One of Mercedes’ barmier ideas, the R63 L AMG was a 510bhp, four-wheel drive MPV, estate and saloon rolled into one with a top speed electronically limited to 155mph and a 0-62mph sprint time of 4.6sec. It cost £74,115 and slurped unleaded at the rate of 17mpg.
They rarely come up for sale in the UK (few found homes here), but look across the pond to the US, the supersized R-Class’s natural home, and there are plenty at around $40,000 (£31,000) , if you fancy importing one, shipping and taxes on top.
Not that you need, or should, go to that trouble because you may just find its saner alternative, the R500, buried deep in the UK’s sales ads, as we have. The 2006-registered car has done 105,000 miles and is up for £4490. Its 5.0-litre V8 produces 302bhp, cracks 0-62mph in 7.0sec and ‘sips’ fuel at the rate of 20mpg.
But why prattle on about these utterly irrelevant versions? Because as an unsexy beast, the R-Class could use a bit of excitement. It’s just a monster estate, after all. Or is it?