However you categorize it, the new R-Class is a quiet, refined transport module with an impressive dynamic envelope. Practical and personable, the new R-Class has the style and spirit to score with buyers, no matter what niche it may occupy. Like most places, the front-row seats really are the best in the house. Affluent early adopters who want style, practicality, and something a bit out of the norm are prime R-Class targets, with late-forming boomer families and forward-looking empty nesters topping the hit list. All four rear seats can be easily -- and individually -- transitioned into a flat floor, raising cargo capacity from a modest 15. Style, space, and civility are cornerstones of the R-Class experience. Other options include: ventilated and heated multi-contoured seats with power and memory functions and a panorama glass roof.
Producing 268 hp at 6,000 rpm, it uses variable valve timing to help turn out a stout 258 lb-ft of peak torque from 2,400-5,000 revs -- 90 percent of that from just over 1,500 rpm. The single-piece tailgate with a large bumper-level cutout simplifies loading. The fully independent suspension, with or without the optional Airmatic assist and multi-mode Adaptive Damping System, is equally competent. . The full-time, all-wheel-drive system has three open differentials but no low range. The interior will get two-tone finishes: Almond Beige-Mocha Brown and Gray-Basalt Gray. The R350 has M-B's new 3.
Two distinct engine families provide motivation. Although critics may see the R-Class as an overgrown station wagon, or worse, a mega-minivan, other manufacturers--notably with its soon-on-the-scene Q7, with its upcoming V-Series, and even with the new Mazda5--clearly believe that buyers are ready for a new breed of people movers aimed at adventurous on-roaders. Even the V-6 provides respectable acceleration and passing power--although with a curb weight between 4,700-4,900 pounds, the V-8 is an attractive alternative, dropping 0-60-mph times from just over eight to just under seven seconds and making hilly terrain and heavy passenger loads less challenging. Both are backed by a slick seven-speed automatic transmission that's electronically activated by a column-mounted mini-shift lever and offers TouchShift gear changes via buttons on the steering wheel. The new generation Mercedes R-Class made its world debut today at the. And its corporate cousin, the , is definitely present in spirit if not sheer sumptuousness.
But with 64 percent of R-Class interior volume devoted to passenger space, average-sized adults can travel comfortably in tier two or even three. Press release after the jump. If there is a caveat of note, it relates to the long, conventionally hinged rear doors. 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. Hand-polished wood, hand-fitted leather seating inserts, well-formed front buckets with a powered driver's perch, and numerous other power assists, plus cruise control highlight the common luxo touches. As long as an S-Class but with four more inches of wheelbase, the R-Class has a unique visual presence based on a dynamic wedge shape that yields a remarkably low 0.
A locking glovebox, covered dual-plane center storage, door pockets, four quite usable cupholders, and three 12V power points head the utility list. . . . . .
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