Late to the rugged wagon game, Mercedes is trying to make up for lost time with a butch E-Class Estate.

Mercedes introduced the E-Class Estate almost two months ago, so you are probably wondering what’s with the disguise on this prototype? Well, the truth of the matter is, we’re not dealing with an ordinary version of the posh midsize wagon. It’s actually the more rugged All Terrain derivative with front and rear skid plates and additional plastic body cladding on the wheel arches which remain hidden on this lightly disguised prototype.

Both the front and rear bumpers are also masked because Mercedes has plans to make them more rugged compared to those of the regular E-Class Estate. Despite the thin wrap slapped onto the near-production prototype, you can already notice the front bumper has a substantially different look, while the rear one appears to be more prominent.

Although not visible in the adjacent spy images, the All Terrain will benefit from a more generous ground clearance thanks to a bespoke suspension setup that will allow the wagon to better tackle uneven roads. It’s going to come as standard with a 4MATIC all-wheel-drive arrangement and will make use of a variable-height air suspension that will enable the butch E-Class Estate to “go farther than most owners will expect,” according to E-Class’ chief engineer Michael Kelz.

It won’t be long until we will get to see the car, with Mercedes already confirming it will be ready for a world premiere in October during the Paris Motor Show. However, it won’t go on sale until 2017 and the company with the three-pointed star logo does not have plans to sell it stateside, at least not for the time being.

There’s no word about European pricing just yet, but you can imagine it will be more expensive than the equivalent E-Class Estate which in U.K. kicks off at £37,935, while at home in Germany the Audi A6 allroad-rivaling model begins at €48,665.

Gallery: 2017 Mercedes-Benz E-Class All Terrain spy photos

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