12: a new generation
If you've noticed an error in this article please click here to report it so we can fix it.
• Mercedes-Benz's longawaited new-generation of light middleweight vans and chassis cabs is now available in the UK.
The bigger, more powerful T2 range finally replaces the 19-year-old Dusseldorf series, and for the first time includes a 7.5-tonne GVW integral van.
The T2 family — launched on the Continent in April — offers payloads of between 2.4 to 4.6 tonnes, and is made up of four panel vans and three chassis cabs, Bottom-of-therange is the 4.6 tonne GVW 507D van powered by the 53kW(71hp) 2.4-litre 0M616 indirect-injection diesel engine used in the current 3.5 tonne 3071) van.
Next comes the 5.6 tonne GVW 6090 van and chassis cab fitted with the naturally-aspirated 66kW(88hp) 3.97-litre 0M364 diesel engine. The four-cylinder, direct-injection 0M364 also powers the larger 6.6 tonne GVW 7091) vans and chassis cabs.
At 7.5 tonnes, the premium 8110 chassis cabs and vans get the turbocharged 0M364A — seen for the first time in the UK — which develops 85kW(114hp).
All 12 models are equipped with a five-speed manual gearbox, although a four-speed automatic is optional in vans and chassis cabs fitted with direct-injection engines.
From the outside, the T2 range looks like a scaled-up version of the smaller Ti series of vans and chassis cabs already sold in the UK between 2.6-3.5 tonnes GVW.
However, many of the steel pressings used in the cab, van front-end and chassis frame are derived from the LN2 truck range. The interior layout in the T2, particularly the dashboard, also borrows heavily from the LN2.
By making the T2 bonnet more pronounced, MB has reduced the engine intrusion within the semi-forward control cab. The width of the door apertures has also been increased to 952mm.
Like the Dusseldorf range, the T2 series has a conventional ladder-type, separate chassis, although by revising its suspension and using shallower frame rails, Mercedes has lowered the vehicle's loading height by as much as 150mm on T2 vans. Lowprofile tyres are also standard across the range.
Compared with their predecessors, '1'2 integral vans offer 9% more load capacity. Long wheelbase high roof models have an interior cube of up to 17.4m3, while interior dimensions of all vans have been increased. (For full details on the 12 van models see pp54 and 55). MB has also switched to a new sidewall construction technique on its large integral vans, with the outer skin bonded rather than welded, on to the frame members.
T2 chassis cabs are offered in two wheelbases — 3.7 and 4.25m — which allow bodywork up to 5.5m long to be fitted. The kerbweight of the 8110 model, intended for urban distribution, is still 601/kg lighter than the equivalent 100kW(134hp) 814 LN2 truck chassis, giving it a body payload allowance of over five tonnes_ The arrival of the 4'2 in the UK ends Iveco's claim to be the only manufacturer offering front disc brakes on a 7.5 tonner. Hydraulically-operated self-adjusting front disc brakes are standard on all T2 models, with ventilated discs with floating calipers used on all hut the 507D, which has fixed caliper units.
Self-adjusting drum brakes are retained on the rear axle, and an engine exhaust brake is fitted on the 8110.
Parabolic springs are fitted on the front axles with multileaf springs with helper units at the rear. Telescopic dampers are fitted all-round. Manual steering is standard on all models except for the 8110 7.5 tonners which have power steering.
For those operators not wanting to go above 3.5 tonnes GVW, Mercedes-Benz is offering special down-plated versions of the 5070 and 609D.
MB (UK) also expects the 5.6-tonne, 4.25m high-roof 6090 van to be particularly attractive to minibus convertors and a factory-built PSV tailored body shell will be available incorporating an enclosed rearend with a large fixed upper panel housing a full-width window above a hinged bootlid.
Prices for the T2 chassis cab range from 21,530 for a 3.7m 6091) to i',14,560 plus VAT for the 4.25m 811D.
The arrival of the turbocharged 81111) chassis cab gives Mercedes-Benz an extra (for the moment) rigid with which to attack the UK 7.5 tonne market.
However, it remains to be seen for how long the company will continue to bring the 66kW(88hp) 809 1,N2 chassis — powered by the same naturally-aspirated 0M364 engine as the 60911) and 7091) T2 models — into Britain. The bulk of LN2 sales are now made up by the 100kW(134hp) 814, and if the 809 is dropped, MB(UK) will cease to offer a 7.5-tonne chassis in the 13K below 75kW(100hp).