New York 2010: Face-Lifted 2011 Mercedes R-Class Arives in New York With U.S. Olympic Bobsled Team

New York 2010: Face-Lifted 2011 Mercedes R-Class Arives in New York With U.S. Olympic Bobsled Team

Considering the abysmal sales of the R-Class, the Mercedes might have preferred to just let the model slowly slip-off into obscurity, but instead the designers and engineers did their best to try and revive the luxury minivan. Debuting at the New York Auto Show today, the new 2011 R-Class gets a front-end makeover with a more flat-front nose and added angles – much like the rest of the modern Mercedes lineup.

Inside there are some updates but overall the car is still very much the same, as are the engines. Returning for 2011 is the R350 4MATIC model with its lacklustre 268-hp V6 and an unimpressive 14/19 mpg (city/highway) rating. The better option for those looking to save on fuel is the R350 BlueTEC 4MATIC with 210 hp,  400 ft-lbs fo torque and an 18/24 mpg (city/hwy) rating.

Highlights include Distronic adaptive cruise control, airmatic air suspension with adaptive damping, and a Blid Spot Assist system (all optional). Options even include wheel sizes ranging all the way up to 21-inches.

Mercedes introduced the 2011 R-Class in New York, driven on stage by the Gold Medal-winning U.S. Olympic 4-men bobsled team, hoping to draw a comparison. And while we’ll admit that the new R-Class is a more attractive vehicle and that it does fit the four big guys with ease, Mercedes won’t be winning any golds, or putting any gold in the bank thanks to the R-Class.

For more on the 2011 R-Class, get all the details in the official release after the jump.

GALLERY: 2011 Mercedes-Benz R-Class


Official release after the jump:

A Bold New Look

March 31, 2010 – NEW YORK

Mercedes-Benz is celebrating the world premiere of the redesigned 2011MY R-Class luxury crossover at the New York International Auto Show, open to the public April 2-11, 2010 at the Jacob Javits Center. The 2011MY R-Class combines the spaciousness of a luxury SUV with the safety, style and exclusivity of a Mercedes-Benz sedan.

Powered by a 3.5-liter V6 gasoline engine, the R350 4MATIC produces 268 hp and 258 lb-ft. of torque, while the R350 BlueTEC 4MATIC features a 210-hp 3.0-liter turbodiesel delivering an impressive 18 mpg city and 24 mpg in the highway driving cycle. Available in 6- and 7-passenger seating configurations, all models feature the sure-footed confidence of standard 4MATIC all-wheel drive.

E-Class Wagon Makes North American Debut

The new 2011MY E350 4MATIC wagon joins the sedan, coupe and cabrio models to complete the versatile E-Class lineup. Featuring standard 4MATIC all-wheel drive and a 7-speed automatic transmission, the V6 E350 4MATIC wagon features a 3.5- liter V6 producing 268-hp and 258 lb-ft. of torque. Detailed with expressive aluminum roof rails, the sleek 2011 E-Class wagon appears to have continuous side windows from the front windshield all the way to the rear lift gate, thanks to flush roof pillars trimmed to blend with the side glass.

A 60-40 fold-down rear seat makes for cavernous cargo capacity that’s highly flexible; the E350 4MATIC wagon is the only vehicle in its market segment to feature sevenplace seating as standard. With coil spring suspension up front and electronicallycontrolled air springs at the rear, the load-leveling air suspension keeps the car level regardless of the cargo weight.

SLS AMG GT3 Makes U.S. Debut

Automobile fascination paired with spectacular race car design – that is the new Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG GT3. The racing version of the 2011 SLS AMG has been conceived as a customer sport vehicle for participation in race series based on FIA GT3 regulations. Meticulous lightweight construction and optimized chassis, brakes and aerodynamics deliver uncompromising dynamics. The extra special SLS AMG will make its race track debut in 2011.

The MY2011 Mercedes-Benz R-Class – Safety, Luxury and First-Class Comfort

Bold New Look

One look is all it takes to see that the new MY2011 R-Class conveys a new level of assertiveness, underscoring the unique personality of this multi-talented vehicle. The completely redesigned front end completely transforms its overall appearance, taking its inspiration from Mercedes-Benz sedans and SUV models. Alongside its fresh exterior, the inner values of the redesigned MY2011 R-Class also speak for themselves. These include the spaciousness of a luxury SUV, as well as the safety, style and exclusivity of a Mercedes-Benz sedan. At the same time, the latest generation offers the interior versatility central to the R-Class vehicle concept, while also delivering the all-weather confidence of 4MATIC allwheel drive as standard (U.S. models only). The R-Class celebrates its world premiere at the New York International Auto Show (NYIAS) March 31, 2010.

Efficient Engines

For the U.S. market, the R-Class is offered with a choice of two fuel-efficient engines. The R350 4MATIC delivers 268 hp and 258 lb-ft of torque, yet achieves an estimated 14/19 mpg (city/hwy), while the R350 BlueTEC 4MATIC is one of the world’s cleanest diesel vehicles. The V6 turbodiesel engine generates an output of 210 hp (155 kW) and an impressive torque of 400 lb-ft. Equipped with the highly-effective AdBlue© exhaust treatment system for low emissions, the diesel engine achieves an estimated 18/24 mpg (city/hwy).

A New Level of Style and Versatility

The redesigned R-Class features an assertive new design, further emphasizing the unique personality of this multi-talented vehicle. Designers focused their attention on completely restyling the front end, giving the R-Class a look that is both harmonious and powerfully dynamic. In addition to the hood, fenders, radiator grille, front fascia, headlamps and bumpers — with chrome simulated underguards — have all been completely redesigned. The face of the R-Class can be further enhanced with chrome trim incorporating optional LED daytime running lights in combination with bi-xenon headlamps.

Viewed from the side, the R-Class sets itself apart from conventional crossovers with the coupe-like line of its windshield and its distinctive, redesigned exterior mirrors and wheels. U.S. models feature standard 5-spoke, 19-inch wheels, with a 20-inch rim available on the R350 4MATIC as part of the Sport package. International market versions offer 5-spoke, twin 5-spoke and 10-spoke designs ranging from 17 to 21 inches (43.2 to 53.3 cm). The front-end design language continues through to the rear of the R-Class, with a restyled rear bumper with reflectors, standard LED rear taillights and integrated exhaust pipes.

Wellness program – relaxed ambience for long journeys and everyday use

If there was a versatility test for automotive interiors, the R-Class would surely be the top contender for first place. The seating variants in particular offer a wide range of possibilities – the R-Class was designed with a focus on comfort and security and with relaxed and safe travel in mind. Long wheelbase versions (short wheelbase not offered in the U.S.) offer seating for six people in the standard layout. Five, six and seven-seat configurations are also available (U.S. models offer standard seating for 6, with 7 passenger seating optional). Standard equipment includes partially poweroperated seats for the driver and front seat passenger. Active ventilated and heatedmulti-contour seats with full power adjustment and memory function are available as an option (special order in the U.S.) for front seat occupants.

The R-Class delivers a further benefit in the shape of its large, versatile luggage compartment. The short wheelbase version (not available in the U.S.) has a luggage capacity of up to 1,950 liters, while the long wheelbase version offers a maximum of 84 cu. ft./2,385 liters. All five-seat variants come with a separate load compartment beneath the floor of the main luggage area. The optional power liftgate — controlled remotely from either switch or key fob — facilitates easy entry to the cargo area. This makes the R-Class the most versatile and spacious vehicle in the entire Mercedes-Benz passenger vehicle lineup.

In the finely appointed, airy interior — which feels even more spacious with the optional panorama glass roof — new materials and color combinations raise the premium feel and quality of this luxury crossover. They also add to the hallmark Mercedes ambience onboard. U.S. models offer a choice of standard MB-Tex in Cashmere and Ash in addition to popular Black. European customers can select from a range of upholstery combinations that include “Aspen” fabric and MB-Tex simulated leather.

New to the international range are the two-tone interior finishes. The base color of Almond Beige can be combined with the contrasting Mocha Brown. Alternatively, there is the base color Alpaca Gray contrasting with deep Basalt Gray (choice of beige/black or grey/black on U.S. models). Both color combinations are applied to the cockpit, steering wheel, center console, seats, door trim and floor coverings. Contrasting seat piping complements standard MB-Tex or optional leather upholstery.

The AMG interior sports package (not available in U.S.) comes as standard with black Nappa leather upholstery. Alongside trim elements in dark brushed aluminum and chrome trim in Silver Shadow, customers can also order from opulent wood veneer trim in high-gloss eucalyptus, high-gloss burl walnut or poplar anthracite. U.S. models feature standard burl walnut trim or special order eucalyptus wood trim.

Extensive Model Lineup

Even in its base versions, the R-Class offers a wide range of personalization options. All models come fitted as standard with a vast array of details that make both longdistance travel and short city runs safe and comfortable. These include the unique PRE-SAFE® predictive occupant protection system, a comprehensive restraint system with eight airbags, NECK-PRO active head restraints, a tire pressure monitor and adaptive brake lights (not available in U.S.). Safety is further enhanced by powerful and user-friendly telematics systems like Audio 20, Audio 50 APS and COMAND APS.

U.S. models feature standard in-dash 6-disc DVD/CD changer with optional COMAND hard-drive navigation and harmon/kardon LOGIC 7 surround sound, as well as standard Bluetooth connectivity and available mbrace telematics. U.S. models features standard dual-zone climate control, while international market versions offer THERMATIC automatic climate control equipped with a combination filter for the further reduction of exterior air pollutants flowing into the cabin. The optional THERMOTRONIC (not available in U.S.) with its separate rear seat climate control optimizes interior air quality. The spacious glove box now comes with an AUXin jack for external audio and entertainment devices. Connectivity is further expanded by an optional media interface (UCI).

Alongside the extensive standard equipment, the R-Class also offers a vast range of assistance systems that define the highest level of comfort and safety and underscore the leading position held by the R-Class in this segment of the market. They include DISTRONIC adaptive cruise control, AIRMATIC air suspension with ADS adaptive damping, which are both available as special-order options in the U.S., or the optional Blind Spot Assist that can make lane changes significantly safer. State-of-the-art voice activation makes using the telematics system even more straightforward, while a rear view camera enables fast and easy parking or maneuvering in tight conditions. As soon as the driver shifts into “R”, the camera image is displayed on the highresolution COMAND APS monitor. Rear seat passengers can enjoy their own entertainment program on board with the rear seat entertainment system. For increased comfort during the winter months, the second seat row can also be fitted with seat heating (special-order option in U.S.).

MY2011 R-Class – US model lineup and equipment options

Model overview*

* R350 BlueTEC 4MATIC * R350 4MATIC

*descriptions and data in this press kit apply to the Mercedes-Benz U.S. model lineup. Country-specific variations apply.

Standard equipment for first-class comfort and comprehensive safety


* Fuel economy (city/hwy): 18 mpg/24 mpg * 50-state availability * 19″ 5-spoke alloy wheels standard with all-season run-flat tires * 4MATIC All-Wheel Drive * Sport front and rear bumpers * Chrome fog lam * Privacy glass * Burl Walnut wood trim * Premium leather multifunction steering wheel * Power rear quarter windows * Bluetooth interface for hands-free calling * Tire Pressure Monitoring System (enhanced) * PRE-SAFE® predictive occupant protection system * NECK-PRO front head restraints


* 4MATIC All-Wheel Drive * Sport front and rear bumpers * Chrome fog lamps * Power tilt/sliding glass sunroof with sunshade * Power rear quarter windows * Bluetooth interface for hands-free calling * In-dash 6-disc DVD/CD changer * PRE-SAFE® predictive occupant protection system * 19″ AMG 5-spoke alloy wheels * Tire Pressure Monitoring System (enhanced) * Burl Walnut wood trim * Privacy glass * Premium leather multifunction steering wheel * Chrome Package with dual chrome exhaust tips * Dual-zone automatic climate control

Wheels R350 4MATIC 19″ 5-spoke (8.0 x 19.0)

R350 BlueTEC 4MATIC 19″ AMG 5-spoke (8.5 x 19.0)

Further attractive optional equipment adds to the R-Class experience:

Stand Alone Options

* Parktronic * 7-seat option * Wood /leather multifunction steering wheelmbrace * Panorama Sunroof with electric sunshade * Heated leather multifunction steering wheel * Trailer Hitch — 3,500 lbs . (Class II) * 3-zone climate control and rear air conditioning * Rear Seat Entertainment System * Rear Seat Entertainment System Pre -Wiring * Heated Front Seats

Optional Packages

* Auto-dimming driver side and rear view mirrors * COMAND system with hard-drive navigation * Enhanced voice control for audio telephone and navigation * Gracenote® media database * HD Digital Radio® * iPod/MP3 media interface (in glovebox) * Memory Package for driver seat, power steering column and exterior mirrors * Power folding mirrors * Power liftgate * Power steering column * Rear view camera * SIRIUS® Satellite Radio with SIRIUS real-time traffic service * Zagat Survey® restaurant guide * 115V AC power outlet * 4GB hard-drive with Music Register for download of MP3 files

Premium 2 Package

* harman/kardon LOGIC7® surround-sound system * KEYLESS-GO

Sport Appearance Package

* Dark tinted sport rear tail lamps * Heat-absorbing blue tinted glass (first row only) * 20″ AMG 5-spoke wheel

  • Wendy

    Honestly, the R-Class MB is no thing of beauty, but it does everything you want it to do. It is NOT a minivan. It is very car-like, and tank-like! There is no better driving vehicle for long trips with lots of stuff. Yes, the rear doors are too big for a parking lot, but they are terrific for open areas when you need to get someone/something in it. If you’d quit bashing it maybe it would be more popular. And I can tell you the cdi gets more than excellent fuel mileage. I can’t believe I’m defending my ugly car, but your column about the 2011 annoyed me.

  • Sal Del Prete

    I have been told that the BlueTech R class with adaptive air suspension cannot have a trailor hitch. Any idea why not?

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