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New Viano thinks it’s an S-Class

2011-07-29 10:15

MOTHER OF PEARL: Beyond the GL-Class alloys and special paint, the Vision Pearl’s cabin is nearly S-Class in specification and trim – no images of the inside until the 2011 Frankfurt auto show, though…

There are few airport shuttles that combine the load-capacity and luxury of Mercedes-Benz’s Viano MPV.

Rear-wheel drive, with effortless range-topping turbodiesel power (Merc’s 3-litre V6 CDI, worth 165kW and 440Nm) and tremendous luggage stowage volume (in long wheelbase configuration, it takes 4000-litres, second/third-row seats down), Viano is the ultimate German luxury people mover.

Is it really luxurious enough though? Well, according to Volker Mornhingweg, boss of Mercedes-Benz vans, not quite.

VAN-MAN MAKES GOOD

If you recognise Mornhingweg’s name, it’s because he is the former boss of AMG and guided Merc’s performance tuning division to unprecedented success before taking up his position as the "van-man" in 2010.

The engineering entrepreneur in Mornhingweg’s has not been subdued by his move from Affalterbach to the van division, and Merc’s new Viano Vision Pearl concept is proof of this.

Due to go on display at the 2011 Frankfurt auto show (during mid-September), Vision Pearl is essential a Viano reconfigured to S-Class specification.

Obviously, the most striking visual upgrade is the Vision Pearl’s pebble-grey paint, though the most significant alterations concern the cabin.

Inside, you’ll find white and grey leather contrasted by a (we kid you not) wood floor (just like a yacht deck, then) and brushed aluminium trim.

Infotainment convergence gains on-board wi-fi internet accessibility, whilst a Bang & Olufsen sound system, from the S-Class, powers up by an additional 120w to crank out 1320w of your favourite acoustic entertainment.

If you operate a (very) high-end guesthouse and are seeking the ultimate airport shuttle vehicle to transport (and impress) even the most discerning of clientele, Merc’s new Viano Vision Pearl could be just the vehicle for you. An announcement concerning the Pearl’s production future is expected at its Frankfurt auto show public debut.

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