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Brawnier 2011 Mercedes-Benz R-Class leaked ahead of New York debut

2011 Mercedes-Benz R-Class – Click above for high-res image gallery

The R-Class has had a rough life. Not only did it suffer from odd, disproportionate styling, but Mercedes-Benz never really marketed the vehicle the way that it should have, choosing to position it as a "sports tourer," rather than the obvious upscale family hauler that it is. Dismal sales ensued. Makes sense, then, that the 2011 R-Class benefits from a slightly more comprehensive overhaul than the standard mid-cycle refresh usually entails.

Right away, we must say that the R-Class's new schnoz is a giant leap forward from drooping proboscis of the outgoing car. New, more chiseled headlamps accent a larger, more upright grille and a less angular hood. The revised lower fascia features the automaker's new quad foglight design – something we've already seen on the E- and GL-Class. Not much has been changed out back, save the standard mid-cycle enhancements (revised taillights and a tweaked bumper).

Interior changes are minimal, which is fine, since we've never really had a problem with the sports tourer people mover's cabin. Look for the typical array of Mercedes-Benz technology features, as well as a new AMG sport interior, which includes different seats, a better steering wheel with shift paddles, a new lighting package, and stainless steel pedals. As for powertrains, we expect the standard V6 engines – both petrol and diesel – to be offered. Us? We're secretly crossing our fingers for the return of the R63 AMG.

Check back later this week for full details from the New York Auto Show. In the meantime, click through the gallery below to see preview shots of the new R-Class. Hat tip to Ashley!

[Source: eMercedesBenz]

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