Mercedes-Benz R-Class W251
|Assembly||Tuscaloosa, Alabama, USA Toluca, Mexico|
|Class||Large MPV / Full-size CUV|
|Body style||5-door wagon or a CUV|
|Layout||Front engine, rear-wheel drive / four-wheel drive|
|Engine||3.0L V6 3.5L V6 5.0L V8 5.5L V8 6.2L V8|
|Wheelbase||SWB: 2,980 mm (117.3 in) LWB: 3,215 mm (126.6 in)|
|Length||SWB: 4,922 mm (193.8 in) LWB: 203.0 in (5,156 mm)|
|Width||2006–08 & 2011-2013: 1,922 mm (75.7 in) 2009–2010: 77.1 in (1,958 mm)|
|Height||SWB: 1,674 mm (65.9 in) 2006-08: 65.2 in (1,656 mm) 2009-2013 LWB: 65.4 in (1,661 mm)|
|Curb weight||2,130–2,375 kg (4,700–5,240 lb)|
|Related||Mercedes-Benz M-Class Mercedes-Benz GL-Class|
The R-Class is a luxury MPV offered by Daimler AG in 2006 model year under the Mercedes-Benz brand. It is the first full-sized multi-purpose vehicle ever produced by Mercedes-Benz. It was first seen at the 2001 Detroit Auto Show as the Vision GST (Grand Sports Tourer) concept, and the final production vehicle was shown at the 2005 New York International Auto Show. The R-Class is built on the W251 chassis, and is assembled in Tuscaloosa, Alabama and Toluca, Mexico. It is priced between the M-Class and the GL-Class. It was initially marketed by Mercedes-Benz as a "Sports Cruiser" and later as a "Family Tourer".
The R-Class is offered in two wheelbases, 2,980 mm (117.3 in) and 3,215 mm (126.6 in), the latter being the lone offering in the US.
Models using the BlueTec diesel engine were introduced for the 2009 model year in certain markets, with other markets getting Mercedes' BlueEFFICIENCY technology.
Safety and security
The R-Class scores "Good" in the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) front crash test. But was given an "Acceptable" rating in the side impact crash test before 2009 models built after September 2008 because the test dummy's torso faced excessive loads.For 2009 models built after September 2008, Mercedes modified the seatbelts and interior door trim and the IIHS rated the R-class "Good" overall in side impacts allowing the R-Class to receive the Top Safety Pick award.
Thatcham's New Car Whiplash Ratings (NCWR) organisation tested the R-Class for its ability to protect occupants against whiplash injuries with the car achieving the top 'Good' rating overall.
2007 changes to lineup
Mercedes-Benz announced in May 2007 that the R-Class range would be broadened.Rear-wheel drive variants became available in addition to the four-wheel-drive versions, and more flexible seating options (5, 6, or 7-seat versions) offered, AMG styling and new 3.0L engines available in the R280 (petrol) and R300 CDI (diesel).
2011 mid-generational refresh
The R-Class received a redesigned front end and revised rear-end styling for 2011. The facelifted model was unveiled at the 2010 New York International Auto Show.
The AMG version of the W251, the R63 AMG, was introduced at the 2006 North American International Auto Show as a 2007 model. It features a handbuilt 6.2 L M156 V8 engine producing 503 hp (375 kW) and 465 lb·ft (630 N·m) of torque. Mercedes-Benz's 7G-Tronic seven-speed automatic transmission is standard across the R-Class lineup, with the R63's version of the gearbox featuring AMG-calibrated shift times with shifting buttons on the back of the steering wheel. The R63 AMG is electronically limited to a top speed of 155 mph (250 km/h), with 0-62 mph time of 5.0 seconds. The R63 AMG features 4MATIC all-wheel drive like the ML63 AMG.
The notion of a high-performance AMG version of the R-Class was not well-received, given the heavy weight of the vehicle, and as Mercedes-AMG in general was accused of stuffing huge engines into chassis with poor handling dynamics.Due to low sales, as the majority chose diesel-powered vehicles, the R63 was taken out of production in 2007 along with several changes in the R-Class lineup.