New Sasol GTC cars set for thrills

The iconic Grand Prix Circuit will present a new challenge to the GTC drivers as they tackle the country’s fastest racetrack on June 16.

Suzuki’s new Swift hatch and sedan in SA

Suzuki kicks off its new model assault with an all new Swift hatchback and standalone sedan called the Dzire.

New R-Class to debut at NY show

2010-03-29 07:35
Vehicle Specs
Manufacturer Mercedes-Benz
Model R-Class
Engine 3.5l V6, 3l V6 turbodiesel
Power 200kW @ 6 000r/min, 165kW @ 3 800r/min
Torque 350Nm @ 5 000r/min 510Nm @ 1 600r/min
Transmission Seven-speed auto
Mercedes-Benz’s lacklustre R-Class has been given a significant new styling suite in an attempt to gain (any) sales momentum.

Since the car’s 2005 debut, this W251 chassis ‘Sports tourer’ has been a dismal sales failure for Mercedes-Benz.

Not even a rather rapid (and heroically pointless) AMG engined version could make up for the oddly proportioned ovoid styling.

Less ovoid, more rectangular

Merc has heeded criticism and given the R-Class more than a mild facelift as part of its mid-lifecycle upgrade. From the A-pillar to front bumper the car’s styling package has been sharpened appreciably.

The rectangular shaped headlights, quad fog lights, a new bumper (embedded with optional LED illumination strips) and less rakish grille neaten up the R-Class appearance wholesale.

These changes imbue the R-Class with less of a MPV appearance. It finally looks more like the dynamic Crossover it has always purported to be.

Buyers keen on an even more dynamic look can option the sports styling package, which adds AMG designed 19-inch wheels and smoked taillights.

Classy cabin remains the same

Beyond the vastly improved exterior styling package the revised R-Class carries over most of the current car’s cabin detailing.

From a utility perspective the car’s generous cabin dimensions and six-seater configuration remain – with the option of seven-person portability, courtesy of an optional bench replacing the second row of buckets seats.

The only discernable difference is (again) the option of an AMG fettled trim package - which adds a paddle-shift equipped steering wheel, stainless steel pedals and remoulded seats in a gray-on-black colour scheme.

For the rest, R-Class cues familiar Mercedes-Benz mechanical details. Engines are both 350 monikered V6s, which means either a 3.5l V6 petrol (200kW/350Nm) or 3l V6 compression-ignition turbo BlueEFFICIENCY (165kW/510Nm). Both enginesl drive all four wheels via Merc’s 4Matic seven-speed drivetrain system.

Hooligans with extended families who require the seven-person portability, yet find AMG’s MLs too distasteful, will be hoping feverishly for a return of the R 63 AMG…


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