(The Gear Loop) - To celebrate the launch of its latest Citan small van, Mercedes-Benz has jumped on the camper van craze and created a one-off concept vehicle with the help of German camper conversion experts VanEssa.
Shown at Germany's Caravan Salon earlier this year, the small but mighty van has a series of intricate modifications that transform it from a run-of-the-mill commercial vehicle into a fully fledged home on wheels.
VanEssa first created a kitchenette for the rear area, which is based on a series of sliding drawers that contain everything you might need for a weekend away. Slide open the drawers and you'll find an integrated gas cooker, a sink system with a 13-litre water tank and a 31-litre compressor refrigerator.
There is also enough space for crockery, pots and pans, and supplies to be held securely in bespoke stash places. The kitchen module weighs about 60kg and can be installed or removed in minutes if you need the boot space. There is a range of different colour options to provide scope for personalisation, if you're not a fan of the subdued hues Mercedes selected for its concept vehicle.
What's more, a quality folding double mattress can be removed from the boot and laid on top of the folding rear seats to make a comfortable sleeping quarters for two people to get some (cosy) shuteye together.
The new Citan Tourer, which goes on sale next year, will feature plenty of mod cons and creature comforts, such as an advanced MBUX infotainment system with voice control, with Mercedes firmly gunning for the leisure market with many of its upcoming leisure vehicles.
"The travel and leisure vehicle market is increasingly important for us as part of our strategic orientation. This also applies to the brand new generation of our Citan, which is an ideal basic vehicle for micro camper van conversions," says Klaus Rehkugler, head of sales and marketing Mercedes-Benz Vans.
Although a conversion of this nature is nothing ground-breaking in itself, it is interesting that Mercedes-Benz has chosen a small van to focus its attentions on, suggesting that a huge array of customers are now looking for modern platforms they can transform into campers - not just those medium to large classics, such as the Volkswagen Transporter and Ford Transit Custom.
Sadly, the German manufacturer doesn't plan to make this concept a reality just yet, but it will happily sell you a diesel, petrol or - if you can wait until next year - electric drive Citan if you fancy taking it on yourself.