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Future models - Mercedes-Benz - R-class

New York show: Benz lobs revised R-class

R for ritzy: Mercedes' revised R-class gets nip and tuck for 2010.

Mercedes reveals facelifted R-class ahead of its October debut Down Under

Mercedes-Benz logo1 Apr 2010

By MARTON PETTENDY

MERCEDES-BENZ has lifted the lid on a facelifted version of its R-class people-mover, which first went on sale here four years ago in April 2006.

The midlife makeover for the large Mercedes wagon will bring new front-end styling and a range of new engines. Australian production begins in June and the 2011 R-class will be released here in late October.

Mercedes says the redesigned R-class front-end – including a new bonnet, front quarter panels, headlights and bumper – borrows elements from both its M-class and GL-class SUVs and current Benz sedans, while LED daytime running lights, new wing mirrors, fresh wheel choices and redesigned tail-lights have also been added.

Previously available in rear-drive R280 CDI, plus all-wheel drive R350, R350 LWB, R320 CDI, R320 CDI LWB and R500 Touring LWB guises priced between $80,835 and $129,111, the R-class range is likely to be replaced by upgraded 2011 R350, R350 LWB, R350 CDI, R350 CDI LWB, R300 CDI, R300 CDI 4Motion and R500 LWB variants.

The ‘greenest’ of them will be the new rear-drive R300 CDI diesel variant, which will be badged as a BlueEfficiency model in Europe and comes with a variation of the 140kW/440Nm 3.0-litre turbo-diesel V6 that powers the superseded R280 CDI, but with a claimed seven per cent improvement in fuel consumption to 7.6L/100km.

Similarly, the fresh R350 CDI 4Matic is now claimed to return lower 8.5L/100km consumption, despite being driven by a more powerful 195kW/620Nm 3.0-litre turbo-diesel V6 – up from 165kW/510 in the outgoing R320 CDI. Claimed 0-100km/h acceleration in the upgraded diesel R-class is now stated at 7.6 seconds (9.5 for the R300 CDI).

Petrol V6 (R350) and V8 (R500) versions of the R-class - which was last updated via a new entry-level model and seven-seat version, and is also available in Europe in R63 AMG form – offer fewer mechanical changes than the R300 and R350 CDI diesels.

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