When it comes to getting outside and exploring the world, Adventuremobiles have been all the rage in recent years. And with #vanlife hype noise at full volume, the idea of having a capable, comfortable, and compact travel rig is as popular now as it’s ever been.
Last weekend, the innovative minds at Mercedes-Benz unveiled an all-new addition to their wildly popular van segment: The Marco Polo. (And the automaker touts the updated camper van as a “Smart home on wheels.”)
Mercedes announced the debut of the new Marco Polo at the Caravan, Motor and Tourism (CMT) exhibition in Stuttgart, Germany. And when the storied auto giant says that this thing is smart, we’d have to agree — especially as it backs up the claim with notable tech features.
Equipped with the highly innovative Mercedes-Benz Advanced Control (MBAC)—which comes standard on all models—the Marco Polo boasts many control features right from your smartphone.
“Connectivity is an important component of our product strategy which we have been intensively pursuing over the course of the past two years in the motorhome segment,” says head of marketing and sales at Mercedes-Benz Vans Klaus Maier in a press release. “In 2018, we celebrated the launch of our ground-breaking Mercedes-Benz Advanced Control interface module in concept vehicles. And only a year later, the first conversion specialists were able to implement MBAC in motorhome prototypes based on the Sprinter. 2020 will now see MBAC added as a standard component to our own Marco Polo camper vans.”
From either the 10.5-inch touchscreen display located in the cockpit, or your mobile device, drivers can control the warm-air auxiliary heater (including programming a timer and nighttime temperature reduction), retract or extend the electric-powered pop-up roof, open/close the sliding sunroof, manipulate the brightness level (and color temperature) of the interior lighting, control the sound system, and even adjust the ‘coolbox’ temperature.
If you’re in the market for an adventure rig, but you’re not quite sure that the massive size of the Sprinter is right for you, then Mercedes’ latest compact vans are certainly worth a look. No word yet on if they’ll be available in North America; Mercedes slates the release of the latest Marco Polo “in select markets in spring of 2020.”
Boasting many camper van comforts with a connected tech approach in a smaller package, the new Marco Polo just might be perfect compromise between the behemoth Sprinter and your mom’s old minivan.
For the full list of tech specs and features, click here.
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