Continuously plummeting sales numbers have finally made Mercedes to pull the plug on the R-Class, first in America. Having being around since 2006, the Mercedes R Class was not a big hit for the brand, even though it is one of the coolest people-movers in the world, especially in AMG guise. But if it weren’t for China, which is the biggest market for the R, it’d been killed off by now.
So the big R is not getting a new model in the U.S. market next year, but they keep making it at the Tuscaloosa plant in Alabama, to meet the demand in China. It sounds kinda roundabout, if Mercedes-Benz could produce the R-Class locally in China it would save them a big hassle, and lots of money.
Regardless of the design and functionality, the R-Class is a good car underneath. The V6 petrol engine of the rear-wheel drive R 300 develops 170 kW (231 hp), accelerates the Mercedes-Benz R-Class from zero to 100 km/h in 9.6 seconds and provides a top speed of 222 km/h.
The combined NEDC fuel consumption is 11.1 l/100 km. The all-wheel drive R 350 4MATIC with a 3.5-litre V6 engine develops 200 kW (272 hp) and a maximum torque of 350 Newton metres. Despite this extra output and performance (top speed 230 km/h, 0-100 km/h in 8.3 seconds), the R 350 4MATIC consumes only 0.5 l/100 km more (combined NEDC fuel consumption) compared with the R 300. This low difference in consumption once again demonstrates the high efficiency of the 4MATIC all-wheel drive system.
In the top-of-the-range R 500 4MATIC, the 5.5-litre V8 engine with 285 kW (388 hp) and a maximum torque of 530 Newton metres guarantees impressive performance figures. A sprint from zero to 100 km/h is absolved in 6.3 seconds, with a top speed of 250 km/h.