This is the hot minivan that Mercedes should be building.

If you’re a regular peruser of online classifieds, you probably know that a well-kept Mercedes-Benz R63 could cost upwards of $50,000. The now 11-year-old minivan has gained somewhat of a cult following within the enthusiast community – but can you blame them? From the factory the high-powered R-Class came equipped with a handbuilt 6.2-liter V8 delivering 503 horsepower (375 kilowatts) and 465 pound-feet (630 Newton-meters) of torque. It was the ultimate family hauler when new.

Sadly, production of the R63 ended in 2007, and later the entire R-Class in 2015. Apparently there wasn't enough demand for a 500-hp German minivan. Still, one artist believes that with a modest overhaul, the lovable R-Class could have presence within the Mercedes-Benz lineup here and now in 2018.

Russian artist Aksyonov Nikita, whom we’ve featured previously on the site, has digitally imagined a modern-day Mercedes-Benz R-Class. Inspired by the styling of the new CLS sedan, the concept uses a few modern Mercedes cues, both on the front fascia and in the rear bumper, but retains the overall look that made it so lovable in the first place.

Complete with Mercedes's signature gaping grille and an unavoidable tristar logo up front, not only does the R-Class concept draw inspiration from the new CLS, but also the rest of the lineup. A sleek set of LED headlights – again borrowed from the CLS – define the look, while the rest of the body maintains its four-door setup and minivan proportions. The wheels, meanwhile, appear to be ripped from the CLA 45.

Nikita doesn't specify what kind of engine he imagines would be under the hood, but if we had to hazard a guess, the 4.0-liter V8 off the GLC63 would make an interesting candidate. In its most powerful form it produces 503 hp (375 kW) and 516 lb-ft (699 Nm) of torque, which would make it just a smidgen more powerful than the outgoing model.

Source:  Aksyonov Nikita / Behance

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