The Mercedes E-Class All Terrain has been revealed. It's a high-riding version of the brand's luxury estate that will rival the Audi A6 Allroad and Volvo V90 Cross Country when it goes on UK sale in spring 2017, following a public premiere at the Paris motor show.
Fitted with Mercedes’ latest multi-chamber Air Body Control air suspension and 4Matic four-wheel-drive system as standard, the E-Class All Terrain aims to provide the comfort and convenience of the recently introduced sixth-generation E-Class estate with the increased ground clearance and off-road ability of the company’s more dedicated mid-sized SUV, the GLE.
Helping it achieve this dual role is a revised version of the E-Class’s optional Air Body Control air suspension offering up to 35mm of additional ground clearance. By pressing a button on the centre console, the driver is able to raise the ride height from a standard setting with a ground clearance of 121mm through an intermediate setting of 141mm and to a highest setting of 156mm at speeds up to 22mph.
A specially tuned version of Mercedes’ 4Matic four-wheel-drive system in combination with standard 19in wheels shod with tyres featuring higher sidewalls than the standard E-Class are also claimed to enhance traction while providing additional ride comfort on rough roads.
Additionally, a standard Dynamic Select function offers the choice of five different driving modes, including an All Terrain mode that is described as being specific to the E-Class All Terrain. When engaged it sets the suspension in the intermediate setting with 141mm of ground clearance and alters the threshold of the electronic stability program (ESP), active yaw control (AYC) and acceleration skid control (ASC) for maximum off-road ability.
Like the GLE, the E-Class All Terrain’s Command infotainment monitor will show the steering angle, suspension level, angle of slope and angle of inclination of the vehicle, as well as the position of the accelerator and brake.
Differentiating the new model from the standard E-Class are a series of external styling tweaks – all of which provide it with a more rugged appearance than its more on-road biased sibling. Included is a re-profiled, two-tone front bumper, a prominent twin blade grille, wheel arch cladding, roof rails, beefed up sills underneath the doors and a two-tone rear bumper with integrated trapezoidal shaped tail pipes.
The styling changes inside E-Class All Terrain are subtler. They include exclusive aluminium-carbonfibre look trim, stainless steel pedals and floor mats with All Terrain identification. The standard equipment is most closely based on the AMG Line of the standard E-Class estate available in the UK.
The E-Class All Terrain will be launched with a single engine in the UK. The newly developed turbocharged 2.0-litre four-cylinder common rail diesel, known internally as the OM654, provides the E 220 d 4Matic All Terrain with 191bhp and 295lb ft of torque on a relatively narrow band of revs between 1600 and 2800rpm.
Drive is channelled through Mercedes’ 9G-Tronic nine-speed torque converter equipped automatic gearbox and 4Matic four-wheel drive system.
Mercedes claims 0-62mph in 8.0sec and a top speed of 144mph for the All Terrain model. Meanwhile, combined cycle fuel consumption is put at 55.4mpg, providing the E 220 d 4Matic All Terrain with average CO2 emission of 137g/km.
The E 220 d 4Matic All Terrain is expected to be priced around £5000 above similarly equipped versions of the AMG Line E 220 d Estate, which will mean a starting price of around £45,000. That's higher than the expected starting price of the V90 Cross Country, but lower than the A6 Allroad.