Dec 18, 2008

Spy Shot: Merccedes-Benz R-Class Facelift Spotted

Mercedes-Benz hasn’t exactly racked up design accolades for its minivanesque R-Class crossover (much more on that in our spy shooter’s hilarious comments below), despite its being rather competent to drive. Bearing that in mind, the German automaker has set about doing a redesign of the R, seen for the first time in this set of spy shots.

From the placement of the camouflage on this test car it seems apparent that M-B is primarily working to update the front end of the R-Class, hopefully devising a face that is more in-line with the rest of the attractive Mercedes lineup. Have a closer look at the mule in our gallery above.

Mercedes are giving their R-Class a major make over, but will that help to make the ugly duckling to a beautiful swan? 

The R-Class was never a bad car; it was just too expensive, too big and hmm…too ugly. And the market didn’t want a car that was more of an ugly four-wheel drive, S-Class van, at least not that many customers. So the first step was to offer the R-Class in a two-wheel drive version as well to make it cheaper, didn’t help. Second step, make the AMG exterior package standard to make it look better, didn’t help either.

So that leaves us to this step, try to make it less ugly with more radical methods. The rear was never the problem, but the front…. the current R-Class has a face only a mother could love.  Hidden under this camouflage is now the new and face lifted version testing, a version that hopefully will give the R-Class the face it deserves. With a little luck it gets a face similar to the new E-Class. The rear will only get smaller changes, like a newly shaped bumper with new exhaust pipes and rear lights with a new graphic. 

Engines will also be updated to the new standards and we will see the face lifted R-Class at the Frankfurt Car Show in September as a 2010 model.