Mercedes-Benz has unveiled the Weekender, the company’s first modern, pop-up camper for the North American market, at the Chicago Auto Show.
Built by Driverge Vehicle Innovations, in partnership with Peace Vans, the new Metris-based van can perform multiple duties from everyday use as a daily driver or flexible remote office on the road, to weekend getaways and extended family road-trip vacations.
“We have known for a long time that this market need was unmet as evidenced by the high demand for aging existing camper vans still on the road,” says Robert Veit, VP and Managing Director, Mercedes-Benz USA Vans. “With the help of our partners, Peace Vans and Driverge, we have utilized the Metris to create a product suited to those who seek adventure, but also need a versatile and comfortable vehicle for their day-to-day lives.”
Standard equipment includes a pop-up roof (with integrated spring system) to create a sleeping area for two, complete with 2-inch memory foam mattress, three windows and USB ports for remote lights and mobile-device charging.
Two additional sleeping positions are created by converting the multipurpose rear bench seat, which can also be retained as a bench seat and move over four positions to accommodate various configurations for cargo. Meanwhile the front seats can rotate 180 degrees to create a multipurpose “lounge” for work, meals or social activities such as board games
The Weekender features a second battery to power devices, lights and other campsite needs, without draining the battery used for vehicle systems. Options include off-grid power and integrated solar panels, roof racks for extra storage and/or sporting equipment, and upgraded audio and navigation features, as well as campground features such as 8-foot awning, a tent for the liftgate and mosquito netting for the rear hatch and sliding doors.
The first 100 purchasers in the US will also receive a free National Parks pass.
Mercedes-Benz reportedly drew inspiration from illustrious campers, updated with the latest sophisticated safety, reliability and convenience features to create a new modern pop top van.
“From adventure seeking millennials to hip retirees, everyone is craving authentic and connected experiences to nature. Small camper vans, like this exciting new Metris Weekender from Mercedes, hits a very large sweet spot in the market,” said Harley Sitner, President of Peace Vans. “The demand we see for these products is exceptional and the feedback from renters and early adopters is fantastic. Being experts in pop up campers, we are confident Mercedes has a fantastic product that is going to delight an entire new generation of road trippers.”