VW LT3 Crafters a Sprinter platform

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Remember when the sign of privilege for VIPs was being picked up in a Limo of some sort, a stretched Mercedes Benz, or even a Maybach? Well, the trend is changing. Today's spirit of the age shows that we all care more about the environment and our impact on the world. Smaller, more fuel efficient cars are in style, especially when on public outings and a personal image is at stake. One great example is the recent royal wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton. The event organizers knew that over 2 billion people would be watching this wedding of the millennia, and they had chosen Mercedes Sprinter Vans to bring in their most prestigious wedding guests (how do you get on the guest list anyway?)

At the last minute, the event organizers decided to rent Volkswagen VW Crafters (LT3) instead of using Mercedes Benz Passenger Vans. And although it is unknown to most of us, the Volkswagen LT3 is actually based on the high-end Mercedes Sprinter. It shares its passenger and cargo van platform and body shells with its Sprinter counterparts the vans we rent to you. Volkswagen LT3 Crafters (re-bodied Mercedes Benz Sprinters, but with Volkswagen power-trains) are used to chauffeur the "minor royals" traveling in a convoy of minibuses from Buckingham Palace

We in the US will not see any VW Crafters for a while (if ever), but just across the border in Mexico you can find lots of VW Crafter models working as cargo vans for business delivery and converted vans used for ambulances. There are also many of these passenger vans at rental car companies and other hotel or airport shuttle locations. So, basically these two vans, the VW Crafter and the Mercedes-Benz Sprinter share the same under-body, frame, most of the whole chassis and also one market. Both Mercedes and VW know it is a great product that can co-exist, and that by sharing product developments with each other they can lower the cost of developing such a sophisticated van. Both vans are built in the same German factories.

While Mercedes shows their traditional star grille, the VW Crafter's front grille styling is of a VW, including different headlights. The other difference between them is that the vans do not share the same transmission. Mercedes Benz does have a automatic transmission for their Sprinter Vans in the US, while only manual transmissions are available for the VW Crafter. So, next time you are planning an important event like a wedding and need to rent a passenger van, go with the model that the royals based theirs on a Mercedes Sprinter. It has the style and low impact on the environment to honor any wedding - royal or not.


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