There’s no doubt that the new 2012 Mercedes-Benz CLS63 AMG is a sweet ride, but it wasn’t the sweetest Daimler vehicle to grace the automaker’s L.A. show display -- at least when it comes to actual sucrose content. That honor, it seems, belongs to the Sprinklesmobile -- a tricked-out Mercedes-Benz Sprinter designed to serve gourmet cupcakes.
No, this isn’t a clever stunt designed to pull sugar-addicted journalists into Benz’s show display (although, we must admit, that ended up happening quite frequently). This is an actual working commercial vehicle, owned by Sprinkles, an L.A.-area bakery that specializes in -- you guessed it -- cupcakes. The Sprinter’s stratospheric roofline certainly helps the van function as a food-serving machine, but a few novel touches, installed by West Coast Customs, help tailor the truck for its delicious job. The sliding side doors have been welded shut, allowing the shop to cut two opening panels in the passenger-side sheet metal. One slides down to reveal an adjustable counter top, while another allows Sprinkles employees to display racks of cupcakes to hungry customers. WCC also added a generator, a power slide-out awning (which cleverly retracts flush with the Sprinter’s body), along with fixed cupcake racks (capable of holding 1500 cupcakes) accessible through the Sprinter’s rear doors. Nice as it was to enjoy a sweet treat at the show (we wholeheartedly enjoyed the red velvet cakes), the presence of the Sprinklesmobile also serves as a celebration for a relatively successful year for the Sprinter van. Mercedes-Benz spokesman Dan Barille tells us sales aren't exactly on pace with the boom witnessed in 2006, but with 6500 deliveries thus far in 2010, they are on the rise from 2009, and the company is happy with the pace. Additionally, the Sprinter dealer network continues to grow. Although the model is no longer offered through Dodge franchises, 84 Mercedes-Benz dealers have committed to carrying the van (and that figure grows daily, Barille says), while 49 Freightliner dealers -- up three from last year -- also sell and service the van. That's still a fraction of the 300 some-odd Dodge dealers that previously handled Sprinter, but considering North American Mercedes-Benz franchises haven't traditionally handled commercial vehicles, it's commendable progress. Sadly, no Sprinter showroom will necessarily have a van at hand that can serve you a tasty treat. If you'd like to try to catch the Sprinklesmobile yourself in the Los Angeles area, keep tabs on its whereabouts by visiting http://twitter.com/sprinklesmobile. Stay tuned to Automobilemag.com for more of the 2010 Los Angeles Auto Show.