Mercedes-Benz announced a new compact delivery van, and revealed sketches of the future pint-sized commercial vehicle. Calling its new van the Citan, Mercedes says the name is a combination of the words “city” and “titan.” The vehicle will be developed with customer requirements in mind, according to Mercedes, and will debut at the IAA Commercial Vehicle Show in Hanover, Germany this September.
That's all well and good, but as far as these official sketches go, the product appears to be a heavily restyled Renault Kangoo. If so, this would make the Citan the first official fruit of the Daimler-Renault/Nissan alliance, which promised to yield new engines for Infiniti, a new Smart car platform, among other ventures.
The Citan will join Mercedes’ other commercial van offerings, which include the Vario, Sprinter, and Vito. Mercedes plans to broaden its range in the lower-weight van class with the Citan. Mercedes says that class was once a small niche in the commercial van market in the mid-‘90s, but has since grown to around 700,000 units annually today. With the Citan’s introduction, Mercedes hopes to significantly boost sales, and gain 4-5 percent market share of the emerging small van segment.
Engine options for the Citan will be made up of a wide range of diesel and gasoline powerplants with Mercedes’ BlueEfficiency package. An electric-drive version is also in the works, according to Mercedes. The vehicle will be offered as a panel van, passenger-hauling crew bus, and multi-purpose vehicle, and will be available in a variety of lengths and weights.