The R-Class has had a rough life. Not only did it suffer from odd, disproportionate styling, but Mercedes-Benz never really marketed the vehicle the way that it should have, choosing to position it as a “sports tourer,” rather than the obvious upscale family hauler that it is. Dismal sales ensued. Makes sense, then, that the 2011 R-Class benefits from a slightly more comprehensive overhaul than the standard mid-cycle refresh usually entails.
Right away, we must say that the R-Class’s new schnoz is a giant leap forward from drooping proboscis of the outgoing car. New, more chiseled headlamps accent a larger, more upright grille and a less angular hood. The revised lower fascia features the automaker’s new quad foglight design – something we’ve already seen on the E- and GL-Class. Not much has been changed out back, save the standard mid-cycle enhancements (revised taillights and a tweaked bumper).
Interior changes are minimal, which is fine, since we’ve never really had a problem with the sports tourer people mover’s cabin. Look for the typical array of Mercedes-Benz technology features, as well as a new AMG sport interior, which includes different seats, a better steering wheel with shift paddles, a new lighting package, and stainless steel pedals. As for powertrains, we expect the standard V6 engines – both petrol and diesel – to be offered. Us? We’re secretly crossing our fingers for the return of the R63 AMG.
Check back later this week for full details from the New York Auto Show. In the meantime, chave a look at the images below to see preview shots of the new R-Class. Hat tip to Ashley!
Mercedes-Benz at the 2010 New York International Auto Show
World premiere of the new-generation R-Class and model offensive on the U.S. market
New York – Following the successful start to the year with a clear rebound against the first quarter 2009, Mercedes-Benz is pushing forward with its model offensive on the U.S. market. Taking center stage at today’s Mercedes press conference on the 2010 New York International Auto Show was the world premiere of the new-generation R-Class. The original SUV tourer has been extensively updated – including a completely redesigned front end.
In May, the U.S. market will also welcome the new E-Class Cabriolet and the E-Class Wagon, which comes to market as the E 350 4MATIC with permanent all-wheel drive.
“Thanks to our successful model offensive, we are able to offer a uniquely wide range of tailor-made products designed to meet the needs of a demanding customer base,” said Dr. Joachim Schmidt, Head of Marketing and Sales for Mercedes-Benz Cars. “A significant proportion of this success is down to the innovative vehicle concepts with which Mercedes-Benz has repeatedly established and opened up new market segments,” he continued. “These include the R-Class, the original SUV tourer, which we have now extensively redesigned and upgraded.”
The most important exterior feature of the new-generation R-Class is the completely redesigned front end. It underscores the unique personality of this multi-talented
vehicle that boasts an impressive array of inner values. These include the spaciousness of modern SUVs, as well as the comfort, exclusivity and prestige of Mercedes-Benz sedans. At the same time, the latest generation offers the interior versatility central to the R-Class vehicle concept, while also delivering the tough characteristics and all-wheel drive features of Mercedes-Benz SUVs.
New R 350 BlueTEC – one of the world’s cleanest diesels
When it comes to the engine range, Mercedes-Benz engineers placed particular emphasis on efficiency and environmental sustainability. With the R 350 BlueTEC 4MATIC, Mercedes-Benz is offering one of the cleanest diesel models worldwide. The V6 engine generates an output of 155 kW (210 hp) and 400 lb-ft (540 Nm) of torque. The diesel is equipped with AdBlue© exhaust treatment and, despite performance improvements, consumes only 8.4 liters per 100 kilometers (combined EU cycle), which is 0.3 liters less than its predecessor. It already fulfills the emissions requirements for the EU6 standard due for introduction in 2014. All gasoline and diesel versions of the R-Class fulfill the EU5 standard. In the U.S., the R 350 BlueTEC 4MATIC achieves 18/24 mpg city/hwy. and meets emissions standards in all 50 states.
New R 350 CDI 4MATIC – refined performance with reduced consumption
The new R 350 CDI 4MATIC (not available in the U.S.) combines the performance
of a V8 model with the low consumption figures of an economic V6. It needs only 8.5 liters of diesel per 100 kilometers (NEDC combined), thus bettering its predecessor by 0.8 liters – despite its significantly improved performance. While the peak output previously stood at 165 kW (224 hp), the modified V6 diesel now delivers 195 kW (265 hp) and an exceptional torque of 620 Nm (457 lb-ft). The sportiest version of the R-Class with a diesel engine accelerates from 0 to 100 km in 7.6 seconds (0 to 60 mph in 7.5 seconds) and reaches a top speed of 235 km/h (146 mph).
The Mercedes-Benz R-Class: spacious, prestigious and exceptionally comfortable
Versatility at its best
The new generation of the R-Class now features an enhanced self-assured appearance, highlighting the unique personality of this versatile vehicle. The overall impression in particular has benefitted significantly from the completely redesigned front section, which borrows elements both from Mercedes-Benz saloons and SUV models. In addition to the fresh exterior, the “twenty-ten” model year R-Class also impresses with a number of distinctive interior features. These include the economy of space found in the latest MPV’s, as well as the comfort, high-class appeal and prestige associated with classic Mercedes-Benz saloons. At the same time, the latest generation offers the same level of interior diversity for which its predecessor was renowned, and also boasts the robustness and all-wheel-drive properties of Mercedes-Benz SUV’s. The R-Class will be celebrating its world premiere on 31 March 2010 at the New York International Auto Show (NYIAS).
Engine line-up: economical drive systems
In addition to the modern petrol variants adopted from the preceding model, with their customary effortless power delivery and high drive comfort, a range of optimised diesel engines is now also available to enhance the appeal of the R-Class. With a fuel consumption figure of 7.6 l/100 km*, compared with its predecessor the R 300 CDI BlueEFFICIENCY model requires around 7 percent less fuel while offering the same power output and enhanced performance. The new R 350 CDI 4MATIC combines the high performance of a V8 model with the low fuel consumption of an economical V6 variant.
It consumes 8.5 litres* of diesel per one hundred kilometres, thereby undercutting its predecessor by 0.8 litres – yet is able to offer significantly enhanced performance. While previously the maximum performance topped out at 165 kW (224 hp), the V6 diesel engine now boasts 195 kW (265 hp) as well as massive torque of 620 Newton metres. Making its debut in the R-Class, this powerful package enables the sportiest of all of the R-Class models with diesel engine to achieve effortlessly superior levels of performance. Acceleration from 0 to 100 km/h takes 7.6 seconds, while the top speed is 235 km/h.
With the R 350 BlueTEC 4MATIC, Mercedes-Benz is offering one of the cleanest diesel models in the world. The V6 engine achieves an output of 155 kW (211 hp) and substantial torque of 540 Nm. Compared with its predecessor, this model also manages to achieve reduced fuel consumption and lower emissions while providing enhanced performance. Equipped with highly-effective AdBlue© emission control, the compression-ignition engine consumes an average of 0.3 of a litre less, at 8.4 litres* of diesel per one hundred kilometres, generating in the process the same level of emissions as a comparable petrol engine. As a result, this model currently already meets the emission values planned for 2014 according to the EU6 standard. All other petrol and diesel versions of the R-Class meet the EU5 standard.
*NEDC combined consumption
Key technical data+:
|Nm from rpm
|0 – 100 km/h s
|Top speed (km/h)
|l/100 km NEDC
|R 300 CDI
|7.6 – 7.8
|199 – 206
|R 350 CDI 4MATIC
|R 350 BlueTEC 4MATIC3
|8.4 – 8.5
|222 – 223
|11.1 – 11.3
(11.1 – 11.4)
|260 – 265
(260 – 267)
|R 350 4MATIC
|11.6 – 11.9
(11.7 – 11.9)
|271 – 279
(274 – 279)
|R 500 4MATIC3
|13.2 – 13.4
|306 – 311
+provisional figures for the international model range which may also vary from country to country.
CDI-/BlueTEC = diesel models, 1 standard wheelbase available, 2 BE = BlueEFFICIENCY
3 long wheelbase available, 4 figures in brackets apply to long wheelbase variant,
5 electronically limited
Simply stunning: the design of the R-Class
The latest generation of the R-Class features a new, self-assured appearance. The overall impression is virtually seamless and encapsulates the unique personality of this highly versatile vehicle. The focus of the designers was the completely revised front section which, by emphasizing the width and making use of a horizontally structured bonnet, affords the entire vehicle a look which is as harmonious as it is powerfully dynamic. In addition to the bonnet, the vehicle’s wings, radiator grille and surround, headlamps and bumpers with chrome underguard have all been completely redesigned. As an optional extra, a chrome insert with integrated LED daytime driving lights in conjunction with bi-xenon headlamps is available to enhance the look of the R-Class even further.
The side view features coupé-like lines – a pleasant contrast to regular large-capacity vehicles – and is characterised by the modified exterior mirror housings and the wheel design. Wheels are available in 5-spoke, 5-twin spoke or 10-spoke designs, and in sizes ranging from 43.2 to 53.3 centimetres (17 to 21 inches). The design idiom of the front is continued consistently through the rear area which, with its new bumper covering, modified tail lamps and integrated tailpipe trim, has also been given an accentuated wide look. The 2010 model year R-Class looks particularly refined in the new “diamond white” paint finish.
Wellness program: a relaxed environment both for longer journeys or everyday use
If there was a versatility test for car interiors, the R-Class would certainly be the favourite to take first place. A wide variety of options are available when it comes to seat variations in particular: designed for a relaxed, safe driving environment, the saloon offers five seats as standard in both the normal and long wheelbase versions, but four, six or even seven seat configurations are also possible. The R-Class comes with partially power-adjustable seats for driver and front passenger as standard, while as an option front passengers can also enjoy the luxury of actively ventilated and heated multicontour seats with full power adjustment and memory function.
The R-Class also reveals another benefit in the form of its large, versatile luggage compartment: in the standard-wheelbase versions the luggage compartment holds up to 1950 litres, while the long-wheelbase version boasts 2385 litres. In all five-seat variants there is a separate stowage compartment beneath the load compartment floor, while the optional EASY PACK tailgate which can operated remotely by means of a switch or key also makes access to the luggage compartment easier. As such the R-Class is the most variable and spacious vehicle in the entire Mercedes-Benz passenger car product range.
The bright, classic interior – which seems even more spacious when fitted with the optional panoramic glass sunroof – makes use of new materials and colour combinations which enhance the high-class appeal and quality of this unique long-distance saloon. At the same time they underline the sense of wellbeing which is typical of the Mercedes-Benz interior. Available interior appointments include the upholstery combination of “Aspen” fabric and breathable, soft-touch ARTICO man-made leather.
Two-tone interior appointments are a new addition to the range: this is where the base colour almond beige can be combined with the contrasting colour mocha brown. Alternatively, the base colour alpaca grey combined with contrasting dark basalt grey is also available. Both colour combinations are used on the dashboard, steering wheel, centre console, seats, door linings and floor coverings. When choosing ARTICO or leather appointments at the same time, the piping is finished in a contrasting colour. Single-tone nappa leather appointments are also available as standard in conjunction with the AMG Interior Sports package. In addition to
aluminium trim with a dark longitudinal-grain and chrome trim in silver shadow, luxurious wood trim in high-gloss brown eucalyptus, high-gloss brown burred walnut or high-gloss anthracite poplar can also be ordered.
Model range: the R-Class with a personal touch
The nine basic variants already provide an opportunity to tailor the R-Class according to personal vehicle preferences in each case. All models boast numerous features as standard which help to make travelling both on long journeys as well as on short urban trips even safer and more relaxed. These features include the unique anticipatory occupant protection system PRE-SAFE®, a complete restraint system with eight airbags, crash-active NECK-PRO head restraints, a tyre pressure loss warning system and adaptive brake lights. Safety is also enhanced thanks to high-performance telematics systems such as the Audio 20, Audio 50 APS or COMAND APS with an extremely user-friendly interface.
The THERMATIC automatic climate control system is fitted with a combination filter to hep further reduce pollutants which may be contained in the outside air entering the vehicle. As an optional extra, a THERMOTRONIC system providing separate rear air conditioning is available to meet all interior air conditioning requirements. The spacious glove compartment now comes with an AUX-IN connection for external audio or entertainment devices. Connection options can also be extended further with an optional Media Interface (UCI).
To complement the extensive standard equipment, the R-Class provides a variety of assistant systems which push ride comfort and safety to the highest level and contribute to the vehicle’s leading position in this market segment. These include DISTRONIC proximity control, AIRMATIC air suspension with the Adaptive Damping System (ADS), or Blind Spot Assist, which can make changing lanes significantly safer.
The modern LINGUATRONIC voice control system makes using the telematics systems even easier and more convenient, while a reversing camera provides for smooth, easy parking or manoeuvering in blind spots. As soon as the driver engages “R” gear, the image from the camera is shown on the high-resolution COMAND APS display. Rear passengers, meanwhile, can enjoy their own entertainment programme thanks to the Rear Seat Entertainment System. Seat heating can also be ordered for the second row of seats to increase comfort even further in winter.
Valuation: neutral surveys confirm high resale opportunities
Experience shows that Mercedes-Benz models belong to the most stable vehicles on the market in terms of values and they therefore offer a significant financial advantage. This was confirmed once again last year by a neutral third-party when specialist magazine “Auto Bild” selected the “2010 Value Champions” in different vehicle categories based on surveys conducted by Saarbrücken-based market research institute Bähr & Fess Forecast. The “Value Champion” among MPV’s, the R 300 CDI, emerged ahead of the field in this market segment and according to the forecasts would retain a value of 47.5 percent after four years. The R-Class already held this leading position in the expert analysis of residual values last year.
2010 R-Class: model range and appointment variants*
Diverse, comfortable and fully equipped
The new R-Class enhances the merits of this unique vehicle category even further. In addition to the fresh exterior, the “twenty-ten” model year R-Class also impresses with a number of interior features in particular. These include the economy of space found in the latest MPV’s, and the comfort, high-class appeal and prestige of the S‑Class. At the same time, this latest generation offers the superior interior diversity for which its predecessor was renowned, and also boasts the robustness and all-wheel-drive properties of Mercedes-Benz SUV’s.
With a total of 9 base versions, the R-Class provides the most comprehensive model range in the premium long-distance saloon segment. Together with the significantly more appealing body design, the complete range of standard equipment and the numerous individualisation options, the R-Class can be tailored specifically to meet individual requirements. It also offers a high degree of variability, standard or long wheelbases, 4MATIC rear or permanent all-wheel drive, and high-performance yet economical engines, which in some cases come with BlueTEC or BlueEFFICIENCY technology – if there was such a thing as a vehicle versatility test, then the R-Class would certainly be the favourite to take first place.
An overview of the models:
- R 300 CDI BlueEFFICIENCY
- R 350 CDI 4MATIC
- R 300
- R 350 4MATIC
- R 350 CDI 4MATIC
- R 350 BlueTEC 4MATIC
- R 300
- R 350 4MATIC
- R 500 4MATIC
*The descriptions and information in this press kit apply to the international Mercedes-Benz model range and may vary from country to country.
A full complement of equipment for the highest level of comfort and comprehensive safety
All models boast numerous features as standard which help to make travelling both on long journeys as well as on short urban trips even safer and more relaxed. The following is an extract of the standard equipment:
- 7G-TRONIC automatic transmission with DIRECT SELECT lever on the steering column and shift paddles on the steering wheel
- Airbag system: adaptive airbags and side airbags for driver and front passenger, windowbags across all three rows of seats
- Adaptive brake lights warn traffic behind by flashing in an emergency braking situation
- Permanent 4MATIC all-wheel drive (on the models R 350 CDI 4MATIC, R 350 BlueTEC 4MATIC, R 350 4MATIC and R 500 4MATIC
- Heated and electrically adjustable exterior mirrors
- Courtesy lights in the doors
- AUX-IN connection (in glove compartment)
- Brake Assist (BAS)
- Stainless steel front door sill panels with “Mercedes-Benz” lettering
- Electric power windows (4 windows)
- ESP® with tyre pressure loss warning and trailer stabilisation
- Headlamp Assist
- Tinted glass
- Belt force limiters on all seats
- Belt tensioners on all seats
- Bicolour tail lamps with LED and fibre-optic elements
- ISOFIX child seat attachment system
- THERMATIC automatic climate control with 2 climate zones
- Comfort multifunction steering wheel in nappa leather
- Steering column, adjustable for height and reach
- Crash-active NECK-PRO head restraints for driver and front passenger
- Speed-sensitive steering (R 300 CDI BlueEFFICIENCY and R 350 BlueTEC: electrohydraulic steering)
- Wheels and tyres:
- 235/65 R 17 tyres for R 350 BlueTEC 4MATIC and R 300 CDI BlueEFFICIENCY models; 10-spoke light-alloy wheels
- 255/55 R 18 tyres for 350 CDI 4MATIC, R 300 and R 350 4MATIC models; 10‑spoke light-alloy wheels
- 255/55 R 19 tyres for the R 500 4MATIC model; 5-spoke light-alloy wheels
- Rain sensor for the windscreen wipers
- TIREFIT tyre repair set with electric compressor
- Headlamps with H7 projector beam technology, daytime driving lights and front fog lamps with integrated into the bumper with chrome rings
- Audio 20 CD telematics system
- Cruise control with SPEEDTRONIC
- 4ETS traction system (on all 4MATIC models)
- Ambient lighting in the exterior mirrors
- Central display in instrument cluster
- Central locking with remote control
- Brushed aluminium trim with longitudinal-grain, chrome trim in silver shadow
Other attractive equipment options* can help to make the R-Class experience even more impressive:
- AIRMATIC package, air suspension with Adaptive Damping System (ADS), vehicle level adjustment via a switch in the centre console, automatic lowering on motorways
- DISCTRONIC proximity control
- Electric folding left and right exterior mirrors with programmable automatic function
- Electric power vent window for the third row of seats
- Audio 50 APS telematics system with 6-disc CD changer
- Bi-xenon headlamps (darkened) with dynamic range adjustment, headlamp cleaning system and LED daytime driving lights on a chrome insert
- EASY-PACK tailgate with remote control
- EASY-PACK load compartment cover
- Anti-theft alarm system with tow-away protection
- PARKTRONIC parking aid
- Rear-seat entertainment system
- Rear air conditioning system (standard in conjunction with THERMOTRONIC)
- Programmable garage door opener integrated into the rear-view mirror
- Electrically adjustable steering column
- Air suspension with self-levelling at the rear (standard on R 500 4MATIC)
- Media Interface (UCI)
- Memory function for front seats, mirrors and steering wheel
- Centre console for the middle row of seats
- Multifunction wood/leather-trimmed steering wheel
- Heated multifunction steering wheel
- Actively ventilated multicontour seats for driver and front passenger
- Multi-zone THERMOTRONIC
- COMAND APS multimedia system:
- Radio with twin tuner
- 6-disc CD changer
- DVD audio/video player
- High-resolution 16.5-centimetre (6.5-inch) colour display
- 4 GB of storage for MP3 files (Music Register)
- Storage card slot (SD cards)
- Hard-disc navigation with automatic consideration of traffic congestion
- Compass function
Electric panoramic sliding glass sunroof with interior electric roller sunblind, convenience closing feature and double sun screens
- Wheels and tyres:
- 265/45 R 20 tyres, 5-twin-spoke light-alloy wheels
- 265/45 R 20 tyres, AMG 5-spoke high-sheen light-alloy wheels
- 265/40 R 21 tyres, AMG 5-spoke titanium silver light-alloy wheels
Tyre pressure monitoring system, selective wheels with pressure sensors and antennas
Reversing camera (in conjunction with COMAND APS)
Heated windscreen washer system
Headlamp cleaning system
Dark-tinted rear side windows and rear window
Heated rear seats
Harman Kardon® Logic7® sound system with eleven loudspeakers and surround sound
Remote control auxiliary heating
Electrically adjustable front seats with memory function
Wood trim in “high-gloss brown eucalyptus”, “high-gloss brown burr walnut”, “high-gloss anthracite poplar” (standard on R 500 4MATIC) or “aluminium with dark longitudinal-grain”
KEYLESS-GO access and drive authorisation system
Popular equipment options have been combined into attractive packages:
- Exterior Chrome package: chrome beltline trim strips, door handles in the vehicle colour with chrome insert, rub strips with chrome insert, chrome-look underguard at the front and chromed tailpipe trims
- Exterior Sports package: comprising Chrome package, 20-inch 5-twin-spoke light-alloy wheels and blue-tinted glass all round
- Interior Sports package: Interior Light package, front sports seats, Alcantara/ARTICO man-made leather upholstery combination with contrasting stitching and brushed stainless steel sports pedals
- Interior AMG Sports package: Nappa leather AMG sports seats, fully power-adjustable at the front, AMG ergonomic sports steering wheel with shift paddles, floor mats with “AMG” lettering, sports pedals in brushed stainless steel with rubber studs, Interior Light package and also Multicontour Seat package