Mercedes-Benz R500

This groundbreaking vehicle concept reaffirms the role of Mercedes-Benz as the visionary and trendsetter amongst automotive brands, since the R-Class founds a new and highly promising market segment. It takes the acknowledged strengths of established vehicle categories, such as sporty Saloon, Estate, MPV and SUV, and fuses them to create a new car with a character all of its own, a car that is all about the three Ds: Dimensions, Design and Dynamism.

The novel concept of the Grand Sports Tourer caters to the needs of modern-minded people looking for a car that offers tremendous versatility combined with athletic performance. Quite apart from boasting ample spaciousness, exemplary standards of safety and impeccable comfort for up to six passengers, the new R-Class also enthralls with its beguiling styling, prestigious flair and, last but by no means least, its dynamism out on the road.

The design provides a visual expression of the poised, assured and dynamic character of the new R-Class. The front end is dominated by a striking radiator grille whose long, horizontal louvres symbolise strength and energy - attributes which characterize more than just the shape of the Grand Sports Tourer. The headlamps are equally expressive. Set well to the outside, they reinforce the powerful-looking, broad stance of the bodywork.

The arching roof line is a further typical styling element of the new R-Class, providing a sweeping link between the A-pillar and D-pillar and lending the car a sleek, coupé-like silhouette. The pronounced, muscular shoulders of the body add yet more dynamism to the Grand Sports Tourer and reveal its true nature.

Engine outputs range from 165 kW/224 hp up to 225 kW/306 hp, clearly signaling just what the new R-Class is capable of in terms of dynamic performance and motoring enjoyment. The powerful V8 powerplant under the bonnet of the R500 propels it from standstill to 100 km/h in just 6.9 seconds and on to a top speed of 240 km/h.

All engine models are partnered as standard by the 7G-TRONIC seven-speed automatic transmission, which itself comes with a noteworthy new feature in the form of DIRECT SELECT. This electronic transmission control system has allowed Mercedes engineers to dispense with the conventional automatic selector lever in the centre console and to replace it instead with a lever on the steering column. Additional gearshift buttons on the steering wheel enable drivers to manually pre-select the seven forwards gears, just like in a Formula One racing car. This allows the power reserves of the six and eight-cylinder engines to be harnessed to optimum effect in any driving situation.

Permanent all-wheel drive, the electronically controlled 4ETS traction system and ESP® team up to offer peerless driving safety and keep the new R-Class safely on course, even in very bad road conditions. These systems all make up part of the vehicle's standard specification, as does air suspension at the rear axle.

Mercedes customers also have the option of AIRMATIC all-round air suspension. This is interlinked with the ADS Adaptive Damping System, offering motorists the facility of raising the body by up to 50 millimeters when driving along rough roads. At high speeds above 120 km/h, the body is automatically lowered by 20 millimeters to reduce wind resistance.

Quite apart from making travelling in the Grand Sports Tourer an extremely comfortable experience, the very latest innovations from Mercedes also make it an extremely safe one too: PRE-SAFE®, the multi-award-winning anticipatory protection system which is available as an option, detects critical handling situations and immediately springs into action to prepare occupants and vehicle alike for an imminent collision. Precautions include pulling the driver's and front passenger's seat belts taut, adjusting the front passenger seat to the optimum position and automatically closing the sliding sunroof. These preventive protection measures improve the seating position of the vehicle's occupants prior to impact, thereby enhancing the restraining effect of the seat belts and airbags.

Adaptive front airbags and front sidebags as well as windowbags can all be found on the standard specification list of the new R-Class, and all passengers enjoy the added reassurance of belt tensioners and belt force limiters. A further Mercedes first for improving standards of occupant safety still further is the NECK-PRO crash-responsive head restraints (optional): in the event of a collision from the rear, the head restraints instantly slide forwards by 44 millimeters and upwards by 30 millimeters. This has the effect of cushioning the front passengers' heads earlier, which reduces the risk of whiplash.

Mercedes-Benz offers a number of packages comprising valuable extras for the new R-Class. This allows customers to appoint and upgrade their Grand Sports Tourer to suit their personal taste. In addition to the AIRMATIC package, options include the chrome styling package for the exterior, a sports styling package featuring a specially styled instrument cluster, sports pedals, 19-inch wheels and power-adjustable sports seats upholstered in Alcantara/ARTICO man-made leather, as well as an interior appointments package comprising leather upholstery, power-adjustable front seats and wood trim.

Source: Mercedes-Benz press

Gallery: Mercedes-Benz R500