Inspired by the equally extreme G500 4x4², design engineer Jürgen Eberle says the aim of the project was to find out if a similar car could be created with the G500 4x4²’s portal axles grafted on in place of the standard E-Class All-Terrain's multi-link set-up.
The project took a few months to create, with Eberle heading up a growing team as his project became more and more ambitious. What Eberle ended up with was an E-Class All-Terrain with more than double the original car’s ground clearance: 420mm, compared with the standard car’s 160mm, with a wading depth just 100mm shy of the G-Class’s 600mm. The standard All-Terrain’s wading depth is 280mm.
Arguably the focal point of the car, though, is its 20in wheels, which come from the R-Class and are shod in knobbly 285/50 R20 off-roading tyres, compared with the 19in and 245/45 R19 standard wheels and tyres. To house these, special wheel arch extenders had to be 3D printed and attached to the car, increasing its width by almost 200mm.
The standard rubber and plastic suspension bushings were replaced with Uniball motorsport bearings, while Eberle drafted in help from a friend working at AMG to modify the driveshaft geometry for compatibility with the car’s off-roading modifications.
“The crucial factor was the network," said Eberle. "In every area where I needed support, I found colleagues who were on the same wavelength and who provided help quickly and without any red tape.”
Under the bonnet is the standard 191bhp four-cylinder diesel engine, and 9G-tronic nine-speed automatic gearbox. Mercedes’ 4Matic all-wheel drive system is of course, maintained for the model.
The E-Class All-Terrain 4x4² attracted the attention and praise of the E-Class’s chief engineer, Michael Kelz, who said: “The idea excited me right from the start and initial test drives of the All-Terrain 4x4 2 at the new testing and technology centre in Immendingen are demonstrating promising off-road characteristics. Thanks to the suspension lift with portal axles, the All-Terrain 4x4 2 is able to cope with even the nastiest rocky and stony runs – it’s a really skillful scrambler.”