Mercedes-Benz R-Class 2006
The new R-Class, the Grand Sports Tourer from Mercedes-Benz, reaffirms the role of Mercedes-Benz as the visionary and trendsetter amongst automotive brands. The unprecedented vehicle concept 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: Design, Dynamism and Dimensions. The new R-Class is being launched first in North America, in autumn 2005; deliveries to customers in Europe will commence at the beginning of 2006.
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 characterise 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.
Three of the
four engines available for the 2005 model are new and outstrip
the output and torque of the power units for the outgoing model
to the tune of up to 38 percent. Cutting-edge drive-system technology
and impressive aerodynamics (the Cd value is down to 0.34 from
the previous 0.40) combine to cut fuel consumption by as much
as ten percent.
A new V6 diesel engine, available with two different outputs, is celebrating its premiere. It features third-generation common-rail direct injection and the latest in piezo injectors. The unit in the ML 320 CDI delivers 165 kW/224 hp and places a maximum torque of 510 Newton metres on tap from 1600 rpm. Also on hand to offer the twin benefits of six-cylinder comfort and dynamism is the new ML 280 CDI, serving up 140 kW/190 hp and a peak torque of 440 Newton metres. The diesel models burn just 9.4 litres of fuel per 100 kilometres (combined consumption), making the new M-Class one of the most economical off-roaders in its class. Another new arrival is the V6 petrol unit powering the ML 350, with 200 kW/272 hp and a maximum torque of 350 Newton metres. The engine range is headed by the eight-cylinder unit in the ML 500, which now has an output of 225 kW/306 hp.
This includes adaptive, two-stage airbags for the driver and front passenger, front sidebags and windowbags, as well as belt tensioners and belt force limiters for all seats. In the event of a rear-end collision, the newly developed NECK-PRO crash-responsive head restraints (optional) provide additional protection for the driver and front passenger.
With the option of adding the anticipatory occupant protection system PRE-SAFE® to the mix, the new Mercedes Off-Roader raises the bar in its class. This multi-award-winning technology provides a reflex response to critical driving situations where an accident threatens to occur, preparing the car and its occupants for an impending collision. PRE-SAFE® acts in advance to pull the driver and front passenger seat belts taut, bring the fore/aft setting and the cushion and backrest angle of the electrically adjustable front passenger seat (optional) into a more favourable position and close the sunroof (optional) if there is a risk of the vehicle rolling over.
It is by forming an unparalleled synergy of active and passive safety that PRE SAFE® can prepare the car and its occupants for a possible impact. The system is linked to the anti-lock braking system (ABS), Brake Assist and the Electronic Stability Program (ESPÒ), whose sensors identify dangerous driving manoeuvres. Mercedes-Benz also uses these data for anticipatory occupant protection.
The new M-Class also boasts exceptional long-term quality – another Mercedes hallmark. The fully galvanised body is given extra protection from corrosion by means of an organic coating at specific points. Structural areas subjected to high stresses are cavity-sealed, and folds are seam-sealed. Large plastic underbody panels eliminate the necessity for conventional PVC undersealing.
Part of the standard specification for the Off-Roader is a new type of paint finish employing nano-technology, which made its series-production debut in Mercedes-Benz vehicles. Offering significantly improved scratch resistance compared to conventional non-metallic or metallic paint finishes, nano-particle clearcoat provides a noticeably enhanced sheen.
Like all Mercedes passenger cars, the M-Class also comes with the 30-year MobiloLife mobility and value-retention warranty.
On a par with the luxury class: greater comfort and more space
The interior of the new M-Class also exhibits typical Mercedes quality, thanks to higher-quality materials, more pleasant touch and feel characteristics and significantly improved spaciousness for all the vehicle’s passengers. For example, at 880 mm, the distance between the front and rear seats is 15 mm greater than that in the outgoing model, achieving a level more familiar in a luxury-class saloon. Knee-room for the rear passengers has been increased by 35 mm and elbow width by 32 mm.
M-Class customers can select the seats for their new Off-Roader to suit their personal comfort requirements. In addition to the standard-fitted front seats with electrically adjustable height, backrest and cushion angle, sports seats with specially contoured backrests can also be specified.
The cushions and backrests of the rear seats are split 60:40 and can be folded down. Removable cushions can be ordered as an option, creating a level loading surface stretching 2.10 metres in length through the rear of the car. The maximum load capacity is 2050 litres (VDA measuring method), significantly more than comparable competitors.
The proven EASY-PACK system makes the boot area of the M-Class easier to load and unload. Among other features, it can be optionally supplied with an electrically operated tailgate and a package designed to secure items safely in the load area.
State-of-the-art support systems familiar from the luxury-class Mercedes models help to relieve driver stress, enhance comfort and further improve safety. The M Class is optionally available with the newly developed multi-zone THERMOTRONIC automatic climate control system, the PARKTRONIC parking aid and the COMAND APS control and display system with pan-European DVD navigation. Bi-xenon headlamps with the Active Light System and cornering light function (optional) enhance driving safety during the hours of darkness.
(July 19, 2005)