Mercedes R-class (2009): spy photos

Published: 07 August 2008

Mercedes is readying a revised version of its giant R-class, its strange MPV/estate/4×4 hybrid. Don’t expect anything too radical though – like the long list of Mercs that have been refreshed with only minor tweaks, the changes to the R-class will be mild.

So the Merc R-class will still be a huge, ungainly beast?

If that’s your viewpoint, though we’ve always had a soft spot for the R-class. It’s huge inside and the obligatory big wheels disguise the size. The facelift won’t change any of that.

The headlights will change though. Expect the rounded look of today’s car to be updated with the latest squared-off corporate look, along with a new front bumper and grille. Check out Mercedes’ recent SL facelift to get an idea of the change in store.

At the back, our spy shots appear to show exhaust pipes fitting flush with the rear bumper, so there are likely to be more bodywork changes for this big Merc.

What about other tweaks?

Inside the new R you’ll find the latest-generation multimedia system – available in three guises – new seats and higher quality materials, insiders vow.

An extra mile per gallon or two should be squeezed from the engines, but we won’t see the Bluetec R-class launched in 2007 in the US reach UK shores anytime soon.

Expect the revised R-class to go on sale in the UK in mid-2008, though Mercedes says there are no plans to trim the line-up, after it was slimmed in 2007 with the six-seat option being dropped.

By Ben Pulman

CAR's editor-at-large, co-ordinator, tallboy