Mercedes-Benz has announced a new ‘Marco Polo Module’ for its compact T-Class van-based MPV that quickly changes the model into a small camper van.
The German firm offers a mid-size camper van in the form of its V-Class Marco Polo, which rivals the Volkswagen California, but Mercedes is now looking to expand into the more compact market with its new T-Class.
However, rather than having to order the T-Class as a camper van from the factory, the ‘Marco Polo Module’ can instead be bought afterwards from Mercedes dealers. Coming as standard with a foldable bed that measures two metres by 1.15m, it stays in the boot while driving – meaning the rear seats can be used as normal.
Also included is a mattress that’s 10cm thick, blackout elements for the windows to keep the light out at night, along with a ‘ventilation grille’ that’s clamped between the glass and bed frame. This also features an insect screen.
As an option, the module can come with a kitchen unit, featuring a variety of soft-closing drawers, and includes a sink with a 12-litre water tank, a 15-litre fridge and gas cooker that can be easily removed. Two camping chairs and an onboard table are also included.
Mercedes says the bed and kitchen are secured to lashing points in the boot, and that the ‘switch from everyday vehicle to micro camper and back only takes a few minutes’.
Klaus Rehkugler, head of sales and marketing at Mercedes-Benz Vans, said: “The motorhome market is of strategic importance to us, and 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 normal driving licence.”
The adapted T-Class will debut at the Caravan Salon Dusseldorf show in Germany, held between August 27 and September 4, with Mercedes saying it will introduce a proper factory-built T-Class-based camper van in the second half of 2023.