The FUSO Canter has won a remarkable fourth consecutive Light Truck of the Year title at the 2017 Vans A2Z Awards.
Special Vehicles Communications Specialist Natalia Valverde stepped up to collect the trophy on behalf of Mercedes-Benz and FUSO Trucks during a ceremony at Twickenham, the home of English Rugby.
Key to the Canter's latest award conversion were its everyday driveability, strength and durability, and the manufacturer's ongoing commitment to the development of more environmentally-friendly power technologies.
The first zero-emission eCanters are due to enter service in London later this year.
Sold and supported by Mercedes-Benz Dealers in Great Britain, the Canter family comprises 4x2 and 4x4 variants with gross weights from 3.5-8.55 tonnes, and engine outputs from 96kW (130 hp) to 129 kW (175 hp). It includes a well-established diesel-electric Eco Hybrid model, while the first fully-electric eCanters are due to enter service on UK roads before the end of this year.
VansA2Z Editor Neil McIntee commented: "The Canter once again takes the honours in the Light Truck of the Year category, thanks to an impressive combination of attributes.
"Operators benefit from its outstanding reliability and smooth, fuel-efficient 3.0-litre engines, which translate into highly competitive operating costs. At 7.5 tonnes gvw and above, the Canter also offers the highest payloads on the market.
"The manufacturer has an admirable commitment to innovation," he continued. "DUONIC was the world's first dual-clutch automated transmission, while the Canter Eco Hybrid broke new ground in making economic as well as environmental sense, and we're now looking forward to the arrival of the zero-emission eCanter.
"Factor in the back-up provided by the Mercedes-Benz Dealer Network and the FUSO Canter adds up to a highly capable, value for money package which is fully deserving, yet again, of our Light Truck of the Year Award."
Sam Whittaker, Mercedes-Benz Trucks' Director Customer Service & Operations, confirmed: "The FUSO Canter enjoys the same level of support and customer service from our organisation as any vehicle bearing the three-pointed star.
"It complements the Mercedes-Benz Trucks range perfectly and also benefits from our Zero Tolerance on Downtime commitment, which explains why so many operators choose to run vehicles from both product lines."
A 'real world' pilot programme for the 7.5-tonne eCanter is scheduled to commence in London next November, at which point Dealers will start taking orders for this remarkable new vehicle, which enters series production in 2018.
Natalia Valverde added: "We're thrilled to have made such a fantastic start to what promises to be a very exciting year for the Canter, by winning yet another VansA2Z Light Truck of the Year award."