FrontRunners: In A Class Of Its Own

  • Patrick C. Paternie

The R in the name of the new R-Class from Mercedes-Benz (www.mbusa.com) could stand for riddle. After all, what do you call a vehicle that is 4 inches longer than a Cadillac Escalade, is equipped with full-time 4-wheel drive, seats six, handles better than an E-Class sedan, and—with a front end that appears to be scowling—looks like an angry, beefed-up minivan? Indeed, to classify the R-Class, Mercedes-Benz has coined a new term for the automotive lexicon: grand sports tourer.
 
Priced at about $56,000, the R-Class should appeal to those with young children—or to those who entertain their children’s young children—who find minivans too plebeian but want comfort levels, fuel efficiency, and performance (thanks to a peppy V-8 and standard air suspension) that are superior to those of most SUVs.

Photo by James Lipman
Find out how the V-8 stacks up against its V-12 stablemate…
This race-adapted hybrid generates 86 more hp than its road-going counterpart…
Porsche 918 Spyder
See the winner and rankings, as well as exclusive photos and videos of all the cars...
Caterham Bikes Carbon E-Bike, a brawny carbon-fiber-and-aluminum electric bicycle that looks like a...
The Stingray is the seventh generation of the Corvette, a model that has been in production since...
Photo by Mathieu Heurtault/Gooding & Company
The annual Gooding & Company Amelia Island Auction...
Photo by Scott Williamson/www.photodesignstudios.com
Stutz Motor Car of America, produced the Blackhawk from 1971 through 1987...
Chevrolet brought its Corvette Stingray convertible to Palm Springs, a popular location for...
Photo by Max Earey
The new sedan generates 552 hp and 465 ft lbs of torque…
Photo by Yakima Products Inc
The company claims its rack is the most aerodynamic on the market…