Spy Shots: 2011 Mercedes-Benz R-Class Facelift

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Sales figures for the R-Class haven’t managed to live up to the expectations of the German luxury brand, but Mercedes-Benz is determined not to completely write-off its ‘Grand Sport Tourer’ just yet. The R-Class received a mild facelift in 2007 to help turn around flagging sales, but a second and more extensive update is in fact planned for the 2011 model year as previewed by these latest spy shots of a prototype caught testing in Europe.

The first facelift came less than two years after the vehicle was unveiled at 2005’s New York Auto Show and was implemented mainly to increase the car’s desirability. A cheaper rear-wheel drive model was added to the lineup as well as a more flexible seven-seater model, but other than that the R-Class has remained mostly unchanged.

For the next update Mercedes-Benz will give the car a major styling overhaul with a new front-end planned as well as a slightly revised rear and interior. Expected to be launched in the second half of the year, the new R-Class appears to receive the same squared-off treatment as seen on the A- and B-Class models sold overseas, including angular headlights and a larger more prominent grille.

At the rear there appear to be only minor changes, with a redesigned bumper, exhaust tips and LED tail-lamps.

Expect to see the 2011 Mercedes-Benz R-Class facelift make its world debut at the 2010 New York Auto Show in April.

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Comments (7)
  1. This thing is still around? I thought it died of apathy.

  2. NND--
    Watch this season of "Desparate Housewives" - Mercedes is apparently a big sponsor since I've counted 4 on Wisteria Lane: a CLK Convertible, a new E Class, an SL and one of these tanks...

  3. bepsf I do not know about you, but I have better things to do then watch that show. I am not digging at Mercedes, I just do not know why this thing is still around.

  4. bespf - You might have noticed that for the first few weeks that all the logos were covered in black tape... I was wondering why, because they've started to take the tape off, and they have only just started zooming up on the Sprint logos on all the phones so I think there might have been an issue with some of their sponsorship stuff...
    Back to the car, if they tone down the styling and make it an attractive option in terms of price and equipment then they could make it successful...

  5. A few questions. What's grand about this? What's sporting about this? Would you really want to tour in one? This has all the earmarks of a balance sheet update. The company erred greatly in going forward with the product and spent a pile of money that has yet to be amortized in bringing the thing to market. It didn't sell and now it selling more slowly so a refresh is needed to get sales volumes up enough that MB can maintain the amortization schedule and not take a write off.

  6. Grand is for size and comparison to Japaneese minivansand because of the classy "open door" instead of the auto matic doors.
    Sporting is for "airodynamics" of the car.
    A tour is for the glass panameric roof and the comfortable seats.
    I personally don't see why it "looks" bad. I'd rather sit in this than an Honda Oddysey or a Toyota Sieana.

  7. Hi Guy's,
    I can’t believe it that A model of Merc will not be loved by the people. This company is such that can never be demoted in this industry.

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