Image credits: © Mercedes-Benz.

2012 Mercedes-Benz R-Class

2012 Mercedes-Benz R-Class Features Better Fuel Economy, More Power

2012 Mercedes-Benz R-Class
R350 4MATIC Fitted with New Direct-Injection V6 Engine2012 Mercedes-Benz R-Class
The 2012 Mercedes-Benz R350 4MATIC features an all-new 3.5-liter direct-injection V6 engine (302 horsepower, 273 lb.-ft. of torque) coupled with a more fuel efficient seven speed automatic transmission. (posted on Thanks to this new powertrain the R350 4MATIC now gets significantly better fuel economy (16 city / 21 highway) while producing more power – an impressive feat, considering that increasing either power or fuel economy usually decreases the other. The R-Class is also available with a fuel-sipping BlueTEC diesel engine (210 hp, 400 lb.-ft.) that is offered in all 50 states.

New to the 2012 model year, the R-Class model line now features standard LED daytime running lights, enhancements to the interior and helpful directional lines for the standard rearview camera. A COMAND system featuring hard-drive navigation, four gigabytes of music storage, SIRIÚS/HD radio, SIRIÚS real-time traffic updates, Gracenote Media Database, Zagat® Survey restaurant guide guides and voice control now come as standard on all models.

More Fuel-Efficient Transmission

The 2012 R-Class line is equipped with a new 7-speed automatic transmission that has a more advanced torque converter lock-up clutch that provides even better fuel mileage, more responsive driving, quieter operation and increased durability. The new transmission is also designed to work best with a new type of low-viscosity ATF transmission fluid – colored blue instead of the usual red. Together with new planetary gears, bearings and internal seals, the 'FE-ATF' fluid provides less friction and improved fuel mileage. Lower hydraulic pressure and enhanced electronic software helps provide even smoother shifting.

Details on the New V6 Engine

The new 3.5-liter V6 engine features direct fuel injection and multi-spark ignition. The V6 engine is assembled in a new block with 60-degree cylinder angles, so that a balance shaft isn't needed for smooth operation. Like its predecessor, the new engine has aluminum cylinder heads, pistons and cylinder block (with cast-in Silitec cylinders), as well as a crankshaft, connecting roads and valves made of special forged steel.

Direct Fuel Injection

While most gasoline engines have used indirect port fuel injection in the past, the new V6 makes use of industry-leading electronics technology first used on Mercedes-Benz diesels – electronic fuel injectors that spray gasoline directly into the combustion chambers.

Featuring a piezo-ceramic crystalline element that changes shape instantly when electrical current is applied, blazingly fast piezo injectors make it possible to design very sensitive and precise injection systems, including the ability to program several small injections with each piston stroke.

The first injection is sprayed into the combustion chamber as the piston is descending on the intake stroke. Depending on speed, load and temperature conditions, another injection or two takes place during the compression up-stroke before ignition, forming a stratified mixture. A fourth injection can stabilize combustion if it's needed.

Multi-Spark Works with Multi-Squirt

Working together with direct injection, a rapid multi-spark ignition system begins combustion with the first spark, but has the capability to recharge and deliver up to three more sparks within a single millisecond, creating a gas plasma with more expansion than conventional ignition. The time lapse between sparks is adjustable, so combustion duration can actually be controlled, resulting in two percent better fuel economy, and a total of four percent improvement in combination with direct fuel injection.

Refined Cam Chain Drive

Mounted on the ends of the intake and exhaust camshafts, the hydraulic camshaft adjusters that vary valve timing are now 35 percent faster, and with a wider range of 40 crankshaft degrees. Despite their improved performance, they're also more than a half inch smaller in height and width.

Smaller valve timing adjusters are made possible by a new cam chain drive system, in which the crankshaft drives an intermediate shaft above the crank. In turn, the intermediate shaft drives two short chains – one for each cylinder bank – that loop around the intake and exhaust camshaft drive sprockets.

The new chain drive results in less tension and lower chain dynamics, for even lower friction and less noise. A fourth chain drives a new variable vane-type oil pump in the bottom of the engine. At low engine speed and load, the oil pump only generates about 28 psi (or two bar) of oil pressure, and nozzles that spray cooling oil on the pistons are off. As engine speed and load increases, oil pressure goes up, and the oil spray nozzles are turned on. In this way, less energy is used when less cooling and lubrication is needed.

Three-Phase, Low-Load Cooling System

Even the cooling system is significantly refined in the new engine, beginning with a two-stage flow circuit through the cylinder head. This improved coolant flow results in better heat dissipation, despite lower coolant pressure, so that the water pump uses less engine power.

A three-phase cooling system helps the engine warm up very quickly. When the engine is first started, no coolant circulates. Then, as the engine warms up, coolant begins to circulate within the engine, but not through the radiator. Only when the coolant temperature reaches 221 degrees Farenheit (or 189 degrees F. under high load), coolant also circulates through the radiator. Coolant circulation through the heating system for the car's interior is controlled separately.

Super-Clean R350 BlueTEC Diesel Boasts 500-Mile Cruising Range

The innovative Mercedes-Benz R-Class boasts the perfect vehicle for today's world – the fuel-sipping R350 BlueTEC diesel, which features AdBlue exhaust treatment that helps the diesel meet the most stringent 50-state emissions limits.

The R350 BlueTEC is changing consumers' dated perceptions about diesel engines – it gets surprisingly good performance and extremely low exhaust emissions, in the process of delivering more than 20 percent better fuel economy. The roomy vehicle also boasts impressive cruising range – more than 500 miles at highway speeds, without sacrificing power.

In addition, V8-like pulling power makes the R350 BlueTEC ideal for towing when equipped with an optional 3,500-pound, Class II trailer hitch. The BlueTEC system includes an oxidation catalyst and a maintenance-free particulate filter as well as new techniques for reducing nitrogen oxide emissions – the last type of exhaust gas that's higher in diesel vehicles than gasoline engines. The BlueTEC diesels use a NOx storage converter in combination with an SCR catalytic converter and AdBlue injection to lower NOx emissions. The AdBlue system injects an aqueous carbamide solution into the exhaust flow, which releases ammonia (NH3), reducing nitrogen oxides to harmless nitrogen and water in the downstream SCR converter.

Just the right amount of AdBlue for a given engine load and speed is injected to get the greatest reduction of nitrogen oxides. On average, only a quart of AdBlue is needed for every 600 miles driven, so its tank only needs to be refilled every 10,000 miles during normal preventive maintenance.

Telematics System

The 2012 R-Class features the 'COMAND' system as standard equipment with an in-dash 6­disc CD/DVD changer and high-resolution 7-inch color display. The COMAND system also includes a compass function which is shown in the instrument cluster, plus a Bluetooth interface and an Aux-in connection for mobile audio devices are also integrated. The COMAND system also includes a 4 GB memory for MP3 files (Music Register), an SD memory card slot and a hard disk drive navigation system that holds various map displays.

SIRIÚS real-time traffic rapidly helps guide the driver to the desired destination. Also standard is a voice-operated control system for accessing many vehicle functions, and a universal media interface to connect an external music memory or iPod to the onboard electronics and the control system. Music tracks are displayed both in the instrument cluster and the color display in the center console, and can be conveniently accessed using the keys in the multifunction steering wheel or on the dashboard. This system also enables charging of the audio device at the same time.

Passengers can also enjoy full, concert-hall surround-sound with the optional, latest-generation harman/kardon® Logic7® sound system. This high-output sound system includes a Digital Signal Processor (DSP) and Dolby Digital 5.1. Also available is an optional rear seat entertainment system with two large 8-inch screens, a DVD player and two wireless headsets for greater freedom of movement, plus a remote control.

PRE-SAFE® Gives the R-Class Reflexes to Protect Occupants

Standard on all R-Class vehicles, PRE-SAFE® is a revolutionary safety system that can actually sense an impending collision before it happens and take measures to protect occupants during those valuable seconds before impact. The PRE-SAFE system automatically tightens the front seat belts before a possible impact, and the front passenger seat moves to a position that can provide better protection. Side windows also close to provide better support for the window curtain air bags. If the system senses an impending rollover, the sunroof also closes.

The Automotive Decathlete

The R-Class combines the defining advantages of several distinct vehicles – the sure­footedness of a four-wheel-drive sport utility vehicle, the performance and comfort of a sports sedan and the versatility of a luxury crossover. In comparison to other Mercedes-Benz models, the R-Class is about the same length as the flagship S-Class sedan. (concept carz)

With a sharp focus on design, comfort, space and performance, the R-Class is designed as a spacious, roomy vehicle with space for up to eight adults. Its standard sunroof or an optional Panorama sunroof further contributes to its openness.

The R-Class allows occupants to create their own sense of space with features such as reading lights, armrests, air vents and cup holders as well as seat adjustments for each seat and two separate-source audio plugs. This individualization is further enhanced with the optional MP3 media interface and dual-screen video entertainment system.

A Únibody Chassis Worthy of a Sports Sedan

The R-Class boasts a strong unibody platform and four-wheel independent suspension with double control arms in the front and four-link air suspension at the rear. Power-assisted rack-and-pinion steering delivers impressive on-road driving performance and comfort, and ample braking is provided by large four-wheel disc brakes, with vented discs and double-piston calipers up front.

The Mercedes-Benz Alabama Plant

Along with the M-Class and GL-Class, the R-Class is produced at the Mercedes-Benz plant in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, which began production in 1997 with the first-generation M-Class. Since 2001, more than $600 million has been invested to expand the facility for production of the three SÚV lines.

Source - Mercedes-Benz

The Mercedes-Benz R-Class: spacious, prestigious and exceptionally comfortable: Versatility at its best

2012 Mercedes-Benz R-ClassAfter a world premiere at the New York International Auto Show in March this year and the positive feedback received there, Mercedes-Benz is convinced that it is on the right track with the new-generation R-Class. A completely redesigned front section in particular enhances the overall look of this model, with styling cues taken from Mercedes-Benz saloon and SÚV models. The interior of the 'twenty-ten' model year R-Class complements this fresh exterior, combining as it does the good use of space found in the latest MPV models with the comfort, high-class appeal and prestige of classic Mercedes-Benz luxury-class saloons. At the same time this latest generation retains the interior versatility of its predecessor, whilst also benefiting from the robustness and all-wheel drive capability it draws from the Mercedes-Benz SÚVs.

Engine line-up: economical drive systems

In addition to the modern petrol variants adopted from the preceding model, with their customary effortless power delivery and high drive comfort, the appeal of the R-Class is now also enhanced by a range of optimised diesel engines. Dr. Thomas Weber, Member of the Daimler AG Board of Management with responsibility for Group Research and Mercedes-Benz Cars Development: 'We have reworked the R-Class completely, thereby adding to its appeal and enhancing its premium qualities, but without losing any of the advantages of this unique vehicle concept. On top of this, our BlueEFFICIENCY strategy makes the R-Class the most economical and environmentally friendly MPV in the premium segment .

Despite delivering the same output and improved performance compared with the preceding model, the new R 300 CDI BlueEFFICIENCY consumes around 7 percent less fuel, at 7.6 l per 100 km*. The new R 350 CDI 4MATIC combines the high performance of a V8 model with the low fuel consumption of an economical V6 variant. It is happy with just 8.5 litres of diesel* per one hundred kilometres, thereby undercutting its predecessor by 0.8 litres yet is able to offer significantly enhanced performance. While previously the maximum performance topped out at 165 kW (224 hp), the V6 diesel engine now boasts 195 kW (265 hp) as well as 620 Newton metres of torque. Making its debut here in the R-Class, it is a powerful package that enables this most dynamic of all the diesel-powered R-Class models to achieve effortlessly superior levels of performance. Acceleration from 0 to 100 km/h takes 7.6 seconds, while the top speed is 235 km/h.

With the R 350 BlueTEC 4MATIC, Mercedes-Benz is offering one of the cleanest diesel models in the world. The V6 engine achieves an output of 155 kW (211 hp) and torque of 540 Newton metres. Compared with its predecessor, this model also manages to achieve reduced fuel consumption and lower emissions while providing enhanced performance. Thanks to AdBlue exhaust after-treatment, the compression-ignition engine consumes an average of 0.3 of a litre less, at 8.4 litres of diesel* per one hundred kilometres, generating in the process the same level of emissions as a comparable petrol engine. As a result, this model currently already meets the emission values planned for 2014 according to the EÚ6 standard. All other petrol and diesel versions of the R-Class meet the EÚ5 standard.

2012 Mercedes-Benz R-ClassGeared up: 7G-TRONIC as standard in all models

All R-Class models are equipped with the latest-generation of the innovative
7G-TRONIC automatic transmission. (posted on This seven-speed transmission now has new bearings and couplings, operates with different oil pressures and uses a new, low-friction oil. These measures reduce friction and churning losses, thereby improving efficiency. The new torque converter with slip-reduced lockup clutch likewise improves efficiency and aids fuel economy. In addition, standstill decoupling lowers fuel consumption. This technical feature reduces transmission input torque in 'D' when the car is at rest, for example at traffic lights. This lowers the stress on the engine, making for lower fuel consumption, better vehicle acoustics and smoother idling. The slip-controlled clutch is engaged as soon as the driver releases the operating brake, ensuring no delay when the vehicle moves off.

Simply stunning: the design of the R-Class

The latest generation of the R-Class features a new, self-assured appearance. The overall impression is determined by an integrity of design that encapsulates the unique personality of this highly versatile vehicle. The focus of the designers was the completely revised front section which, by emphasising the width and making use of a horizontally structured bonnet, affords the entire vehicle a look which is as harmonious as it is powerfully dynamic. As well as the bonnet, the vehicle's wings, radiator grille and surround, headlamps and bumpers with chrome underguard have all been completely redesigned. As an optional extra, a chrome insert with integrated LED daytime driving lights in conjunction with bi-xenon headlamps is available to enhance the look of the R-Class even further.

The side view features coup -like lines - a pleasant contrast to conventional MPVs - and is characterised by the modified exterior mirror housings and the wheel design. Wheels are available in 5-spoke, 5-twin spoke or 10-spoke designs, and in sizes ranging from 43.2 to 53.3 centimetres (17 to 21 inches). The design idiom of the front is continued consistently through to the rear section which, with its new bumper covering, modified tail lamps and integrated tailpipe trim, has also been given an accentuated wide look. The 2010 model year R-Class looks particularly attractive in the new 'diamond white' paint finish.

Wellness program: a relaxed environment for both longer journeys and everyday use

Particularly where seating variations are concerned, the interior of the new R-Class offers a great deal of scope: in its standard version this saloon designed for relaxed, safe touring has five seats, but four, six or seven-seater configurations are also possible. The front seats are partially electrically adjustable as standard, and on request the front occupants can also enjoy actively ventilated, heated multicontour seats with fully electric adjustments and a memory function. The R-Class also reveals another benefit in the form of its large, versatile luggage compartment: in the standard-wheelbase versions the luggage compartment holds up to 1950 litres, while the long-wheelbase version boasts 2385 litres. In all five-seat variants there is a separate stowage compartment beneath the load compartment floor, while the optional EASY PACK tailgate, which can be operated remotely by means of a switch or key, also makes access to the luggage compartment easier. As such the R-Class is the most variable and spacious vehicle in the entire Mercedes-Benz passenger car product range.

The bright, classic interior - which seems even more spacious when fitted with the optional panoramic glass sunroof - makes use of new materials and colour combinations to enhance the high-class appeal and quality of this luxury tourer. At the same time they underline the sense of wellbeing inside the vehicle which is so typical of a Mercedes-Benz. Available interior appointments include the upholstery combination of 'Aspen' fabric and breathable, soft-touch ARTICO man-made leather.

Two-tone interior appointments are a new addition to the range: this is where the base colour almond beige can be combined with the contrasting shade of mocha brown. Alternatively, the base colour alpaca grey combined with contrasting dark basalt grey is also available. Both colour combinations are used on the dashboard, steering wheel, centre console, seats, door linings and floor coverings. When choosing ARTICO or leather appointments at the same time, the piping is finished in a contrasting colour. The AMG Interior Sports package includes single-tone black nappa leather appointments as standard. As alternatives to the aluminium trim with a dark longitudinal grain or the chrome trim in silver shadow, it is also possible to order luxurious wood trims in high-gloss brown eucalyptus, high-gloss brown burred walnut or high-gloss anthracite poplar.

Model range: the R-Class with a personal touch

2012 Mercedes-Benz R-Class
The nine basic variants already provide plenty of opportunity to select an R Class to suit specific individual requirements. All models boast numerous features as standard which help to make travelling both on long journeys as well as on short urban trips even safer and more relaxed. These features include the unique anticipatory occupant protection system PRE-SAFE , a complete restraint system with eight airbags, crash-active NECK-PRO head restraints, a tyre pressure loss warning system and adaptive brake lights. Safety is also enhanced thanks to high-performance telematic systems such as the Audio 20, Audio 50 APS or COMAND APS with an extremely user-friendly interface.

The THERMATIC automatic climate control system is fitted with a combination filter to further reduce pollutants which may be contained in the outside air entering the vehicle. As an optional extra, a THERMOTRONIC system providing separate rear air conditioning is available to meet all interior air conditioning requirements. The spacious glove compartment now comes with an AÚX-IN connection for external audio or entertainment devices. Connection options can also be extended further with an optional Media Interface (ÚCI).

To complement the extensive standard equipment, the R-Class provides a variety of assistant systems which push ride comfort and safety to the highest level and underpin the vehicle's leading position in this market segment. These include DISTRONIC proximity control, AIRMATIC air suspension with the Adaptive Damping System (ADS), or Blind Spot Assist, which can make changing lanes significantly safer. The modern LINGÚATRONIC voice control system makes using the telematics systems even easier and more convenient, while a reversing camera provides for smooth, easy parking or manoeuvring in blind spots. As soon as the driver engages 'R' gear, the image from the camera is shown on the high-resolution COMAND APS display. Rear passengers, meanwhile, can enjoy their own entertainment programme thanks to the rear seat entertainment system. Seat heating can also be ordered for the second row of seats to increase comfort even further in winter.

Valuation: surveys confirm high resale expectations

Experience shows that Mercedes-Benz models are among the most stable on the market in terms of value retention, and they therefore offer a significant financial advantage. This was confirmed once again last year by a neutral third-party when the German specialist magazine 'Auto Bild' selected the '2010 Value Champions' in different vehicle categories based on surveys conducted by Saarbr cken-based market research institute B hr & Fess Forecast. The 'Value Champion' among MPVs, the R 300 CDI, emerged at the head of the field in this market segment, and according to the forecasts would retain a value of 47.5 percent after four years. The R Class already held this leading position in an expert analysis of residual values last year.

Source - Mercedes-Benz
Model Year Changes

  • Model line features standard LED DRLs, directional lines on rearview camera and minor interior updates
  • New standard equipment includes COMAND system with hard-drive navigation, enhanced voice control for audio, telephone and navigation, Gracenote® media database, HD Radio®, SIRIUS® satellite radio with SIRIUS real-time traffic service, Zagat® Survey restaurant guide, 4GB hard-drive with Music Register
  • R350 4MATIC new direct-injection V6 engine (302 hp, 273 lb-ft), more fuel-efficient 7speed automatic transmission & standard 4MATIC all-wheel drive.
  • R350 BlueTEC 50-state V6 turbodiesel (210 hp, 400 lb-ft) continues

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