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New models - Mercedes-Benz - R-class

R-class range expands

Three Rs: Mercedes' "sports tourer" line-up now comprises four engines.

Mercedes adds an entry-level diesel to the R-class range, which now offers seven seats

Mercedes-Benz logo27 Sep 2007

MERCEDES-BENZ is about to add a new entry-level diesel variant, an upgraded V8 and, finally, seven seats to its R-class people-mover, which it continues to prefer to call a "sports tourer".

Released in Europe recently and to be released here on the opening day of the Sydney motor show (October 11), the expanded R-class wagon range will be headed by the new rear-drive-only, short-wheelbase R280 CDI, priced at $78,900.

Like the rest of the revised R-class range from October, the R280 CDI will come as standard with seating for seven, with the current six-seat (2+2+2) cabin layout diteched for a more conventional 2+3+2 seating configuration.

The R280 CDI is powered by the lower-spec version of Mercedes' 3.0-litre turbo-diesel V6, which produces 140kW and 440Nm of torque. Stated combined average fuel consumption is 8.9L/100km.

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4 center imageIt will come standard with Benz's Pre-Safe anticipatory occupant protection system, ESP traction/stability control, eight airbags and Neck-Pro active head restraints, plus full Artico fake leather trim, a six-CD/MP3 player, Thermatic climate-control, 18-inch alloys and AMG body styling.

Also from October, buyers of the all-wheel drive R350 and R320 CDI variants can choose between two Luxury packages as standard.

Luxury pack one comprises full burr walnut timber trim, leather upholstery and Thermotronic multi-zone luxury climate control, while luxury pack two features front sports seats trimmed in a mixture of Artico and alcantara upholstery, plus sports instrumentation and aluminium sports pedals.

Alternatively, customers can reduce the price of both six-cylinder AWD models by $8000 by deleting the luxury package. At the same time, prices for both the 350 and 320 rise by $9000.

Powered by a 3.5-litre petrol V6, the revised R350 costs $91,900 (up from $82,900), while R320 CDI (powered by a higher-output version of the R280 CDI's 3.0-litre V6 turbo-diesel) is priced at $94,900 - up from $85,900. As before, long-wheelbase versions of both variants cost an extra $3000.

The R500 R-class flagship, meantime, ditches its aged three-valve 225kW/460Nm 5.0 V8-litre V8 in favour of the new 285kW/530Nm 5.5-litre four-valve version that already powers the S500 limousine, as well as the E500, CLS500 and GL500 SUV.

As such, combined average fuel consumption also drops from 13.3 to 12.9L/100km.

The upgraded R500L (with long-wheelbase and 4Matic AWD system as standard) also scores bi-Xenon headlights and the choice of two luxury option packs as standard, and costs $124,900 - up from $122,900. The short-wheelbase R500 ($119,900) has been discontinued.

Finally, two new options packages have been made available for the R-class.

For $4800, the Vision Package is claimed to comrpise more than $7000 of extra features, including bi-Xenon headlights with active light function, cornering lights and washers, a sunroof anda 12-speaker Harman/Kardon Logic7 440-watt surround sound system.

Meantime, for $4900, the Premium package is said to equate to $9300 of optional equipment, including Distronic radar cruise control, heated/ventilated Luxury front seats and Keyless-Go starting.

2007 Mercedes-Benz R-class pricing:
R280 CDI (a) $78,900
R350 4Matic (a) $91,900
R350L 4Matic (a) $94,900
R320 CDI 4Matic (a) $94,900
R320L CDI 4Matic (a) $97,900
R500L 4matic (a) $124,900

Read more:

First drive: Diesel R320 CDI is the pick of the Rs

First drive: Benz R-class will have limited appeal

First look: R-class gets AMG muscle

Read our drive impressions of the Mercedes-Benz R-class range


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