The Mercedes-Benz Vito 120CDI entered the Thoroughbred Tour of this year's Classic Adelaide and was far from disgraced during the closed-road stages. Several media drivers and Mt Gambier Benz dealer Pete Gazzard completed the event in the van, which demonstrated the strong torque by competing with event burnout king Mick Doohan's C63 at stage starts.
Mount Gambier Mercedes-Benz dealer-principal Peter Gazzard completed his fourth Classic Adelaide in the Vito. The enthusiastic Gazzard has “caught and passed more than a few wide-eyed drivers of fancied European marques and we expect the same this year," says Mercedes-Benz Asia-Pacific corporate communications senior manager David McCarthy.
"We wanted to demonstrate that performance goes hand-in-hand with workplace safety -- it's the only five-star van -- the Vito demonstrated its comfort, driveability and safety in a very competitive environment," he says.
"Some competitors disparagingly called it a mobile billboard,” McCarthy says. Those competitors got ample chance to read the 5-Star ANCAP safety message on the Vito as it passed more than a few of them on some special stages. We wanted to demonstrate that workplace safety has many meanings."
"There are also a couple of Aston Martin and Porsche owners who are nursing bruised egos this week, having been overtaken by what is probably Australia's safest and fastest van," he says.
The exercise is expected to generate renewed interest in the Vito, according to McCarthy. "A lot of our competitors would not have the guts to enter their vans, because apart from marginal safety ratings, they have about as much driveability as a forklift on a skating rink - we think the Vito was an ace performer," he says.