According to a recent report, the Mercedes R-Class could make a come back in order to take advantage of the current SUV craze.
Before we get into any specifics, we need to point out that an all-new R-Class would have to look a lot more off-road-ish in order to appeal to customers looking for an SUV. And appeal is indeed everything – Mercedes discontinued the R-Class in 2013 because of poor sales.
But before you think that a revival is nothing but a lost cause, try to remember the fact that Mercedes really went “all in” with the R-Class during its lifespan. The car came with all the recent/available tech, four diesel engines and four petrol units (where the R500 & R63 AMG stood out).
It was big, imposing, comfortable and some would say not bad looking.
Mercedes-Benz VP Wolf-Dieter Kurz was quoted by Caradvice as saying that there is room for practicality-focused models. “The SUV segment will be also in future the one which sees most derivatives, let’s say, in the outskirts of the portfolio. Because it’s getting kind of fussy in it’s outskirts, let’s say.”
“There was already one that we had in the portfolio – maybe we were too early – which was the R-Class, which we are still selling in China. It’s doing good, with 12,000 to 14,000 units per year,” he added.
“So let’s say these more, let’s say, on-road based but still very roomy, but not station wagon, is definitely an interesting segment also in the future.”
“Possible is everything in that regard. Audi did it the same way: they just lifted up the all-wheel drive variants of the A4 or A6 station wagon,” before saying “That’s technically no big deal.”
Naturally, it’s normal for Mercedes to consider all of these options. That’s what car manufacturers do, they consider everything – but with the R-Class, it really does sound like might be willing to give it another shot at being successful on a global market.
Now if they do bring it back, it will be interesting to see which design language they use for it. Would it have those C-Class, GLC curvy lines? Or look a bit more dynamic such as the A-Class, GLE or GLE Coupe?
It’s fun to speculate.