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U.S. Dealers Might Get Mercedes rwd Minivan : News

Mercedes-Benz may offer its next-generation European minivan and commercial van in the United States, company insiders say.

The new V-class minivan and Vito commercial vehicle will go on sale in spring in Europe and could arrive in the United States in 2015.

In the United States, the V class would compete with the Chrysler Town & Country, Honda Odyssey, Nissan Quest and Toyota Sienna. It would be the only rear-wheel-drive offering in the segment and would be slightly larger than its U.S. competitors.

The Vito, slotted below Mercedes' Sprinter commercial van, would compete with the Ford Transit and the Chevrolet City Express/Nissan NV 200 sibling models.

The V class and Vito are built on the same rwd platform, with all-wheel drive available. Both four- and six-cylinder engines will be offered.

The V class will be fitted with a more carlike and upscale interior than the Viano van it replaces. It includes wood decor, ambient lighting and many electronic features. A large panoramic roof will be offered as well.

This year, Volker Mornhinweg, global head of Mercedes-Benz Vans told Automotive News that the Sprinter was a "door opener" and said a U.S. launch of the new models was possible.

A Mercedes-Benz USA spokesman declined to comment.

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