Mercedes-Benz cars are pretty plush, luxurious vehicles, although even the most optioned-out S Class really can't compete with the pure comfort and style of a private jet ... but this Mercedes van can. The JetVan Sprinter was specially outfitted by Ventura, California-based Becker Automotive Design for display at the New York Auto Show. It brings a level of luxury that not even the average limousine can offer.
The spacious interior, which was purpose-built to emulate the interior of a private aircraft, is appointed in Townsend leather with Golden Birdseye Maple trim. There are four reclining, first-class-style leather seats with all kinds of legroom. Those seats are outfitted with adjustable leg supports, lumbar supports, massage systems and heating.
The electronics package puts most home entertainment systems to shame. A center-mounted, 40-inch high-definition Runco LCD TV is assisted by a 1,300-watt 7.1 channel speaker system drawing its sound waves from multi-channel McIntosh amplifiers. If work is more your thing, the Becker Sprinter has a 500-GB on-board computer with wireless 4G connectivity. A set of fold-out writing tables allow you to use a notebook computer or actual notebook. All functions – seats, entertainment, computers, lighting, blinds etc. – are controlled by six-inch Creston touchscreens located on either side.
In terms of the van itself, the Sprinter is powered by a 3.0-liter BlueTEC diesel engine. The engine is made cleaner by way of a Diesel Exhaust Fluid Injection (DEF) system that cuts down nitrogen emissions.
"Many of our clients view the Sprinter as making an environmental statement," said CEO Howard Becker. "They understand the significance and the fuel efficiency of a clean diesel engine, and their drivers appreciate being able to idle for an extended time while they wait outside a studio."
We're not too convinced that a huge van loaded with heavy equipment, all kinds of power-sucking electronics and only four passengers is a real environmental statement, but who wouldn't want to take a road trip in the back of this thing.
Becker works closely with its clients to design vans with just the right layout, materials and equipment. Its client list includes notables like Jerry Seinfeld, Will Smith and Bruce Springsteen. The company often works to duplicate clients' actual private aircraft features. It offers several different floor plans, and options include a couch, refrigerator and hidden toilet.
Becker lists pricing for its JetVans between US$200,000 and $450,000, but it doesn't specify whether that includes the cost of the base vehicle or just the upgrades.