The latest-generation Mercedes-Benz R-Class shows a new self-confidence. Its entire appearance is noticeably more attractive, underlining the unique character of this multi-talented vehicle. The focus of the designers was on the completely restyled front section, with an emphasis on width and a horizontally structured bonnet to make the vehicle appear more harmonious, muscular and dynamic.
Expressive: the new front section is full of character
At the front end of the Mercedes-Benz R-Class, the bonnet, wings, radiator grille, headlamps and bumper have been completely redesigned. On request, in conjunction with bi-xenon headlamps, a chrome insert enhances the integrated LED daytime driving lights. The character of the Mercedes R-Class can also be underlined by an optional, strikingly contoured, chrome-look underguard.
The new bonnet has more marked contours, and is more arrow-shaped at the front edge. The wider, higher radiator grille is more steeply angled, while the bumper cladding is more striking, with clear-cut lines. The side recesses in the bumper, where the fog lamps and daytime driving lights are located, are spaced well apart and give the front section an impression of width. The lines of the side skirts are harmoniously continued forward in the updated wings and grille. The new, dynamic "face" of the Mercedes-Benz R-Class is particularly impressive. The newly designed headlamps blend perfectly into the front end, emphasising the horizontal lines. The "eyelids" continue the beltline along the flanks, and are arranged above the chromed headlamp tubes to produce an assertive, concentrated gaze.
2011 Mercedes-Benz R-Class
Dynamism is also the order of the day where the side aspect is concerned. With the coupé-like lines of the window area, the luxury tourer distinguishes itself attractively from conventional MPVs. Eye-catching details of the clearly contoured flanks include the larger exterior mirror housings, which are set well away from the doors and are held by slim stems. The strikingly designed mirror housings in the vehicle colour have integrated indicator repeaters in the form of a stylised arrow. The new wheel designs are equally eye-catching: the range includes light-alloy wheels in 5-spoke, 5-twin-spoke or 10-spoke designs in sizes from 43.2 to 53.3 centimetres (17 to 21 inches).
Perfect finish: the rear section of the Mercedes-Benz R-Class
The rear section harmoniously continues the design idiom of the front, with a new bumper cladding, modified tail lights, a diffuser and integrated tailpipe trim emphasising the width with more horizontal structures, as at the front. The bumper also picks up the line of the side skirts, giving the effect of a continuous line running around the entire bodywork. Tail lights with LED and fibre optic technology, new exterior contours and horizontally arranged lighting functions lend the finishing touches to the rear section.
Interior appointments: Sitting comfortably in spacious luxury
If there were a versatility test for automobile interiors, the Mercedes-Benz R-Class would undoubtedly be a candidate for the top score. 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.
Seating arrangement: from 2-2-0 or 2-3-0 and 2-2-2 right up to a 2-3-2 system
The space provided behind the front seats is so generous that up to three child safety seats can be installed at the same time. If only four seats are required, the centre backrest can be folded down to serve as an armrest. Alternatively, the six-seater version features a console as standard in place of the centre seat. This also enables the Mercedes R-Class to shine with four luxurious individual seats.
Mercedes-Benz R-Class customers who particularly like variety are able to produce other formations by opting for two individual seats in the rear. With three passengers seated in the middle row, this gives a total seating capacity of seven. Groups of up to six people choose the popular 2-2-2 seating system, which provides all the occupants with an individual seat. The Mercedes-Benz 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 Mercedes-Benz R-Class also reveals another benefit in the form of its large, versatile luggage compartment: this has a capacity of 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 be operated remotely by means of a switch or key, also makes access to the luggage compartment easier. This makes the Mercedes-Benz R-Class the most variable and spacious vehicle in the entire Mercedes-Benz passenger car product range.
Refined atmosphere for maximum driving pleasure
The high-class interior - which seems even more spacious when fitted with the optional panoramic glass sunroof - makes use of new materials and colour combinations to enhance the high-class appeal and quality of this luxury tourer. At the same time they underline the sense of wellbeing which is so typical of a 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 shade 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 - in this case the seats feature a new transverse and linear piping design - the piping is finished in a contrasting colour. As alternatives to the aluminium trim with a dark longitudinal grain or the chrome trim in silver shadow, it is also possible to order luxurious wood trims in high-gloss brown eucalyptus, high-gloss brown burred walnut or high-gloss anthracite poplar.
The cockpit impresses with its newly designed instrument cluster. The dials and needles have a white background, and are even easier to read thanks to a three-dimensional effect.
That's entertainment - telematics and multimedia in the Mercedes R-Class
The telematics of the Mercedes-Benz R-Class impress with intuitive and user-friendly operation, high performance and great versatility. The luxury tourer is fitted as standard with the Audio 20 CD system with CD changer. This includes a 12.7 cm (5-inch) colour display, a twin tuner for better radio reception, speed-sensitive volume control, eight loudspeakers and a keypad for entering telephone numbers and radio frequencies. A hands-free system with Bluetooth interface and an Aux-in connection for mobile audio devices such as an iPod are also integrated. On request, a Media Interface (UCI) is also available to connect an external music memory to the onboard electronics and the control system, so that music tracks are shown in the instrument cluster and the colour display in the centre console, and can be conveniently accessed using the keys in the multifunction steering wheel. The battery of the audio device is charged at the same time.
Passengers can also enjoy full, concert-hall surround-sound with the optional, latest-generation Harman Kardon Logic7 sound system. With a high output, a digital signal processor (DSP) and Dolby Digital 5.1, this ensures an outstandingly clear listening experience. As an optional extra, there is also a rear seat entertainment system with two large 20.3 cm (8‑inch) screens, a DVD player and two wireless headsets for greater freedom of movement, plus a remote control unit.
One particularly impressive optional extra is the COMAND APS system, for which the customer receives free navigation map updates covering 39 European countries for a period of three years after first registration. In addition to the features of Audio 20 CD, this multimedia system has a 6-disc CD changer, a high-resolution 16.5 cm (6.5-inch) colour display, a 4 GB memory for MP3 files (Music Register) and a memory card slot (SD cards). The HDD navigation system with various map displays and automatic traffic tailback reporting (TMC) rapidly guides the driver to the desired destination. COMAND APS also includes a DVD audio/video player and a compass function, which is shown in both the instrument cluster and the central COMAND display. Like the Audio 50 system, COMAND APS features the latest LINGUATRONIC voice-operated control system.
Eight airbags, crash-responsive head restraints and an electronic guardian angel
All models have numerous features as standard which help to make long journeys as well as 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-responsive NECK-PRO front head restraints, a tyre pressure loss warning system and adaptive brake lights. Safety is also enhanced by high-performance telematic systems such as the Audio 20, Audio 50 APS or COMAND APS with an extremely user-friendly interface, as well as a raised seating position. This gives the driver a good view of the traffic conditions, enabling him or her to recognise potential dangers more quickly and easily.
Everything considered: integral Mercedes-Benz safety concept
The comprehensive Mercedes approach to integral safety also applies in the new R-Class. This trailblazing safety philosophy goes well beyond compliance with standardised crash test regulations. It concerns itself with all aspects of driving - everything that is important for the safety of the vehicle occupants and other road users. The Mercedes safety concept divides these aspects into four phases:
Comprehensive restraint system for the best possible occupant protection
Combined with the front and rear deformation zones, the high-strength occupant cell forms an effective basis for occupant protection systems that include:
The electronic guardian angel: PRE-SAFE has a preventive effect
Occupant protection in the new Mercedes-Benz R-Class begins well before an accident. The Mercedes-Benz invention PRE-SAFE is able to activate preventive measures reflexively when it recognises the danger of an accident, so that the belts and airbags can protect the occupants to best effect during the collision. This multiple award-winning technology is standard equipment.
PRE-SAFE uses a synergy of active and passive safety: it is networked with Brake Assist (BAS) and the Electronic Stability Program ESP, whose sensors can recognise potentially critical handling situations and send corresponding information to the electronic control units within milliseconds. These sensor data are also used for preventive occupant protection by PRE-SAFE. The PRE-SAFE protective measures are reversible: if the accident is avoided, the preventive belt tensioning is relaxed automatically, and the passengers can return the seats and sliding sunroof to their original positions. The preventive occupant protection is then immediately ready for use again.
In case the worst happens: Daimler trains the fire services
Like the Mercedes-Benz R-Class, all automobiles from Mercedes-Benz are among the world's safest. This high protection potential is the result of Daimler AG's comprehensive approach. Of course, however, protective measures reach their limits if the parameters make control intervention more difficult and - in the case of very serious accidents - if access to and recovery of the occupants is sometimes no longer possible via the vehicle doors.
Even in these extreme circumstances, where the focus is on "patient-compatible recovery", the company follows its comprehensive safety philosophy and assists the emergency services with their work. This is because the effectiveness of post-accident assistance, where emergency doctors, paramedics and the fire services work together to recover the occupants as rapidly and carefully as possible, depends absolutely on preparation. To this end, Daimler AG offers the fire services practical training events during which they can learn and apply a wide variety of recovery techniques using the latest models. In addition, Daimler provides detailed recovery guidelines and so-called 'rescue cards' online. These are in accordance with the standards set by the VDA workgroup, and show recovery techniques specific to the different model series.
Tradition: 40 years of accident research at Mercedes-Benz
This close cooperation between Daimler safety specialists, the emergency services and the police has a long tradition: in 1969 Mercedes-Benz started its ongoing accident research programme, in which engineers evaluate collisions involving the company's vehicles in the Stuttgart region soon after they occur - and in special cases even worldwide. Again and again, the findings of the accident researchers provide important information on components that can be specifically improved in terms of passive safety. The investigators have examined around 4000 accidents since their work started 40 years ago. Each crash is documented with an 80-page accident report. This continuously growing database will enable vehicles to be made even safer in the future.
Drive system and chassis: Drive for economy
In addition to the economical petrol variants adopted from the preceding model, with their customary effortless power delivery and high drive comfort, a range of optimised diesel engines enhances the appeal of the Mercedes-Benz R-Class. With a fuel consumption figure of 7.6 l/100 km (combined NEDC consumption), the R 300 CDI BlueEFFICIENCY requires around 7 percent less fuel than its predecessor, the R 300 CDI without BlueEFFICIENCY technology.
R 300 CDI BlueEFFICIENCY: low fuel consumption MPV
As with all BlueEFFICIENCY models from Mercedes-Benz, the R-Class features a whole range of measures to reduce fuel consumption. In addition to the direct-injection diesel engine and the low-friction powertrain, these measures include weight reductions achieved through the use of high-strength and ultra-high-strength steels in the bodyshell and weight-optimised light-alloy wheels. Aerodynamic exterior mirrors and underbody panelling lower drag, while 235/65 R 17 tyres reduce rolling resistance. A controlled fuel pump and energy-saving electrohydraulic power steering also lower the energy requirements. A display indicating the current fuel consumption and a fuel consumption computer enable the Mercedes R-Class driver to check fuel efficiency at any time, and adapt the style of driving as necessary.
Economising can be fun: the new V6 diesel with 195 kW (265 hp) and 620 Nm
The new R 350 CDI 4MATIC is entering a particularly sporty league, and combines the high performance of a V8 model with the low fuel consumption of an economical V6 variant. It is happy with just 8.5 litres of diesel (combined NEDC consumption) 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. This powerful package is celebrating its world premiere in the new Mercedes-Benz R-Class, and enables the sportiest of all diesel-powered R-Class models 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.
This evolutionary stage of the successful V6 diesel engine was realised with improved engine management in the form of new-generation control units and new software, new sensors and actuators, and more efficient after-treatment in the maintenance-free diesel particulate filter system with reduced back-pressure. In addition to more effective cooling of recirculated exhaust gas using a variable bypass valve, the in-engine measures include a reduction of the compression ratio from 17.7:1 to 15.5:1, an optimised VNT turbocharger with low-friction shaft bearings for greater agility and high output, new injection nozzles and revised ducting in the intake tract. A whole package of measures has resulted in substantial fuel savings: these include generally lower in-engine friction, more efficient thermal management, an improved compound oil pump and modified cylinder head cooling.
R 350 BlueTEC 4MATIC: as clean as a petrol model
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© exhaust gas after-treatment, the compression-ignition engine consumes an average of 0.3 of a litre less, at 8.4 litres (combined NEDC consumption) 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. BlueTEC is a technology developed by Mercedes-Benz for the effective reduction of emissions by diesel vehicles, especially nitrogen oxides. In this process, AdBlue, a non-toxic, aqueous urea solution is injected into the stream of exhaust gases. This releases ammonia, which breaks down up to 80 percent of the nitrogen oxides into harmless nitrogen and water in the downstream SCR catalytic converter (Selective Catalytic Reduction).
Effortless power delivery with high drive comfort: The petrol variants in the Mercedes-Benz R-Class
The range of petrol engines has three variants, and gives the Mercedes-Benz R-Class a high level of drive comfort together with effortless power delivery and a moderate fuel consumption. The V6 petrol engine of the rear-wheel drive R 300 develops 170 kW (231 hp), accelerates the Mercedes-Benz R-Class from zero to 100 km/h in 9.6 seconds and provides a top speed of 222 km/h. The combined NEDC fuel consumption is 11.1 l/100 km. The all-wheel drive R 350 4MATIC with a 3.5-litre V6 engine develops 200 kW (272 hp) and a maximum torque of 350 Newton metres. Despite this extra output and performance (top speed 230 km/h, 0-100 km/h in 8.3 seconds), the R 350 4MATIC consumes only 0.5 l/100 km more (combined NEDC fuel consumption) compared with the R 300. This low difference in consumption once again demonstrates the high efficiency of the 4MATIC all-wheel drive system.
In the top-of-the-range R 500 4MATIC, the 5.5-litre V8 engine with 285 kW (388 hp) and a maximum torque of 530 Newton metres guarantees impressive performance figures. A sprint from zero to 100 km/h is absolved in 6.3 seconds, with a top speed of 250 km/h.
Geared up: 7G-TRONIC as standard in all models
All Mercedes R-Class models are equipped with the latest-generation of the innovative 7G-TRONIC automatic transmission. The Fuel Efficiency variant of the seven-speed transmission has new bearings and couplings. Different oil pressures and a new, low-friction oil help to reduce friction and churning losses. The new torque converter with slip-reduced lockup clutch likewise improves efficiency and aids fuel economy. In addition, standstill decoupling lowers fuel consumption. This technical feature reduces transmission input torque in "D" when the car is at rest, for example at traffic lights. This lowers the stress on the engine, making for lower fuel consumption, better vehicle acoustics, greater comfort at standstill and smoother idling. The slip-controlled clutch is engaged as soon as the driver releases the operating brake, ensuring no delay or quality compromise when the vehicle moves off.
Stability pact: the well-proven suspension of the R-Class
The Mercedes-Benz R-Class has a dynamically active and comfortable suspension with high safety reserves as standard. All model variants have steel springs, and in the 5+2-seater variants and the top R 500 4MATIC model self-levelling rear air suspension is included as standard. This self-levelling rear air suspension is available as an option for all other models. The AIRMATIC package with air suspension, the Adaptive Damping System and level adjustment improves both ride comfort and handling dynamics, and is likewise optionally available for all Mercedes-Benz R-Class models.