Mercedes-Benz Debuts Sprinter Changes for 2023 Lineup

Photo By: Mercedes-Benz

This week, Mercedes-Benz introduced a new all-wheel drive (AWD) system, a new transmission, and a transition to a fully 4-cylinder lineup for both their gas and diesel engines for the 2023 model year. The changes will be standard on all 2023 Sprinter models beginning next year.

Let’s take an in-depth look at the Sprinter changes that will benefit backcountry explorers and vanlifers for 2023.

Mercedes-Benz Sprinter AWD System

The 2023 Mercedes-Benz Sprinter on a dirt road.
A new Mercedes-Benz Sprinter AWD System for 2023. Photo by Mercedes-Benz

The new Sprinter AWD replaces Mercedes-Benz’ previous 4×4 system and promises to provide more power, endurance, and seamless transition for the end user, allowing them to take on most terrain with ease. The new AWD system features automatic torque on-demand with up to 50-percent split per axle. Mercedes-Benz’ previous AWD system only provided 35-percent of torque to the front and 65-percent to the rear axle when in 4×4 mode.

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The new all-wheel-drive system also maintains the capabilities of the old system in terms of ground clearance, and approach, departure, and breakover angles continuing the high-level capability Sprinter owners have come to expect with their vans.

Mercedes-Benz Sprinter 9G-TRONIC Transmission

Mercedes-Benz Sprinter driving through the forest on a dirt road.
Upgraded 9G-TRONIC transmission standard on all 2023 Mercedes-Benz Sprinters. Photo by Mercedes-Benz

Mercedes-Benz Vans will also transition to a new 9G-TRONIC transmission (9-speed), now equipped as standard for all variants. The 9G-TRONIC transmission provides customers with increased driving comfort, reduction in fuel consumption (a welcome feature with gas at $5.00 a gallon in most places now), decreased noise levels, lower emissions, higher overall gear ratio and quicker downshifts allowing for agile acceleration. Compared to the previous 7G-TRONIC transmission offering, the 9G-TRONIC offers an increased first gear ratio resulting in a quicker take-off, more gears, and a greater ratio spread leading to an overall improved performance.

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Mercedes-Benz OM654 Engine

Mud on the front grille of a Mercedes-Benz Sprinter
Expect some changes to the 2023 Mercedes-Benz Sprinter engine. Photo by Mercedes-Benz

The Mercedes-Benz Sprinter is transitioning to a fully 4-cylinder lineup for gasoline and diesel engines for model year 2023. The new OM654 engine achieves smoother acceleration, higher torque values, decreased emissions and lower noise and vibration levels. It will be available in two power output ratings: 125kW (168 hp) and 155kW (208 hp), providing a more capable engine compared to its predecessors. The combination of aluminum block and steel pistons, the stepped recess combustion process as well as the NANOSLIDE® cylinder coating for reduced in-engine friction, together with the dynamic multi- way exhaust gas recirculation and the near-engine exhaust gas after treatment, also facilitates lower consumption and low emissions. Due to its position, the exhaust gas after treatment works with little heat loss resulting in a more efficient operation.

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