Mercedes-Benz R-Class to return as EV?

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The Mercedes-Benz R-Class bowed out of the United States after 2012 but lived on for several more years in China where there’s demand for luxury minivans—so much so that Lexus launched one there in 2019.

Now a new R-Class, or something like it, might be in the works at Mercedes for launch around 2025, Car reported last week.

Mercedes already sells a luxury minivan called the V-Class, though this is based on a commercial van that’s sold in the U.S. as a Metris. According to Car, the idea for the modern R-Class was conceived by former Mercedes-AMG chief Tobias Moers, meaning the proposed vehicle might be performance oriented.

2012 Mercedes-Benz R Class

Such a vehicle offered by AMG might be badged a GLR, according to Car, though something like EQR is also possible if the vehicle ends up part of Mercedes’ EQ family of electrics, which is more likely given claims it will have third-row seats.

That brings us to talk of its powertrain. According to Car, the modern R-Class will be a battery-electric model, which would make it a direct rival to the Tesla Model X and the rumored “Landjet” vehicles from Audi and Porsche. The reported powertrain is a three-motor system with a combined 1,000 horsepower and 105 kilowatt-hours of battery capacity, likely for the range-topping grade.

Mercedes has already confirmed another vehicle similar to the R-Class, and with a battery-electric powertrain. It’s called the EQS SUV and is expected on sale in 2022, but it will only have two rows of seats.

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