2011 Mercedes-Benz R-Class In-Depth Look
The redesigned 2011 R-Class will be available in U.S. showrooms in August 2010
by John Clark | 07 June 2010
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The redesigned 2011 R-Class once again raises the bar for the luxury crossover vehicle segment. In addition to the fresh exterior, the R-Class continues to boast a number of unique interior virtues, including the flexible use of space found in the latest crossovers combined with luxurious, first-class comfort. While the exterior look has changed, the R-Class stays true to its mission – providing unparalleled interior space with Mercedes-Benz all-wheel drive. The redesigned R-Class will be available in U.S. showrooms in August 2010.
Together with the significantly revised exterior, the complete range of standard equipment and the numerous individualization options, the R-Class can be tailored specifically to meet individual requirements. If there was such a thing as a vehicle versatility test, then the R-Class would certainly be the favorite to win first place.
An overview of the models:
- R350 BlueTEC 4MATIC
- R350 4MATIC
Other International Models:
- R300 CDI BlueEFFICIENCY
- R500 4MATIC
- Simply stunning: the design of the 2011 R-Class
Impressive appearance with new highlights
Dramatically redesigned for the 2011MY, the R-Class is noticeably more assertive, underlining the unique character of this multi-talented vehicle. The designers paid special attention to the front section, with an emphasis on width and a horizontally structured hood to make the vehicle appear more harmonious, muscular and dynamic.
Expressive: the new front section emphasizes character
At the front of the R-Class, the hood, fenders, radiator grille, headlamps and bumper have been completely redesigned. The new hood has more defined contours, complemented by an arrow-shaped front edge. The wider, higher radiator grille is more steeply angled, while the rear fascia incorporates striking, clear-cut lines. The side recesses in the bumper — where the fog lamps and daytime driving lights (or optional LED daytime running lights) are located — are spaced well apart and emphasize width. The lines of the side skirts are harmoniously continued forward in the updated fenders and grille. The new, dynamic “face” of the R-Class is particularly impressive. The redesigned headlamps blend perfectly into the front end to further emphasize the horizontal lines. The “eyelids” follow the beltline contours along the sides, and are arranged above the chromed headlamp housings to produce an assertive, concentrated gaze.
Sleek design is reiterated in the side profile as well. With the coupé-like lines of the window area, the R-Class represents a unique departure from traditional crossovers. Eye-catching details of the clearly contoured sides include the larger exterior mirror housings, which are set well away from the doors and supported by slim stems. The strikingly designed mirror housings in the vehicle color have integrated indicator repeaters in the form of a stylized arrow.
Perfect finish: the rear section of the R-Class
The rear section seamlessly continues the design idiom of the front, with a new bumper design, modified tail lights, a diffuser and integrated tailpipe trim emphasizing the width with more horizontal structures. The bumper also echoes the sharp contours of the side skirts, giving the effect of a continuous line circling around the exterior. As a finishing touch, the tail lights feature LED and fiber optic technology as well as horizontally arranged lighting functions.
The 2011 model year R-Class looks particularly attractive in the new “diamond white” metallic paint finish.
Please take a seat: interior appointments
Sitting comfortably in spacious luxury
If there were a versatility test for automobile interiors, the R-Class would undoubtedly be a candidate for first place. The R-Class offers a variety of seating options: designed for maximum comfort, the crossover offers six seats as standard or an optional seventh seat in the U.S. (European models offer five seats as standard in both the normal and long-wheelbase versions plus an available four seat configuration). The second row can also be equipped with a storage console between the two standard captain’s chairs.
Seating arrangement: from four passengers right up to seven passengers
The space provided behind the front seats is so generous that up to three child safety seats can be installed at the same time. If only four seats are required, the 3rd row seats can be easily folded down for more storage.
R-Class customers who prefer more seating capacity may opt for a seventh seat located in the second row. With three passengers seated in the middle row, this gives a total seating capacity of seven. Groups of up to six people choose the popular 2-2-2 seating configuration, which provides each occupant with an individual seat. The R-Class comes with 8-way power adjustable front seats with driver-side 4-way pneumatic lumbar control for driver and front passenger as standard, while as a special order option front passengers can also enjoy the luxury of actively ventilated and heated seats.
The R-Class also features another benefit in the form of its large, versatile 85 cu. ft. luggage compartment. The optional electronic tailgate — which can be operated remotely by means of a switch or smart key — also makes access to the cargo area easier. This makes the R-Class the most variable and spacious vehicle in the entire Mercedes-Benz passenger car product range.
Refined atmosphere for maximum driving pleasure
The high-class interior – which seems even more spacious when fitted with the optional Panorama glass sunroof – makes use of new materials and color combinations to enhance the high-class appeal and quality of this luxury crossover. Upholstery offerings include black, almond beige or ash in both MB-Tex or optional leather. The seats feature a new transverse and linear piping design. The interior also features standard burl walnut trim.
The cockpit impresses with its newly designed instrument cluster. The dials and needles have a white background, and are even easier to read thanks to a threedimensional effect.
That’s entertainment – telematics and multimedia in the R-Class
The telematics of the R-Class impress with intuitive and user-friendly operation, high-performance and great versatility. The 2011 R-Class features the COMAND system as standard equipment with an in-dash 6-disc CD/DVD changer and highresolution 6.5-inch color display. The COMAND system also includes a compass function, which is shown in both the instrument cluster and the central display plus a Bluetooth interface and an Aux-in connection for mobile audio devices are also integrated. As part of the optional Premium1 package, the COMAND system also includes a 4 GB memory for MP3 files (Music Register), an SD memory card slot and a hard disk drive navigation system that holds various map displays. SIRIUS real-time traffic rapidly helps guide the driver to the desired destination. Also included in the Premium1 package is a voice-operated control system for accessing many vehicle functions, and a universal media interface to connect an external music memory or iPod to the onboard electronics and the control system. Music tracks are displayed both in the instrument cluster and the color display in the center console, and can be conveniently accessed using the keys in the multifunction steering wheel or on the dashboard. This system also enables charging of the audio device at the same time.
Passengers can also enjoy full, concert-hall surround-sound with the optional, latest-generation harman/kardon® Logic7® sound system. This high-output sound system includes a Digital Signal Processor (DSP) and Dolby Digital 5.1. Also available is an optional rear seat entertainment system with two large 8-inch screens, a DVD player and two wireless headsets for greater freedom of movement, plus a remote control.
Comprehensive safety concept – Eight airbags, crash-responsive head restraints and an electronic guardian angel
All R-Class models have numerous standard features which help make long journeys as well as short trips around town even safer and more relaxed. These features include the unique anticipatory occupant protection system PRE-SAFE®, a complete restraint system with eight airbags, crash-responsive NECK-PRO front head restraints, and a tire pressure loss warning system. New for 2011, the optional Blind Spot Assist makes lane changes significantly safer by monitoring the sides of the vehicle and alerting the driver with visual and audible warnings whenever they signal a lane change with another vehicle alongside. Safety is also enhanced by the sophisticated telematics system “mbrace”, the COMAND system with an extremely user-friendly interface, as well as the raised seating position. This gives the driver a good view of the traffic conditions, enabling him or her to recognize potential dangers more quickly and easily.
Everything considered: integral Mercedes-Benz safety concept
Naturally, the comprehensive Mercedes approach to integral safety applies to the 2011 R-Class. This trailblazing safety philosophy goes well beyond compliance with standardized crash test regulations and concerns itself with all aspects of driving – everything that is important for the safety of the vehicle occupants and other motorists. The Mercedes safety concept divides these aspects into four phases:
- Safe driving: avoiding danger, warning and assisting in good time
- In the event of danger: acting in an anticipatory manner, e.g. with PRE-SAFE®
- In an accident: provide protection as needed
- After an accident: avoid even worse consequences and make rapid assistance possible
- Comprehensive restraint system for the best possible occupant protection
Combined with the front and rear deformation zones, the high-strength occupant cell forms an effective basis for occupant protection systems that include:
- adaptive, twostage airbags for the driver and front passenger
- sidebags in the front, and in the middle row of seats
- curtain airbags across all three rows of seats
- NECKPRO crashresponsive head restraints for the driver and front passenger
- 3point seat belts on all seats
- belt tensioners and beltforce limiters for driver and front seat passenger
- seat belt tensioners and singlestage beltforce limiters in the middle and rear seat rows
- LATCH child seat anchorages for up to three child restraint systems in the second seat row
- belt height adjustment for the driver and front passenger
- belt status display for rearseat passengers in the instrument cluster
- automatic child seat recognition with deactivation of the front passenger airbag if a special MercedesBenz child seat is fitted
The electronic guardian angel: PRE-SAFE® has a preventive effect
Occupant protection in the 2011 R-Class begins well before an accident. The Mercedes-Benz invention PRE-SAFE® is able to activate preventive measures reflexively when it recognizes an impending accident, so that the belts and airbags can provide optimal protection during the collision. This multiple awardwinning technology is standard equipment.
PRE-SAFE® uses a combination of active and passive safety: it is networked with Brake Assist (BAS) and the Electronic Stability Program ESP®, whose sensors can recognize potentially critical handling situations and relay information to the electronic control units within milliseconds. This data is also used for preventive occupant protection by PRE-SAFE®. Important to note is that the PRE-SAFE® protective measures are reversible: if the accident is avoided, the preventive belt tensioning is relaxed automatically, and the passengers can return the seats and sliding sunroof to their original positions. The preventive occupant protection is then immediately ready for use again.
Tradition: 40 years of accident research at Mercedes-Benz
Comprehensive safety has a long tradition at Daimler: in 1969 Mercedes-Benz started its ongoing accident research program, in which engineers evaluate collisions involving the company’s vehicles in the Stuttgart region soon after they occur – and in special cases even worldwide. Time and again, the findings of these accident researchers provide important information on components that can be specifically improved in terms of passive safety. The investigators have examined around 4,000 accidents since their work started 40 years ago. Each crash is documented with an 80-page accident report. This continuously growing database will enable vehicles to be made even safer in the future.
Drive system and chassis
In addition to the economical gasoline variant with customary effortless power delivery and high drive comfort, the optimized diesel engine further enhances the appeal of the R-Class.
R350 BlueTEC 4MATIC: as clean as a gasoline model
With the R350 BlueTEC 4MATIC, Mercedes-Benz continues to offer one of the cleanest diesel models in the world. The V6 engine achieves an output of 210 hp and substantial torque of 400 lb-ft. This model also manages to achieve reduced fuel consumption and lower emissions while providing enhanced performance. Equipped with highly-effective AdBlue© exhaust gas after-treatment, the compression-ignition engine consumes an average 18 mpg city and 24 mpg highway, generating in the process the same level of emissions as a comparable gasoline engine. As a result, this model currently already meets the emission values planned for 2014 according to the EU6 standard. BlueTEC is a technology developed by Mercedes-Benz for the effective reduction of emissions by diesel vehicles, especially nitrogen oxides. In this process, AdBlue®, a non-toxic, aqueous urea solution is injected into the stream of exhaust gases. This releases ammonia, which breaks down up to 80 percent of the nitrogen oxides into harmless nitrogen and water in the downstream SCR catalytic converter (Selective Catalytic Reduction).
Effortless power delivery with high drive comfort: The gasoline engine in the R-Class
The V6 gasoline engine gives the R350 4MATIC a high level of drive comfort together with effortless power delivery and a moderate fuel consumption. The 3.5- liter V6 gasoline engine of the all-wheel drive R350 4MATIC develops 268 hp and a maximum torque of 258 lb-ft, producing fuel economy figures of 14 mpg city and 19 mpg highway.
Stability pact: the well-proven suspension of the R-Class
The R-Class has a dynamically active and comfortable suspension as standard equipment. Both model variants have steel springs in front with self-leveling rear air suspension as standard equipment. Also available as a special order option, the AIRMATIC system with air suspension, the Adaptive Damping System and level adjustment improves both ride comfort and handling dynamics.
*The descriptions and information in this press kit apply to the U.S. Mercedes-Benz model range and may vary from country to country.