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Mercedes’ Sprinter Extreme is what every FedEx truck wants to grow up to be

Alongside more mundane versions of its full-size van, Mercedes-Benz used the 2016 Chicago Auto Show to unveil a concept vehicle that takes the new Sprinter to the extreme … literally.

The Mercedes-Benz Sprinter Extreme concept looks like it was designed by a six-year-old, but in the best possible way. It’s like a life-size toy truck. It’s also over 20 feet long, 95 inches high, and can haul up to 6,400 pounds of stuff, according to Mercedes. It built this outlandish vehicle to show off the capabilities of its Sprinter cab chassis, a heavy-duty version that can be outfitted with different beds and other bodywork in place of the standard van box.

To make the Sprinter as extreme as possible, Mercedes turned to customizer RENNtech. The aftermarket company added all of the obligatory macho off-road bits, including a roof rack with spotlights, a lift kit, and beadlock wheels on aggressive off-road tires. And custom rear fenders allow for extra clearance, while chrome exhaust stacks give the Sprinter Extreme an extra dose of badassery. As if all of that wasn’t enough, the completed truck features an eye-arresting vinyl wrap, complete with fake mud splashes.

On the functional side of things, the Sprinter Extreme also boasts a Scattolini ScattoMaax “Tipper Bed,” which can dump cargo from the back, or either side. This will be an actual option for the production Sprinter. Buyers can take a bare chassis to a Mercedes-certified “MasterUpfitter” and have the bed installed.

There are no apparent changes to the powertrain, so the Sprinter Extreme sticks with a comparatively humble 2.1-liter four-cylinder diesel engine and seven-speed automatic transmission, a combination offered in other Sprinter models. The Extreme concept also features the same load-adaptive stability control offered on production Sprinters. Those are the only sensible parts of this vehicle.

While the Sprinter Extreme itself isn’t destined for production, you could probably build something like it with enough money and the right combination of parts. Because why settle for ordinary, when you can be extreme?

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Stephen Edelstein
Stephen is a freelance automotive journalist covering all things cars. He likes anything with four wheels, from classic cars…
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