The E-Class All Terrain is set to be the first in what a high-ranking source has described as “a range of new crossover models” that will be added to Mercedes’ line-up in the coming years.
Due to be launched in October, the plush new four-wheel-drive estate will be pitched as an alternative to Mercedes’ dedicated SUVs. A £40,000 price for an entry-level E200 model is expected.
The starting point for the E-Class All Terrain is the yet-to-be-revealed fifth-generation E-Class Estate. Both models will share the same aluminium and steel body.
Recent spy photographs confirm that the E-Class All Terrain is visually differentiated from its regular estate sibling by a series of unique exterior styling touches, includingmore rugged front and rear bumpers with plastic bash plates, additional cladding within the wheel arches, integrated roof bars and an individual wheel design.
Also planned is a series of unique interior trim combinations, according to insiders privy to early production examples of the new estate.
The E-Class All-Terrain will initially be offered with the same limited range of turbocharged four-cylinder and six-cylinder petrol and diesel engines as the latest derivatives of the more traditional E-Class saloon, which was revealed at the Detroit motor show earlier this year. A petrol-electric plug-in hybrid version is also planned.
All engines will be mated to Mercedes’ 9G-Tronic nine-speed automatic gearbox. Drive will be apportioned to each wheel via the same four-wheel drive system as that of more road-biased versions of the E-Class 4Matic.
In an effort to match the variable ride height properties of the A6 Allroad, Mercedes plans to equip the E-Class All Terrain with its latest air suspension, the so-called Air Body Control system.
Featuring two chambers of varying size within the spring struts on each of the front wheels and three chambers on the spring struts of each rear wheel, Air Body Control will enable the driver to choose between different levels of ground clearance while providing automatic self-levelling, along with a highway function that lowers the body at high speeds to increase aerodynamic efficiency.