New 2018 Mercedes Sprinter van spied in flatbed form

5 Jul, 2017 11:36am James Brodie

Mk3 version of Merc's popular van looks set to arrive next year, and is currently undergoing assessment by engineers

The next generation Mercedes Sprinter has been spotted testing by our spy photographers, ahead of its anticipated release next year. It’ll be the third-generation model, replacing the now ageing Mk2 Sprinter, which was released way back in 2006.

After a lengthy partnership with Volkswagen that saw previous Mercedes Sprinter platforms shared with the VW LT and Crafter panel vans, the two marques have gone it alone for their latest models. The new Volkswagen Crafter is its own van and the same goes for this Sprinter.  

The spy shots show the Sprinter in flat-bed, dropside pick-up format. It’ll be one of several bodystyles available, alongside a traditional panel van, a side-windowed crew van, a complete minibus version, and a chassis cab version.

Best big panel vans on sale 2017

All versions will be available with a selection of wheelbase lengths, while tall roof vans will be available too, meaning that customers should be able to tailor their Sprinter perfectly for the task at hand.

If Mercedes directly carries the current line-up over for the new generation Sprinter, a jacked up four-wheel-drive version should also appear, while a crew cab fitted dropside van should appear alongside the single cab version spied here.

At the front, Mercedes is still carefully hiding the third-generation Sprinter’s new face, but it’s possible to imagine an evolutionary design creeping in, introducing sleeker, revised headlights alongside the van’s large trademark grille.

It’s still too early to speculate regarding powertrains, but Mercedes could carry over the same four and six-cylinder diesel powerplants with revisions to improve fuel economy and refinement. Changes in the cabin will be much more noticeable, with a fresh redesign, plus new infotainment and connectivity features.

Will the new Sprinter be one of 2018's best vans? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.