Anybody remember the Mercedes-Benz R-Class? Long story short, it was Mercedes-Benz’s attempt to popularize the MPV-meets-SUV segment, which included the likes of the now-deceased Chrysler Pacifica.
Even with the Mercedes-Benz image, this car was a failure due to it being hideously ugly and overly expensive — a failure that Mercedes later admitted. Once sales began, the starting price of the R-Class was very close to the starting price of the flagship S-Class. So, unless you owned a 5-star hotel with airport-transfer service, the R-Class never really justified its usefulness over the S-Class.
Keeping all of that aside, the R-Class isn’t exactly the type of car that would cross most minds when it comes to modification. At SEMA, however, cars showcased don’t really bend to convention. With that thought in mind, Infinite Auto Design decided to lease some new life to the forsaken R-Class.
Underneath that AMG-esque body kit is a standard R500 that is powered by an unmodified 5.0-liter V-8 engine. This means it cranks out 302-horsepower and 339 pound-feet of torque, which isn’t too bad for a minivan-SUV crossover in its era.
The exterior embraces the full blown treatment that any car at Infinite Auto Design would receive. It gets custom-built front and rear bumpers that add some eye-candy to the standard and rather boring design. The car is then wrapped in a gray matte paint job and fitted with a set of delicious looking, 20-inch Forgestar wheels.
Overall, this car can only be appreciated for its attempt at injecting a few ounces of "cool" into the R-Class, much like the nowhere-to-be-seen R63 AMG.
The new generation Mercedes R-Class made its world debut today at the 2010 New York Auto Show. For the US market, Mercedes will only offer two trim versions: R350 BlueTEC 4MATIC and R350 4MATIC. The R350 4MATIC delivers 268 hp and 258 lb-ft of torque and has a fuel economy of 14/19 mpg (city/hwy) and the R350 BlueTEC 4MATIC gets a V6 turbodiesel engine with 210 hp and 400 lb-ft of torque. The BlueTEC will also receive an AdBlue exhaust treatment system and a fuel economy of 18/24mpg (city/hwy).
For 2011, the R-Class gets a redesigned front end with new hood, fenders, radiator grille, front fascia, headlamps and bumpers, LED daytime running lights, and bi-xenon headlamps. The interior will get two-tone finishes: Almond Beige-Mocha Brown and Gray-Basalt Gray. And if you are not a US customer you will also get an AMG interior sports package that includes: black Nappa leather, trim elements in dark brushed aluminum and chrome trim in Silver Shadow, wood veneer trim in high-gloss eucalyptus, high-gloss burl walnut or poplar anthracite. The U.S. will receive the long-wheelbase version of the R-Class which accomodates for 6 people with 7 passenger seating as an option. Other options include: ventilated and heated multi-contoured seats with power and memory functions and a panorama glass roof.
All US models will come standard with: in-dash 6-disc DVD/CD changer with optional COMAND hard-drive navigation and harmon/kardon LOGIC 7 surround sound, Bluetooth connectivity, and dual-zone climate control.
The Mercedes R-Class has an impressive list of standard and optional features, but our concern lies with the wagon-type exterior that the R-Class displays. We would think that a consumer in the market for an SUV will not opt for this vehicle, but instead will stay lotal to the G-Class and M-Class models of the same brand.
Even the Silver Arrow isn’t immune to the global recession.
Despite being widely recognized as the top car manufacturers in the world, Mercedes Benz is still not as invincible as some people might think, and the proof, as some people would like to say, is in the pudding.
It was recently reported that Mercedes-Benz USA experienced an eye-catching drop of 22.6% in sales in June of this year as compared to the same month last year, confirming the fears of the folks from Stuttgart that Benz has also been bitten by economic flu. Benz USA’s first half total for 2009 (85,088 cars sold) also plummeted 28.7% from its 2008 figures (119,379 cars) during the same time frame.
We understand that the economic nosedive is the key culprit in this whole mess and the entire global auto industry has been dealt – in varying degrees, of course - with the same fate of mounting losses and plunging car sales. But we didn’t think that a company as esteemed and highly-regarded as Mercedes Benz could be affected this badly.
In their tradition of being larger than life, the German automaker Mercedes Benz has just released a Grand Edition of their R-Class SUV. This upscale model includes some fine touches that take luxury to the next level. Although the grand R-Class’s appears similar to the standard model, changes to the interior and exterior set it apart from the rest of the Mercedes lineup vehicles.
The Grand Edition is upgraded with bi-xenon headlamps, chrome-framed LED daytime driving lamps, 20 inch AMG designed light-weight two tone alloy wheels, an AMG ergonomic steering wheel with gearshift paddles and a set of classy sports pedals for the driver. Mercedes will make the Grand Edition available to the public in autumn for the small sum of €3,300, a small price to pay to set yourself apart from the crowd.
In October 2006, Mercedes-Benz was the first manufacturer to commence a BlueTEC initiative in the passenger car segment which was timed to coincide with the introduction of low-sulphur fuel in the United States of America. The E 320 BlueTEC proved a great success from the outset, and was voted "World Green Car of the Year 2007". As a next step, Mercedes-Benz is now due to offer the R, ML and GL 320 BlueTEC in the USA, the world’s first three diesel cars which not only meet the particularly demanding criteria of the American Bin 5 standard, but also have the potential to fulfil the stringent EU6 standard due in the future - and which therefore considerably better all the current, worldwide exhaust emission standards for diesel passenger cars.
The muscular V6 diesel engine powering the new BlueTEC models in the GL, M and R-Class shows that a low fuel consumption and very low emissions are also possible for large SUVs. It has an output of 155 kW/211 hp and develops a torque of 540 Nm. Fuel economy is outstanding: the GL 320 BlueTEC, for example, consumes just 9.5 litres of diesel fuel per 100 kilometres (25 mpg). This represents an advantage of around 20 to 40 percent versus a comparable petrol model, and easily makes the Mercedes-Benz GL 320 BlueTEC the most economical full-size SUV in the USA.
The Mercedes R-Class was introduced back in 2006, a time where minivan sales where plummeting and crossovers were coming out of every design studio. It was no surprise that Mercedes wanted a part of the action, made strong from their alliance with Chrysler, a leader in the minivan market. What was more surprising was the product. The R-Class was a self proclaimed ’Sport Cruiser’. The R-class was touted as a vehicle half way between the comfortable minivan and the smaller and more stylish crossover.
That the R-Class is not quite a success, everyone knows already. And now Mercedes had the force to admit that model indeed needs a new look. Daimler CEO Dieter Zetsche admitted that the Mercedes’ SUV/minivan crossover has failed to meet expectations.
or the third year running, readers of the magazine "Auto Zeitung" have voted the Mercedes-Benz R-Class the best van and once again awarded it the coveted "Auto Trophy". First place as best car in the luxury class was also taken by the Mercedes-Benz S-Class. Yesterday the awards were received in Berlin by Dr. Dieter Zetsche, Chairman of Daimler AG and CEO of Mercedes-Benz Cars, and the Executive Board member for Research and Development, Dr. Thomas Weber, in the presence of major personalities from the media, society, politics and business.
Even greater interior adaptability, two wheelbase lengths, rear-wheel drive or 4MATIC all-wheel drive and new engine variants – the Mercedes-Benz R-Class now opens up even more possibilities, especially when it comes to seating arrangements. The line-up, which includes the familiar configurations with up to six individual seats, has been augmented to include a five-seat version and a seven-seat variant. Plus new, distinctive bodystyling at the front and rear end lends the SUV Tourer added appeal.