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Mercedes-Benz Dealer Rossetts makes it an all-wheel drive full house

Surrey and Sussex Dealer Rossetts Commercials has underlined its reputation as a leading supplier of off-road commercial vehicles by commissioning Britain’s first Mercedes-Benz Vito 4×4.

Rossetts has added the mid-sized Dualiner model, with second row of seats, to a demonstration fleet that also includes a Sprinter 4×4 and the remarkable Sprinter 6×6 developed by Oberaigner – the Dealer is the sole UK agent for the German all-wheel drive specialist.

The factory-built Vito 4×4 is only available in left-hand configuration and not offered within the existing Vito model range sold by Mercedes-Benz retailers in Britain. Its permanent all-wheel drive set-up employs a development of the Mercedes-Benz 4-ETS (Electronic Traction System), which is integrated with the Adaptive ESP® anti-skid technology to provide traction management.

The significantly modified version now being offered by Rossetts Commercials is based on this left-hand drive model, but also incorporates Oberaigner’s enhancements to the four-wheel drive system. Most notable among these is the addition of mechanically operated differential locks for improved off-road capability.

The Vito 4×4 sits higher than its standard counterpart, as does the Sprinter 4×4.The Sprinter, however, has no differential locks and relies solely on the combination of 4-ETS and Adaptive ESP® to prevent spinning wheels and guarantee equal speed on all four wheels. The Sprinter uses rear-wheel drive only for road use, so the driver selects double-drive when leaving the tarmac.

Both 4×4 van models are aimed at building and utilities contractors, and municipal operators, whose vehicles often have to work on rough sites and in challenging conditions. Oberaigner’s Sprinter 6×6, meanwhile, fills a gap in the 7.0-tonne van segment by combining a highly competitive payload capacity of up to 4.0 tonnes with the exceptional ‘go anywhere’ capability that makes it ideally suited to forestry and utilities work, as well as firefighting and rescue operations.

Rossetts Group Van Sales Manager Mike Sanders says: “While they may not have to brave heavily rutted terrain, many operators need 4×4 vehicles that can cope with snow and ice, or negotiate muddy fields, in order to transport tools, equipment and workers to difficult-to-access locations.”

The Vito 4×4 is also available as a panel van, and with a choice of 136 hp or 163 hp outputs from its 2.1-litre engine, which drives through an automatic transmission. The Sprinter 4×4 comes with gross weights of 3.5 or 5.0 tonnes, and as a chassis cab or chassis crewcab, as well as with a panel van body. It can be specified with 129 hp or 163 hp versions of the 2.1-litre engine, or as a 190 hp 3.0-litre V6.

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