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Citan to debut at Hannover show

Mercedes-Benz says the Citan small van will be launched at the 2012 IAA Commercial Vehicles show in Germany

By Gary Worrall | April 18, 2012

With the first official images of the Mercedes-Benz Citan small van released this week, the company says it will be officially launched at the 2012 Internationale Automobil-Ausstelhung (IAA) Commercial Vehicles show in Germany.

The Citan will complete the Mercedes-Benz van line-up, coming under the current Vito van and going head-to-head with the Volkswagen Caddy and Renault Kangoo small vans, a segment where Benz currently lacks a presence.

In line with its intended rivals, the Citan features a full bonnet for optimum occupant protection, as well as providing the ride and comfort levels of passenger cars.

Visually, the Citan has plenty of links to the passenger car range, with the nose section replicating the front view of the C-Class sedan models. But from the A-pillar back there is no doubting the commercial intent of the design, with a high curved roofline for maximum cargo area.

Although designed as a delivery vehicle, the go-kart style ‘wheel at each corner’ stance not only maximises internal space but should provide excellent on-road dynamics.

While exact vehicle specifications are to be confirmed closer to launch, Mercedes-Benz Australia-Pacific General Manager Diane Tarr says the Citan will be offered in Australia.

“We are about offering solutions to our commercial vehicle customers and the Citan fills a gap in our product range that our customers have been asking us to fill,” Tarr says.

What is known is the Citan will come with the full Mercedes-Benz safety offering, including adaptive electronic stability control, incorporating anti-lock brakes, vehicle dynamic control, acceleration skid control and the traction control system.

With the internal fit-out for Australia to be confirmed, Tarr says the Citan will have a joystick-style gearshift mounted on the dash, while the form-fitting seats will be covered in a breathable ‘skin friendly’ fabric.

Operators will have a choice between a petrol engine, likely to be turbocharged, and a turbo-diesel, complete with particulate filter, with both engines driving the front wheels through a six-speed gearbox.

Tarr says the engines will both offer close to 200Nm, promising good driveability with a likely gross weight of around 2000kg.

Both engines will have a package that adds ECO start/stop, shutting the engine down when the vehicle comes to a complete stop, low rolling resistance tyres and battery and alternator management for reduced parasitic power losses.

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