As Mercedes-Benz’s commercial business continues to ramp up, its latest Metris midi van gets the show-car treatment for this year’s Chicago show. Wrapped and adorned with corner protectors, latches, and a handle to make the van look like a rolling toolbox, this concept was designed to highlight a new MasterSolutions upfitting program, which launched last summer. MasterSolutions allows customers to order a Metris van and specify custom equipment tailored to meet their special vocational needs. The van gets assembled at the Ladson, South Carolina, plant and is then shipped off to an aftermarket upfitter (those signed on to date include Auto Truck Group, Knapheide Manufacturing, and Smartliner) to install racks, refrigeration, or more extreme body modifications such as this concept’s side hatch.
The Toolbox was developed by noted Mercedes tuner Renntech of Stuart, Florida. Starting with an el-cheapo Metris Worker cargo van (you can have any color you want as long as it’s white), it includes a wide variety of Ranger Design and Sortimo by Knapheide shelves, racks, and removable cases. Underfoot is a removable tile floor that ensures grip for work boots and comes out for cleaning. A clear plastic partition keeps the driver safely divided from the cargo area but still able to keep an eye on it. Sadly, it appears Renntech boss Hartmut Feyhl managed to resist the urge to amp up the output of the 208-hp, 258-lb-ft 2.0-liter turbo-four or replace it with a V-12 as he’s been wont to do on other Mercedes-Benz projects.
Mercedes isn’t saying what it would cost to replicate the functional aspects of this Toolbox concept, but it seems safe to say the upfit would add much less than the $26,990 starting price of the Worker, which certainly means the bragging rights for owning this Mercedes-Benz Gullwing will come in at a tiny fraction of the price of entry into the 300SL Gullwing owner’s club.
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