Mercedes' belated answer to the Audi A6 Allroad is finally here, but it's also going to have to face the lovely Volvo V90 Cross Country.
The niche of rugged midsize wagons is growing starting today with the addition of the Mercedes E-Class All-Terrain featuring a more generous ground clearance compared to the regular E-Class Estate upon which it’s based. To be brutally honest, the car’s design is not surprising at all, since we were expecting to see a butch wagon featuring plastic body cladding on the wheel arches along with front and rear skid plates for extra protection.
As you would imagine, the E-Class All-Terrain is going to come as standard with the 4MATIC all-wheel drive system and will also take advantage of Mercedes’ Air Body Control multi-chamber air suspension. Mercedes has created three new sets of 19- and 20-inch alloy wheels specifically for this new E-Class Estate derivative targeting more adventurous people.
To further differentiate it from the regular wagon, the interior has an aluminum-carbon look trim and comes with “All-Terrain” lettering on the floor mats and stainless steel pedals. The level of cabin equipment that comes as standard with the E-Class All-Terrain is based on the Avantgarde interior line, but customers will be able to add goodies from the Exclusive and designo lines, at least in U.K.
Speaking of the U.K., Mercedes will initially launch the manlier E-Class Estate exclusively in the E220d 4MATIC guise with 194 horsepower (143 kilowatts) and 295 pound-feet (400 Newton-meters) of torque. It’s going to be enough diesel punch to allow the midsize wagon run to 62 mph (100 kph) in a more than decent eight seconds before maxing out at a respectable 144 mph (232 kph).
Should you want more power, you’ll have to wait for a turbodiesel six-cylinder scheduled to arrive shortly after the model’s market debut next spring. Both engines are going to be mated to the silky smooth nine-speed automatic gearbox as standard.
But people in the market for such a vehicle will be more interested in its off-road capabilities. That's why Mercedes has fitted the E-Class All-Terrain with the Dynamic Select system as standard, giving drivers the option to pick from five different driving programs. Turning on the GLE-derived All-Terrain mode will raise the chassis by up to 0.7 inches (20 mm) when driving at speeds of up to 22 mph (35 kph). For even more versatility, the air suspension has three selectable levels, up to as much as +1.3 inches (+35 mm).
For those with plans to really take the E-Class All-Terrain on bumpy roads, Mercedes says the ground clearance varies between 4.7 to 6.1 inches (121 to 156 mm), depending on selected settings. When compared to the regular E-Class Estate, the new Audi A6 allroad & Volvo V90 Cross Country rival sits 1.1 inches (29 mm) higher.
Mercedes will have the car on display at the Paris Motor Show in October and will reveal full specifications and pricing details early 2017.
Gallery: 2017 Mercedes E-Class All-Terrain
NEW MERCEDES-BENZ E-CLASS ALL-TERRAIN: VERSATILITY AND AGILITY IN A STRIKING OUTFIT
Stuttgart. From unpaved tracks to steep, serpentine snow-bound roads, the new E-Class All-Terrain can tackle routes where conventional estates have to give up, thanks to greater ground clearance and 4MATIC all-wheel drive. Rugged styling and flared wheel arches also give it a tough look. The E-Class All-Terrain makes its world premiere at the Paris Motor Show 2016. The first cars will arrive in the UK from spring 2017, while pricing and specification will be announced in early 2017.
“No E-Class has ever been as versatile as the All-Terrain. The new model combines a striking look in SUV style with the intelligent space concept of the estate. This is coupled with lots of innovative safety features and the multi-award-winning E-Class interior,” said Ola Källenius, Member of the Daimler management board responsible for Sales and Marketing of Mercedes Benz Cars. “With 4MATIC all-wheel drive as a standard feature and increased ground clearance thanks to the AIR BODY CONTROL multi-chamber air suspension, the All-Terrain is a flexible all-rounder – for unpaved roads, family and leisure time.”
Thanks to off-road styling elements the All-Terrain has a powerful and robust appearance which also distinguishes it from the classic estate. Dynamism and modern luxury unite to make the All-Terrain an ambassador for the Mercedes-Benz design philosophy of the sensuous clarity that defines modern luxury.
An eye-catching feature of the front is the SUV-style two-fin grille with the star integrated in the centre. The distinctive front bumper and lower panelling, electroplated in silver-chrome, also contribute to the robust appearance. The top part of the three-part front bumper is painted in the body colour and the lower part comes in grained black plastic.
At the side, the black wheel arch covers are a distinctive feature that emphasise the car’s all-terrain character. This also applies to the black side skirt that features a chrome trip strip. Three exclusive alloy wheel sets in 19- and 20-inch formats with higher sidewalls give the vehicle a confident look, greater ground clearance and enhanced comfort on rough roads.
The All-Terrain also features a model-specific three-part bumper at the rear with the top part painted in body colour and the lower part in grained black plastic. Further features typical of an SUV include robust load sill protection and an underbody guard electroplated in silver-chrome.
The interior includes aluminium-carbon look trim that is exclusive to the All-Terrain, stainless steel sports pedals and floor mats with All-Terrain lettering. The equipment is based on the AVANTGARDE interior line, while EXCLUSIVE and designo appointments are optionally available [UK details are to be confirmed]. The new model boasts all the load compartment flexibility of the E-Class estate, such as the rear seat cargo position and a standard 40:20:40 split-folding rear seat back. All E-Class innovations relating to safety, comfort and convenience are available.
The All-Terrain will be launched as an E 220 d 4MATIC (143 kW/194 hp) with the newly developed four-cylinder diesel engine. A short time later a variant with a six-cylinder diesel engine will follow. Both models come with the new 9G-TRONIC nine-speed automatic transmission as standard.
Technical data at a glance:
|E 220 d 4MATIC|
|Number of cylinders/arrangement||4/in-line|
|Rated output (kW/hp at rpm)||143/194 at 3800|
|Rated torque (Nm at rpm)||400 at 1600-2800|
|Combined NEDC fuel consumption (l/100 km)||5.1–5.2|
|Combined CO2 emissions (g/km)||137-139|
|Acceleration 0-100 km/h (s)||8.0|
|Top speed (km/h)||232|
Figures for version with 9G-TRONIC,
The All-Terrain has DYNAMIC SELECT as standard. This enables five driving programmes to be selected with different engine, transmission, ESP® and steering characteristics. A special model-specific feature is the All-Terrain driving programme, which offers settings for off-road driving and was derived from the GLE. The even more comfortable suspension configuration and the large wheels with higher sidewalls noticeably further increase ride comfort on rough roads compared with the E-Class.
Selecting the All-Terrain driving programme with the driving programme switch raises the chassis via the standard AIR BODY CONTROL by +20 mm up to a speed of 35 km/h. The thresholds for ESP®, active yaw control and acceleration skid control (ASR) are adjusted accordingly. The All-Terrain driving programme has a special indicator in the vehicle display. Information displayed there includes the steering angle, the vehicle level (position of the air suspension), the angle of slope and the angle of inclination, the accelerator/brake position and a compass.
Thanks to air suspension three levels from 0 to +35 mm are selectable. Independent of the driving programme the highest level can also be selected manually with the level button on the centre console. The E-Class All-Terrain is 29 millimetres higher than the E-Class Estate – 14 mm of which is due to the tyres’ larger height/width ratio and 15 mm to the normal driving level of the air suspension. The ground clearance is 121 to 156 mm.