I don't know what's more surprising in the "docufilms" Mercedes produced to introduce the new R-Class GST (Grand Sports Tourer): seeing skater/shill Tony Hawk talk about what kind of car he'd be ("not a clunky SUV"), or hearing the Mercedes designers proudly and repeatedly describe the car using the worst slam we had as kids for our dad's Buick Park Avenue: "a living room on wheels."
And even though they show fleeting images of a stroller (a Peg Perego, I think), and a guy puts down the two rows of rear seats to load his racing bike in, and even though a German-accented engineer babbles on and on about how big the cupholders are, and even though Chrysler invented them, make no mistake: the GST couldn't be more different from a minivan, no. "It's not a minivan," says MB's Dr. Stephan Manger, "no, people will be happy when they drive this car."
Oh, I'm happy, Doktor. Not as happy as I'd be to see the B-Class in the US, but hey. The R-Class may be a living room on wheels, but with its all-glass roof, at least it's a modernist living room on wheels. But I have a nagging suspicion the R-Class isn't a minivan the way the Time Warner Center isn't a mall. Good luck, mein freunden.