Kitzbühel 2007: The Mercedes-Benz SUV Family
Jun 12, 2007
SUV Tourer with many combination options: The new R-Class – enhanced versatility and appeal
Even greater interior adaptability, two wheelbase lengths, rear-wheel drive or 4MATIC all-wheel drive, new engine variants and new, even more striking styling – the Mercedes-Benz R-Class now opens up even more possibilities. With a total of 13 basic versions, this model series offers the most extensive range within the Mercedes-Benz SUV family. Moreover, the interior now allows scope for new 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.
The Mercedes-Benz R-Class continues to set trends. This exceptional automotive concept combines the acknowledged strengths of several vehicle classes. Exemplary touring comfort, superlative handling dynamics, a high level of adaptability, extremely spacious accommodation, including a vast luggage compartment, coupled with expressive design and hallmark Mercedes safety – the R-Class leaves very little to be desired. For the first time, the R‑Class features a second row of seats for three people, providing scope for completely new seating arrangements: normally this touring SUV provides seating for five occupants, however two, three, four, six or seven seats are also possible. In addition the owner of an R-Class has the benefit of an unbeatably large and versatile load compartment: the short-wheelbase versions with a five-seat configuration can swallow 939 litres of luggage when loaded up to the roof, while the long-wheelbase models have a luggage compartment capacity of 1118 litres. The short-wheelbase R‑Class can carry a maximum of 2001 litres (longest load-compartment length 1982 mm) while the figure for the long-wheelbase version is an unparalleled 2436 litres (longest load-compartment length 2217 mm). These passenger and load compartment dimensions make the R-Class the most spacious model in the entire Mercedes-Benz passenger car range. Both versions feature practical stowage compartments under the load-compartment floor, with a capacity of 51 and 52 litres respectively. These can be used for stowing various items and keeping valuables out of sight.
Pure Variability
Even holiday trips with five people and all their luggage on board are handled with ease. The second seat row not only has space for three fully-grown adults, but will alternatively accommodate no less than three child seats or child restraint systems. The range of child seats offered by Mercedes-Benz Accessories GmbH has just the right solution for any age group. The outer seats are equipped with ISOFIX attachment points. All the seats are fitted with three-point seat belts, and the passive safety system can be enhanced even further with optional sidebags. If only four persons are travelling and the rear seat in the centre is not required, it can be turned into a comfortable centre armrest in just a few simple moves. Plus two individual seats can be added at the rear to transform the R-Class into a 5+2-seater. Despite the new seating arrangement in the centre of the vehicle, convenience functions such as fore/aft adjustment and EASY ENTRY, which facilitates access to the rear seats, are retained. All the seats in the rear can be folded down individually to provide a larger transport capacity, creating a completely flat loading area from the front seat backrests to the tailgate. Loading is an easy matter thanks to the low loading sill height of 695 millimetres. The previously mandatory 4+2-seat configuration is still available as an option.
Attractive exterior exudes confidence
The new model-year R-Class not only boasts new interior features. On the outside, too, the facelifted SUV Tourer is distinguishable by an even more striking bodystyling package at the front and rear, circular fog lamps and 18-inch light-alloy wheels for all V6 versions. The top-of-the-range R 500 4MATIC is fitted with 19-inch wheels. R-Class customers can also choose from three new paint colours: calcite white, sanidine beige or periclase green. These changes apply to both the short-wheelbase and long-wheelbase models.
Complete range from R 280 CDI to R 500 4MATIC
The engine line-up is augmented by the new V6 petrol powerplant in the R 280, which shines with its impressive power delivery and moderate fuel consumption. This particular unit develops 170 kW/231 hp, propels the R-Class from 0 to 100 km/h in 9.6 seconds and consumes a mere 10.9 litres of premium unleaded per 100 km (NEDC combined figure). The R 280 CDI 4MATIC, equipped with a latest-generation common-rail diesel engine developing 140 kW/190 hp, is even more fuel-efficient. With a peak torque of 440 Nm, the V6 powerplant delivers smooth performance yet requires just 9.3 litres of diesel per 100 km. The R 500 4MATIC model also features a new engine in the shape of a 5.5-litre V8 developing 285 kW/388 hp and a peak torque of 530 Nm, thus ensuring impressive performance figures. The flagship V8 engine develops 82 hp more than the previous model, while fuel consumption has been reduced by up to 7 percent (all NEDC combined figures). All R-Class models are specified with the innovative 7G-TRONIC automatic transmission with DIRECT SELECT lever on the steering column.
Mercedes-Benz now offers three new entry-level R-Class models – the R 280 CDI, the R 280 and the R 350 – all of which are V6 versions with rear-wheel drive and a choice of a short or long wheelbase. Thanks to the reduction in weight and inherently lower friction losses in the powertrain, the rear-wheel drive models return even lower fuel-consumption figures. The most fuel-efficient R-Class is now the R 280 CDI which consumes just 8.9 litres of diesel per 100 km (NEDC combined).
All five-seater and 4+2-seater model variants are equipped with a steel suspension, while air suspension with level control is available as an optional extra for the rear axle. All 5+2-seater variants and the flagship R 500 4MATIC model have air suspension with level control fitted as standard at the rear. AIRMATIC air suspension with the Adaptive Damping System (ADS) is available as an optional extra for all versions.
Complete range of equipment for the ultimate in comfort
All R-Class models feature new items of standard equipment that make automotive travel even more relaxing. For instance, the THERMATIC automatic climate control is equipped with a combination filter to further reduce the pollutants in the air inside the vehicle, while the spacious glove compartment now incorporates an AUX-IN connection for external audio or entertainment devices. On request the interior can be enhanced even further with a two-tone colour scheme. In conjunction with a leather or nappa leather interior in beige or grey, areas such as the roof liner, pillar linings, steering wheel, door armrests, rear side walls and vehicle floor are in black to provide an attractive contrast.
In addition to the extensive standard equipment package, the R-Class offers numerous assistance systems that represent the pinnacle in handling comfort and safety, and back up the claim to leadership in this market segment. These include DISTRONIC proximity control, actively ventilated front seats, LINGUATRONIC voice control and a reversing camera for safe and easy parking or manoeuvring when visibility is poor. As soon as the driver selects "R" (reverse gear), the camera image appears in the COMAND APS display. Rear passengers can select their own on-board entertainment programme courtesy of the rear-seat entertainment system. If the panoramic glass sliding roof is specified, the interior appears even more airy and spacious. Further comfort-enhancing options include an auxiliary heater with remote control and an electrically heated steering wheel for when the weather turns colder.
Scientific studies carried out by the DaimlerChrysler research department confirm the outstanding level of long-distance comfort provided by the R‑Class. During a detailed programme of scientific tests, driver stress measured on the basis of heart rate was much lower in the R-Class than in comparable vehicles. This means that the strain on the driver is noticeably reduced, enabling him to concentrate more fully on the traffic and respond to critical situations with greater alertness. Mercedes-Benz has concerned itself with this important area, which is known as stress-relieving safety, for the last 25 years. It represents an important development aim, and has reached an outstanding level in all passenger cars bearing the Mercedes star.
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