Mercedes-Benz is to present two new cross-over models at this month’s Paris Motor Show.

Although presented as design studies, the ‘Vision R’ Grand Sports Tourer and ‘Vision B’ Compact Sports Tourer are both close to production-ready.

These two Sports Tourers are designed to combine the advantages of a sports saloon, estate, van and 4×4 (SUV) in one vehicle.

The Grand Sports Tourer ‘Vision R’ is billed as a “4+2-seater with luxury appointments” and has the longer wheelbase of the two, at 2980mm. Each passenger has their own single seat, with the rest of the interior appointed with fine leather and decorative ash-wood and aluminium trim.

A new V6 turbodiesel with 218 hp and 376 lb/ft of torque is mated to a 7G-TRONIC seven-speed automatic transmission powering all four wheels. The new engine is equipped with a particulate filter system, manages 32 mpg and meets the forthcoming Euro IV emissions standards.

The Compact Sports Tourer ‘Vision B’ has its engine and transmission mounted partly in front of and beneath the passenger cell, in a sandwich arrangement similar to that used in the A-Class. This packaging method increases cabin space and practicality.

The Vision B is powered by a new four-cylinder diesel engine with 140 hp and 221 lb/ft of torque. It achieves 47 mpg and, again, its particulate-filtered emissions meet Euro IV standards.

Both models use a new paint that gives an extremely shiny, high-luminance finish that will eventually appear on production models.