Mercedes-Benz will launch a new A-class-based mini-MPV called the Vaneo at the Frankfurt motor show in September.

The company says that the 4.2-metres long Vaneo is "impressively spacious". It will be offered with three trim levels - Trend, Family and Ambiente - and a choice of petrol or diesel engines.

The Vaneo can carry up to five adults and two children or can be re-configured to provide load space of up to 3,000 litres - unsurpassed in this segment, Mercedes claims.

The five-door Vaneo will have two sliding rear doors and a pull-out load compartment floor will be optional. Standard safety features will include ESP traction control, Brake Assist and the sandwich-design body from the A-class.

With the Vaneo, DaimlerChrysler is aiming to win over new customer groups to the Mercedes-Benz brand. The company says the Vaneo "will be targeted at practically-minded households who need a vehicle that can accommodate both their functional and recreational needs by providing large amounts of space".

The Vaneo will be built at the Ludwigsfelde plant south of Berlin at the rate of 50,000 units a year.

Mercedes expects the European mini-MPV market to grow by approximately 46% between 1999 and 2003, from 486,000 to 710,000 units.