The Mercedes-Benz R-Class, formerly known as the GST, or Grand Sport Touring, will go into production at the start of 2005, and we have the spy pictures!

The Mercedes-Benz R-Class, formerly known as the GST, or Grand Sport Touring, will go into production at the start of 2005, and we have the spy pictures!

The luxury saloon/4X4 crossover will be produced at the Mercedes factory in Alabama, alongside the next generation M-Class, with which it will share its underpinnings.

As CARtoday.com reported previously, two variants of the GST will be offered. The first, with a 2 950 mm wheelbase and overall length of 4 850 mm, features seating for five adults. In addition, the long-wheelbase version has an additional 265 mm to allow for an additional, third row of seats, raising passenger capacity to seven.

Under the bonnet, buyers can choose from a range of direct-injection petrol engines with six or eight cylinders, starting with a three-litre V6 producing 172 kW. A 190-kW 3,6-litre V6 and a 227-kW five-litre V8 will complete the petrol line-up. A 2,6-litre V6 CDI diesel and three-litre V6 CDI diesel engine are also in the pipeline.

The R-class' standard four-wheel drive system will have a 50/50 power split, with electronic differentials at each axle to apportion drive to whichever wheel has the most grip. The new 7G-Tronic seven-speed automatic transmission and air suspension will also be fitted to the six-seater.

Other developments include electro-mechanical brakes, as opposed to hydraulic brakes, and communications devices such as Internet access and connection points for laptops.


Meanwhile, also reports that a replacement model for the G-Wagen, with more rugged, military-issue styling, will also be built on the W251 platform, giving DaimlerChrysler a Hummer H2 rival.

Original article from Car