Mercedes-Benz had a tough road to the 2017 Chicago Auto Show. How to outdo last year's mean, green Sprinter Extreme? We're not sure it's done it, but it's definitely made quite an effort with a Metris van all dressed up like a toolbox on wheels, complete with carry handle. This Metris is ready to roll up its sleeves and get serious work done, everywhere work needs gettin' done.
Once again, Mercedes worked with Renntech in designing a flamboyant Chicago show van. This time around, it went a little bit smaller but every bit as bold to showcase the Mercedes-Benz Vans MasterSolutions program it launched last summer. MasterSolutions is a turn-key professional upfitting service that can outfit any Mercedes or Freightliner van for virtually any type of work environment, adding shelves, organizational equipment, refrigeration, shuttle seating and more.
Mercedes didn't hold back the upfitting with the Metris MasterSolutions Toolbox show van. Beyond its eye-grabbing wrapped exterior, complete with toolbox-style latches and carry handle, the concept van features an interior with removable grip-tile floor and shelves, cabinets and removable cases from Mercedes MasterSolutions partner companies. The swing-up side hatch provides access to the indoor/outdoor worktop and side storage. A clear plastic partition wall divides the workshop from the driver's cab while letting occupants keep an eye on things in back.
In addition to the classic trades, we could see a MasterSolutions Toolbox-style van being useful for some more modern businesses. For instance, a mobile bicycle or consumer electronics repair service could roll itself to the demand without the overhead of a permanent shop.
The Metris Toolbox is based on the Metris Worker Cargo van and driven by a 208-hp 2.0-liter turbo four with 258 lb.ft (350 Nm). It offers 2,500 lb (1,134-kg) of payload and double that in towing capacity. The base van offers an EPA-estimated 21 mpg city, 24 mpg highway. It starts at $25,995, and just so there's no possible confusion, that price is for the basic van, no interior storage systems or workspace, blue-and-silver wheels, toolbox hinges or carry handle.
The Chicago Auto Show opened to the press on Thursday and will be open to the public from Saturday, February 11 through Monday, February 20.