In the first official confirmation that the slow-selling R-class will be retained, Mercedes-Benz chief Dieter Zetsche has said it will continue in its current form until at least 2015. “We need it for the Chinese market,” an insider told Autocar.
Also confirmed in Mercedes’ growing SUV ranks is a BMW X6 rival, called the MLC. Set to be built in the US from 2015, it will receive a unique four-door body riding on modified M-class underpinnings. Engines will include a 571bhp version of AMG’s twin-turbocharged 5.5-litre V8 petrol unit.
Other SUVs due by 2015 include a facelifted GLK, the new M-class, a second-generation GL and heavily revised versions of the G-class, in hard-top and cabriolet body styles.