The Mercedes Benz Viano | Part Two

Versatility and spaciousness in one

An extremely wide range of possible uses influenced the development process as early as the basic concept stage. The noticeably higher number of available variants sets the Viano apart in itS-Class, a status reinforced by its striking design, well thought-through interior, wide range of engines and dynamic yet safe and smooth driving characteristics, which set new standards in this vehicle category.

The Viano will be available in two wheelbases (3200 mm and 3430 mm) in conjunction with two rear overhang variations, creating vehicle lengths of 4748 mm, 4993 mm and 5223 mm. The wheelbase of the basic Viano is 200 mm longer than that of the outgoing V-Class and the overall length is 88 mm greater.

The bonnet of the Viano, which is likewise longer than that of its predecessor, can point to a considerably greater energy absorption potential, which the driver and front passenger will appreciate in the event of a frontal impact. In the interior, the extra vehicle length has been put to good use in allowing substantially greater space between the seats and larger luggage capacity. As a result, comfort and practicality have grown in equal measure.

Both TREND and AMBIENTE lines are fitted with six individual seats, which can be increased to eight with the use of three-person bench seats (optional).

Sporty, practical and ready to do business: the Viano is available with three equipment packages – BIKE, LIFE and BUSINESS – which put the focus on three different areas. The BIKE package includes a rear bicycle carrier and a bicycle tool set; LIFE gives the Viano the extra benefits of a second sliding door, folding table and a 12-volt refrigerator box, among other things, and the BUSINESS package features the control and display system COMAND APS, mobile phone pre-wiring and an office bag offering secure storage for a laptop computer and accessories.

A choice of three engines and two transmissions

The Viano driver can choose from a powerful CDI diesel and two V6 petrol engines, all of which are longitudinally mounted in the front of the vehicle. The diesel unit has a 2.2-litre displacement, and develops 150 hp. The petrol-driven powerplants, meanwhile, have a 3.2-litre displacement and deliver 190 hp or 218 hp.

The use of a turbocharger with variable nozzle turbines and an increase in the injection pressure to 1600 bar has pushed the output and torque of the diesel engine far beyond the figures recorded by its predecessor with the same displacement. The market launch of the Viano will make diesel engines available for the first time in this vehicle segment which already meet the stricter EU4 exhaust emissions standards yet to come into force.

The petrol power units, which have already proved their credentials in various Mercedes Benz passenger car model series, demonstrate outstanding agility combined with impressively smooth running characteristics. They already meet the latest exhaust emissions control standards (EU4/I), thanks to dual ignition, exhaust gas recirculation and two catalytic converters.

continues... | Part Three
Published 27 June 2003 Melanie Carter

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