.

The new Sprinter doesn't look dramatically different from the old Sprinter (in Düsseldorf we learned to look for the horizontal headlights to differentiate the new model), but it does bring with it an impressive suite of standard and available driver-assistance and interior technologies. The driver and front passenger will notice the upgrade immediately upon stepping into the cab, where the optional MBUX infotainment system with voice control brightens things up with its 10.3-in HD touchscreen.

The new Sprinter offers the MBUX infotainment system with 10.3-in touchscreen and voice control. It also has plenty of cupholder space for those long drives
The new Sprinter offers the MBUX infotainment system with 10.3-in touchscreen and voice control. It also has plenty of cupholder space for those long drives

On the road, car-derived driver-assistance technologies move new-Sprinter motorhomes ever closer to the dream of the camper van that drives itself while you relax and enjoy the views. Distronic radar-based distance control, active brake assist, and parking package with 360-degree camera are among the systems that can help the driver maneuver the commercial-size vehicle. Crosswind assist is another technology that's sure to be appreciated at the wheel of the broadsided van.

Other Grand Canyon S onboard bits and pieces of note include a 100-L fresh water tank, 85-L waste water tank, 95-Ah battery, dimmable LED lighting, and air heating/hot water system. A 135-Ah lithium Smart Battery upgrade is available optionally.

The rear-wheel drive Grand Canyon S launched this month and starts at €56,990 (approx. US$66,350) in Germany with 113-hp CDI engine and six-speed manual transmission. The all-wheel drive option will cost €11,390, or €11,990 ($13,260 or $14,000) with gear reduction.

The off-road show van from the Caravan Salon was fully equipped with a variety of upgrades above and beyond the AWD and wore a sticker of €92,074 ($107,200). Some of its notable add-ons included the 161-hp engine, 7G-Tronic transmission and MBUX infotainment system.

Source: Hymer

3 comments
guzmanchinky
Believe it or not, we are buying our 16 year old daughter a new Sprinter 4x4 camper. She is an avid camper, she will take this thing to college, she wants to live the #vanlife and it's a large, safe vehicle. Should last her at least 10-15 years. Now I just need to decide who to buy it from. Outside Van or maybe Sportsmobile...
ljaques
Who on Earth puts white leather seats in a CAMPING vehicle? C'mon, Hymer. That's ridiculous. It's too bad those (and the bloody expedition vehicles) are so expensive. Guz, buy it from a dealer very close to your daughter's school. It will likely need several warranty visits and those are no fun if the dealer is a thousand miles away. At 16, she must be AP. Congrats, and luck to her.
ChairmanLMAO
I don't have or like the crosswind control - it's braking on one side - sure to wreak havok on ice (don't know if true or not just my feelings).