Mercedes-Benz has revealed a much-needed midlife update for its R-Class people-mover at the New York Auto Show.
The front-end has been completely redesigned, with the out-going model’s curves replaced by squarer lines that draw inspiration from its E- and M-Class siblings. The bonnet, wings, radiator grille, headlamps and bumpers all have a much sharper and more integrated appearance.
The engine range has also been overhauled as Mercedes’ engineers placed emphasis on efficiency and environmental sustainability for the 2011 model.
Mercedes claims the new R 350 BlueTEC 4MATIC features one of the world’s cleanest diesel engines.
With power outputs peaking at 155kW/540Nm, the V6 engine consumes 8.4 litres/100km – 0.3 litres/100km less than its predecessor – and already fulfils Euro VI emissions standards.
The R 350 CDI 4MATIC receives a substantial power increase from 165kW to 195kW and torque topping out at 620Nm.
The V6 is capable of accelerating from 0-100km/h in 7.6 seconds and has a top speed of 235km/h, while economy has been kept to 8.5 litres/100km.
The redesign extends from the front to the rear with a focus on giving the R-Class a wider appearance. Alloy options range from 17 to 21in while at the back the bumper covering is new and the tail lamps and integrated tailpipes have also been modified.
Luggage space of the standard wheel-base variant is 1950 litres while the long wheel-base version adds an extra 435 litres.
Standard safety includes Pre-Safe with eight airbags, crash-active head restraints, tyre pressure loss warning system and adaptive brake lights.
Delivery of the 2011 Mercedes-Benz R-Class will begin in the UK from September this year.
Mercedes-Benz Australia's Peter Fadeyev confirmed the updated R-Class will arrive in Australia in the 4th quarter of the year, most likely in October or November.
He said it was still too early to speculate on range specifics but suggested the local offering would be similar to the current line-up.
In a blow for performance fans, Mr Fadeyev quashed suggestions of an R 63 AMG model for Australia, admitting a halo car for the R-Class range was not currently on the agenda.
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