Mercedes‑Benz is adding a new entry-level model to its Marco Polo family, setting the course for further growth in the motorhome market. In addition to the popular Marco Polo camper van based on the V‑Class midsize van, the portfolio will in future include a flexible, easily installable and removable camping module, available ex factory for the new small vans with the three-pointed star, including the new T‑Class. The so-called Marco Polo Module, with a bed unit as standard and an optional kitchen unit for the rear, will be offered at Mercedes‑Benz own-retail outlets and dealerships from the end of the year. The new T‑Class with Marco Polo Module can be seen for the first time at the Mercedes booth in hall 16 at the Caravan Salon in Düsseldorf from 27 August to 4 September 2022. A fully integrated micro camper based on the Mercedes‑Benz small van will follow as early as the second half of 2023. The brand with the three-pointed star is thus gradually moving deeper into the micro-camper segment.
“The motorhome market is of strategic importance to us. We are continually expanding our presence in this area. The new T‑Class with Marco Polo Module is our answer to the growing demand for micro campers, which are becoming increasingly popular, in particular among the young, fast-growing van life fan community. This is partly because they can be used flexibly as everyday vehicles or for camping, thanks to their often modular conversion concept. And secondly, their small external dimensions and weight of less than three tonnes make them easy to handle, meaning that they can be driven with a Class B driving licence,” says Klaus Rehkugler, Head of Sales and Marketing at Mercedes‑Benz‑Vans.
The Marco Polo Module at a glance
With the Marco Polo Module, the new T‑Class can be transformed into a micro camper:
- The standard bed unit offers space for two people, with a two-metre by 1.15‑metre sleeping area. A point-elastic disc spring system and a ten-centimetre extra-thick mattress ensure an ergonomic lying position, right up to the edges. For use, the bed frame can be conveniently pulled out frontwards and the mattress folded out. While driving, the frame with the folded mattress stays in the boot. The rear seats can then be used without restriction. The standard equipment, promising a high level of sleeping comfort, also includes blackout elements for all window panes and a ventilation grille with integral insect screen that is clamped between the glass pane and the frame. Also as standard are two window pockets for smaller items on each side, attached between the C-pillar and D-pillar.
- The optional kitchen unit is based on a drawer system featuring a push-to-open and soft-close mechanism. It includes a sink with an easily accessible 12‑litre water tank, a 15‑litre refrigerator box and a gas-cartridge cooker that can be easily removed as required. Further drawers offer space for cutlery, crockery and food supplies. There are also two camping chairs and a table on board. The table comes with two different feet, allowing it to be set up outdoors as well as mounted behind the centre console in the new T‑Class – a novelty in this segment.
The bed and kitchen unit are secured to the lashing eyes in the boot. Two people can remove or insert the entire Marco Polo Module into the new T‑Class in a few simple steps. The switch from everyday vehicle to micro camper and back thus only takes a few minutes.
The entire Marco Polo Module is kept in a stylish, clean design and the colour anthracite. As a result, it blends seamlessly into the high-quality interior of the Mercedes-Benz small van. In addition, the Mercedes star and lettering show the clear affiliation to the brand.
The prices for the Marco Polo Module will be announced once it becomes available to order at the end of the year.
The new T-Class at a glance
The new Mercedes‑Benz T‑Class, which recently celebrated its market launch, combines multifunctionality and a generous amount of space with a high-quality level of equipment. The product highlights include:
- Compact exterior dimensions with plenty of space: the five-seater T‑Class is 4498 millimetres long, 1859 millimetres wide and 1811 millimetres high. This also provides a capacity of up to 2390 litres as a generous loading space (with the rear seat folded down). In addition, there are numerous shelves and stowage compartments in the interior. A long-wheelbase variant with up to seven seats will follow.
- Easy loading: the low loading edge of only 561 millimetres makes loading easier. In addition, wide-opening sliding doors on both sides of the vehicle allow easy access to the rear. The rear bench seat folds down as standard so that it forms an almost flat loading area with the boot floor.
- Elegant design and plenty of comfort: the new T-Class is instantly recognisable as a member of the Mercedes‑Benz family. Its design is distinguished by balanced proportions and a sensual surface layout with reduced lines. In addition, there is a wide range of paint finishes, including the elegant rubellite red metallic and limonite yellow metallic. The choice of materials in the interior also embodies true premium character. Moreover, the standard equipment already includes, among other things, the intuitive MBUX infotainment system with 7-inch touchscreen and Smartphone Integration, the multifunction steering wheel with Touch Control buttons, and KEYLESS Start. Two equipment lines (Style and Progressive) are available to enhance the high-quality appeal even further. Among other things, they offer chrome applications or ambient lighting with up to eight different colours.
- Comprehensive connectivity: the T-Class leaves the production plant with everything already in place for the use of numerous digital services from Mercedes me connect. These include remote services such as Remote Retrieval of Vehicle Status or Remote Door Locking and Unlocking. With these services, the most important vehicle data can be checked at any time via app.
- High level of safety features: seven airbags and numerous driving assistance systems are on board as standard. These include Hill Start Assist, Crosswind Assist, the fatigue warning system ATTENTION ASSIST, Active Brake Assist with cross-traffic function, Active Lane Keeping Assist, Blind Spot Assist and Speed Limit Assist.
- State-of-the-art, high-torque, fuel-efficient engines: currently, a diesel and a petrol engine are available, each in two power levels. The four-cylinder engines are noted for their plentiful pulling power, even in the low rev range, and for their optimised consumption figures. All engines are combined with an ECO start/stop function. In addition to the six-speed manual transmission, the seven-speed dual-clutch transmission (DCT) is available for the two diesel variants and the more powerful of the two petrol engines. The engine portfolio will be rounded off in the future by the electric-powered EQT, which is currently under development.
Prices for the new T‑Class start at around 30,000 euros for the T 160 (combined fuel consumption according to WLTP: 6.7 – 7.2 l/100 km; CO₂ emissions combined: 153 – 162 g/km) with 75 kW (102 hp) petrol engine, manual transmission and in the basic variant.
 The Marco Polo Module is produced at BRABUS Automotive GmbH in Bottrop on behalf of Mercedes-Benz AG.
 Further camping equipment such as ventilation grilles, blackout elements, table and chairs must be safely stowed in the designated storage areas during the journey.
 Without roof rails.
 The vehicle is currently still under development and is not yet available to purchase.
 The values provided are the “WLTP CO₂ values” in accordance with Article 2, No. 3 of Implementing Regulation (EU) 2017/1153. Fuel consumption figures have been calculated on this basis.
SOURCE: Mercedes Benz