Introduced to the North American market at the Canadian International Autoshow in Toronto, the completely redesigned Dodge Sprinter full-size van features an all-new V6 diesel, as well as an optional V6 gasoline engine for the first time.
Overall dimensions have also been increased, maximum gross weight boosted and significant new active safety systems added as standard equipment. The new 2007 Sprinter goes on sale in North America later this year and will also continue to be offered as a Freightliner model.
Changes for the Sprinter start with the body, which now features a pronounced hood and more streamlined profile, moving away from the original Sprinter's boxier sheet metal. Two inches wider than the previous model, the 2007 light truck will be available in three lengths, 233, 273 and 289 in.; two wheelbases, 144 and 170 in.; and three roof heights, including new 84-in. high “Mega” option.
The roll-open side door, which can be spec'd on either side of the body, is now wide enough to handle a standard pallet; rear doors open a full 270 degrees. Maximum cargo capacity for the 2007 Sprinter goes up to 600 cu.ft. and GVWs are offered up to 11,030 lb. for both van and cab chassis versions.
The truck's new 3.0L V6 turbo diesel produces 154 hp. and peak torque of 280 lb.-ft. It's fitted with a diesel particulate filter to meet '07 emissions requirements, but retains the previous model's 10,000-mi. oil change intervals and 30,000-mi. PM schedule, according to Dodge officials.
Available only in the U.S., the gasoline engine option is a 3.5L V6 rated at 254 hp. and 2,560 lb.-ft. peak torque. Both engines are mated to a 5-sp. automatic transmission.
Along with the new design, the 2007 Sprinter is the first commercial light truck to feature DaimlerChrysler's new adaptive electronic stability program (ESP), which compensates automatically for changes in vehicle payload. The new ESP is integrated with a variety of safety-related electronic and suspension systems, including roll-over mitigation, skid control, ABS, electronic brake distribution and emergency brake assist, all standard.
Other new Sprinter features of note include 16-in. wheels, high-density halogen headlamps with cornering lights, park assist with both front and rear bumper sensors, power windows and mirrors, and automatic rain and light sensors to control the windshield wipers and headlights.