Development versions of the estate have been spotted testing in an almost completely undisguised form, showing the design of its tailgate and rear bumper for the first time.
Although they’re still partially covered, it’s clear the E-Class Estate’s tail-lights take influence from the design of the smaller C-Class Estate. There’s also a familiar chrome strip between the two units and similar chrome surrounds on the exhausts, confirming Mercedes has stuck to its Russian Doll design formula of late.
Inside, the layout will be nearly identical to that of the saloon, with an extended boot and extra rear head room being the only notable differences. Technology will also be carried over from the regular car, so the estate will come with a dual-screen infotainment system controlled by a touchpad and rotary dial in the centre console, as well as Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.
Mercedes has not yet confirmed the new car’s specifications, but we expect most of the engines of the E-Class saloon to be carried over, including turbocharged petrol and diesel engines of four and six-cylinder layouts.
A hot AMG E 63 version will also join the saloon and estate line-ups later this year, with around 600bhp on offer from its twin-turbocharged 4.0-litre V8. The E 63 models will feature a bespoke rear axle based on that of the C 63, and they’ll be available exclusively with 4Matic four-wheel drive.
The new E-Class saloon will go on sale this summer, priced from £35,935, but order books for the estate aren’t due to open until October. Prices will be slightly higher than those of the saloon – expect a starting figure of around £37,000 – and deliveries will begin in January 2017.
Although nothing has been officially confirmed, Autocar believes an all-road version of the E-Class Estate is also due. The E-Class Estate All Terrain is expected to gain a more rugged-looking exterior and raised ride height. It is likely to be priced from about £40,000 and rival the Audi A6 Allroad.