Becker JetVan Sprinter at 2012 New York Auto Show

Words Jim Davis | April 06, 2012
The Becker JetVan Sprinter is first class driving enjoyed by celebrities such as Jennifer Lopez, Jerry Seinfeld and Bruce Springsteen
Words Jim Davis April 06, 2012

Now on display at the 2012 New York International Auto Show in Manhattan’s Jacob Javits Convention Center is Becker Automotive Design’s specially outfitted Mercedes-Benz Sprinter, aimed at emulating the interior of a first-class personal aircraft.

Based in Ventura, California, Becker Automotive Design has become well known for their premium Sprinter vans, custom-fitted with sumptuous interiors that typically include fully reclining sleeper seats, large flat-screen TVs and audio systems worthy of a sound studio. The Becker JetVan Sprinter on display at the New York Show is fitted with a Townsend leather interior finished in Golden Birdseye Maple trim. Featuring a 1,300-watt audio system with Creston 7.1 surround-sound digital processors and MacIntosh multi-channel amplifiers, the JetVan Sprinter is complete with a 40-inch Runco high-definition LCD flat screen and a 500-gigabyte on-board computer that works with a 4G wireless system.

All the AV systems, lighting, blinds, side entry door, center dividers, seat adjustments and computer functions are controlled through dual six-inch Creston touch panels, accessible from fully reclining 1st-class airline-type seats that include electrically adjustable leg extensions, lumbar supports, seat heating and massage system and fold-out aviation-type writing tables. The entire passenger cabin is climate controlled with a custom AC and fresh air filtration system.

Claus Tritt, General Manager of Commercial Vans for Mercedes-Benz USA said, “The Sprinter’s unique combination of quality, efficiency and almost endless versatility make it the perfect blank canvas for approved upfitters like Becker Automotive Designs. Their JetVan is just one example from the universe of Sprinter vans that have been tailored to individual business needs. Its magnificent craftsmanship and roomy, luxurious environment makes it the perfect vehicle for New York City, whether it might be for family sightseeing, getting office work done in privacy and comfort or negotiating a corporate merger.”

A Star-Studded Client List

Becker’s client list includes entertainment celebrities such as Jennifer Lopez, Jerry Seinfeld, Will Smith, Bruce Springsteen and Denzel Washington; sports figures such as Shaquille O’Neal and Tiger Woods; and captains of industry such as Sam Nazarian of SLS Hotels and Edgar Bronfman, Jr., chairman of the Warner Music Group.

CEO Howard Becker says, “Our clients love the Sprinter’s roomy interior, especially its ease of entry and stand-up headroom. They really value the productivity they gain in the comfort and privacy of their own high-tech work space. And, the star on the grille and the quality it symbolizes is important to them.”

“When we meet to plan the design of their new van, many clients want to duplicate the design of their personal aircraft in terms of colors, materials and features. To learn as much as we can about what they want, we even sit in their planes to discuss topics like lighting, cabinet design, type of leather and their taste in audio and video equipment.”

Decades ago, Becker moved from his small shop near the LAX airport to a larger facility near Beverly Hills, where he catered to the needs of celebrities in the entertainment and music industries. Later, he moved to an even larger production plant in Ventura, where the interiors are crafted and a wide range of high-technology audio and video equipment is custom-installed.

Most of their vans get at least one large flat screen TV with a state-of-the-art audio system and computer equipment that rivals a well-equipped office. In recent years, they’ve even installed “sling boxes” that emulate their clients’ home cable TV menus, including those from overseas markets.

Innovative BlueTEC Diesel with DEF Injection

“Many of our clients view the Sprinter as making an environmental statement. They understand the significance and the fuel efficiency of a clean diesel engine, and their drivers appreciate being able to idle for an extended time while they wait outside a studio,” says Becker.

All Sprinters are powered by an overhead-cam, four-valve-per-cylinder BlueTEC diesel that marks the first-ever use of super-clean BlueTEC technology in the commercial van market. Making the 3.0-liter BlueTEC diesel as clean as a modern gasoline engine, a Diesel Exhaust Fluid Injection (DEF) system injects a special solution into the exhaust, reducing nitrogen oxides to harmless nitrogen and water in a downstream converter.