The R-Class takes the different parts of existing vehicle categories, such as sporty saloon, estate, MPV and SUV, which Mercedes says, "is all about the three Ds: Dimensions, Design and Dynamism”.
The new model will be available with two engine variants. The V8 powerplant under the bonnet of the R 500 propels it from 0-62.5 mph in 6.9 seconds with a top speed of 149mph. Also in the engine line-up is a new six-cylinder power unit with third-generation common-rail, direct-injection technology.
The V6 272bhp petrol engine, the R 350 accelerates from 0-62.5 mph in 8.3 seconds and reaches a top speed of 143mph.
All engine models are partnered as standard with the 7G-TRONIC seven-speed automatic transmission, which comes with Direct select.
Gearshift buttons replace the centre console gear selector.
All-wheel drive, rear axle air-suspension and traction control system are all included as standard.
Mercedes customers also have the option of Airmatic all-round air suspension. This is interlinked with the ADS Adaptive Damping System, offering motorists the ability to raise the body by up to 50mm when driving along rough roads. At high speeds above 75mph, the body is automatically lowered by 20mm to reduce wind resistance.
Adaptive front airbags and front sidebags as well as windowbags and belt tensioners can all be found on the standard specification list of the new R-Class.
Neck-Pro crash-responsive head restraints are available as an added option.
Extra options also include the chrome styling package for the exterior, a sports styling package featuring a styled instrument cluster, sports pedals, 19-inch wheels and power-adjustable sports seats upholstered in Alcantara/ARTICO man-made leather and an interior appointments package comprising of leather upholstery, power-adjustable front seats and wood trim.
The new R-Class is being launched first in the US in autumn 2005. Deliveries to customers in Europe will begin early in 2006 with UK arrivals around spring 2006.