Stuttgart. 35 years ago, a Venetian explorer's name became the eponym for compact camper vans sporting a three-pointed star: in 1984, the first Marco Polo celebrated its world premiere. In line with this anniversary, Mercedes-Benz is now launching a special model, called ArtVenture, onto the market. The ArtVenture with its aquamarine highlights can soon be ordered for a list price starting at 44,590 euros in Germany (incl. 19 percent VAT).
The first Marco Polo: a travel companion in Bahamas beige
The first Marco Polo was based on the Mercedes-Benz 209 D – a van commonly referred to as the "Bremer Transporter". Its characteristic features included a short bonnet and Bahamas beige paintwork which, in the 1980s, was seen as an especially modern touch, as too was its equally beige-brown interior. It was powered by the OM 617 engine. Its five cylinders and 88 hp made a top speed of 120 km/h possible. It also delivered 172 Nm of torque. This made for quite a dynamic overall package at the time. With a vehicle width of 1.98 m and a turning circle measuring 10.9 m, the first Marco Polo was easily manoeuvrable, even in city centres. Despite its compact floorplan, the camper van provided a great deal of living comfort, with a double bed in the high roof, a bench seat berth in the rear, swivelling driver and front-passenger seats, as well as a kitchenette with kitchen sink, two gas burners and a fridge. The fridge could either be powered by gas, the 12-volt on-board electrical system, or an external 220-volt electrical connection.
Mercedes-Benz has remained true to this vehicle concept of associating style, comfort, functionality and dynamism right through to the present day.
More than three decades of the Marco Polo: from the "Bremer Transporter" to the V-Class
The conversion of Mercedes-Benz vans into Marco Polo models has been carried out since 1984 by Westfalia, the long-standing bodybuilder for motorhomes from Rheda-Wiedenbrück, Germany. Since 2014, the Marco Polo has been available in its current version based on the V-Class. And only this year a facelift was introduced.
ArtVenture special model: with aquamarine highlights
As the name suggests, the ArtVenture special model released in line with the 35-year anniversary of the Marco Polo makes an especially colourful statement – in much the same way as its Bahamas beige ancestor. The aquamarine bellows of the pop-up roof make the ArtVenture quite eye-catching. There are three harmonious optional décors for the vehicle sides – all in matt black with aquamarine accents. The ArtVenture also places special emphasis on comfort. One functional highlight is the front opening in the
Driving fun is ensured thanks to the dynamic but also efficient four-cylinder OM 654 diesel engine familiar from the current series-production models of the Marco Polo family. The OM 654 is available in various output variants. In the Marco Polo 300 d (combined fuel consumption: 6.1 l/100 km, combined CO2 emissions 161 g/km), it delivers 239 hp and 500 Nm of torque which can take the ArtVenture up to a top speed of 215 km/h.
 The stated figures were determined in accordance with the prescribed measuring method. These are the "NEDC CO2 figures" according to Art. 2 No. 1 Implementing Regulation (EU) 2017/1153. The fuel consumption figures were calculated based on these figures. Further information on the vehicles on offer, including the WLTP values, can be found for each country at www.mercedes-benz.com