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Mercedes-benz Spicing Up Its R-class Lineup

It can be remembered that Mercedes-Benz has launched its much-awaited line of crossover the R-Class touring vehicle in North America for model year 2006. Unfortunately it didn't turned out the way the automaker expected it would as a matter of fact that sales progress of this year to last year is 38.4 percent or 2,591 units off the pace in US.

Mercedes-Benz has tried to spice things up for the R-Class by adding to unique versions to the R family. The first one is the R320 CDI sports which is a new entry level powertrain. It possesses a clean diesel technology that provides plenty of power at fairly reasonable fuel consumption. Mercedes-Benz is also hoping that it will become a hit in North America since it's the only diesel engine sold there. The other addition to the R family is the borderline insane R63 AMG which possesses the Mercedes' high-revving 6.3 liter V8 that produces 503 manic horsepower.

The "500" model has served as the bastion for the R-Class range in North America. The "500" model is powered by a 5.0 liter, 302 horsepower V8 and considered to be one of the few remaining Mercedes vehicles that feature this type of engine. And just like its platform siblings, the ML and GL, the R will also be equipped with the new 388 horsepower, 5.5 liter V8 to boost its performance further---giving rise to the R550.

Mercedes-Benz the manufacturer of top-of-the-line Mercedes headlights is also considering bringing in more power diesel variant in the form of the R420 CDI which packs a mighty powerful 538 lb-ft of torque wallop and 310 horsepower produced by it large V8 turbodiesel engine. Mercedes-Benz is also hoping that an entry-level V6 would help in energizing the sales in Europe.

Its R280 which will debut in Europe will feature a 231 horsepower, 2.8 liter motor with a reasonable fuel consumption figure of 10.9 1/100 km in a mix of city and highway driving. Unfortunately it's not a fast car and takes at least 9.6 seconds to reach 100km/h from 0.

As part of spicing up the R-Class lineup, Mercedes-Benz will also offer a rear-wheel drive model. All present model of the R-Class crossovers features 4MATIC all-wheel-drive. It is not yet sure if the rear-drive R-Class will reach North America but in case its does it would be a good idea for Mercedes to lower the price of the vehicle and improve its fuel consumption. Mercedes-Benz may also want to take note that there are already a lot of brands that are offering two-wheel-drive versions of their SUVs in the US as a matter of fact even Jeep sells a rear-drive Wrangler.

In terms of appearance the R-Class possess quite minimal visual changes which include a new front bumper which is styled to imitate the look of the AMG performance models courtesy of the triple front intake. The V6 powered models inclusive of diesel is equipped with fog lamps and 18 inch alloy wheels. The R-Class also provides new seating layout. The previous seating configuration for the R-Class is the 2+2+2 but now Mercedes-Benz is offering a more conventional 2+3 layout or the optional 2+3+2 layout which hopefully will improve the R-Class' capabilities as a people carrier. Other information about the available engines will be announced as the updated 2008 R-Class gets closer to production.

About The Author Dwyane Thomas is a part time cook and full-time auto-enthusiast. This 31-year old Civil and Environmental graduate is a consultant at one of the engineering firms in Pennsylvania.
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