Mercedes-Benz Could Revive Recently Departed R-Class

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.”

Kurz also suggested that Mercedes wouldn’t have a tough time offering all-wheel driven station wagons with higher ground clearance such as the Audi A4 and A6 Allroad.

“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.


  • mick

    why not make it more curvy and call it the gls coupe

  • MarketAndChurch

    I really loved the R-class… until the 2011 refresh, which totally destroyed its premium cache and made it look like a prepped up Chrysler Town & Country. If they decided to bring it back, it would be the next best thing to a Ford Galaxy, which we don’t and won’t get here in the states. (I also want the Renault Espace… but that seems more of an SUV-ish CUV then a large low-to-the-ground MPV with good driving characteristics.)

    • europeon

      Yeah, I too think there is a place for a high performance, premium MPV, and I’m sad the first generation was such a flop.

      • Andrewthecarguy

        I’ll add myself to the list of people who believe there is room for a premium MPV. While the V Class is quite large, I think it would be a hit here…and a smaller version would do better than the R Class did.

        For some reason, the Europeans just can’t figure out the right MPV for the US market, while the Japanese have carved out a nice niche. VW’s recent attempt with Chrysler was a big joke at best.

        Maybe BMW will grow a pair and bring a 4 Series Active Tourer/Grand Tourer to the USA. The 2 is simply too small me thinks.

  • Kash

    So are they gonna call it the GLR? Lol.

  • InSynergy

    Just stick to the name of R Class, please…
    hmm, if they want to revive the R, i suppose it would look like the Renault Espace (which is a blend of MPV and SUV)

    • Andrewthecarguy

      That would be nice…