The all-new E-Class Estate was unveiled just yesterday, but Mercedes is already preparing to diversify the lineup by adding a rugged version to take on the Audi A6 allroad quattro. Up until this moment this was nothing more than a rumor, but the company with the three-pointed star logo has confirmed the E-Class All Terrain will show up in Paris early October before going on sale early 2017.
Mercedes has a plethora of crossovers and SUVs on sale nowadays in basically all segments of the market, but if none of them float your boat, the E-Class All Terrain might just do the trick. The soft-roader will come as standard with an all-wheel-drive layout and will have a more generous ground clearance compared to the regular E-Class Estate.
In addition, it’s also getting a slightly more rugged appearance with plastic underbody protection as well as extra cladding around the wheel arches. Also expect exclusive alloy wheel designs and a number of tweaks inside the cabin to further set it apart from the regular E Class Estate and justify what will likely be a significant premium.
E-Class’ chief engineer Michael Kelz says the All Terrain derivative won’t be as competent on bumpy roads as a crossover or an SUV, but it “will be able to go farther than most owners will expect.” The ace up its sleeve compared to the standard model will be the variable-height air suspension. The butch wagon will have a raised ride height during light off-roading adventures while at higher speeds it's going to sit lower.
It will be interesting to see whether the C-Class Estate will also spawn a similar All Terrain version to take on the A4 allroad. Perhaps Mercedes wants to wait and see how the E Class Estate All Terrain will perform before green-lighting its smaller brother.
The bad news is Mercedes does not have plans to sell the rugged midsize wagon in United States, a decision which comes as a surprise taking into account Audi of America is offering the A6 allroad.
Source: Mercedes via Autocar.co.uk