Hints of an Electric and Autonomous Future with the 2026 Mercedes V-Class Mule

The next-generation of Mercedes mid-size vans has been sighted, giving us a glimpse into what an electric and autonomous future might look like for the brand. Spy photographers recently captured a mule for the upcoming Mercedes V-Class / Vito, showcasing a vehicle that will be based on the new VAN.EA platform designed for battery electric vehicles.

While the current Mercedes V-Class / Vito is almost a decade old, the new model is set to bring in a slew of advancements. Despite the heavy camouflage on the mule, similarities to the current model such as the greenhouse and bodywork are noticeable. However, there are also updates to the front end, extended side skirts, temporary taillights, and an aggressive diffuser.

Noteworthy additions include the incorporation of a range of sensors, with two located beneath the mirrors. Mercedes has hinted at the availability of Level 2 semi-autonomous driving technology at launch, with plans for a Level 3 system by the end of the decade. The commercial variants are expected to feature even more advanced technology, with Level 4 autonomous driving capabilities in the pipeline to tap into the potential of driverless transportation by the end of the decade.

Apart from these technological upgrades, Mercedes has hinted at a more luxurious offering for the redesigned V-Class in the U.S. market. The upcoming models will run on the VAN.EA platform, set to be introduced in 2026 specifically for battery electric vehicles with both front- and rear-wheel drive options and various battery capacities.

As we await more details on the next-gen Mercedes V-Class / Vito, the mule sightings indicate a shift towards an electrified and autonomous future for the mid-size van segment.


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