THE arrival of the 2017 Mercedes-Benz E-Class All-Terrain marks a new chapter for the German luxury car-maker as the Benz-badged mid-sizer chases the Audi A6 Allroad quattro and the Volvo V90 Cross Country for the first time.
Based on the mid-size E-Class Estate and set for a reveal at the 2016 Paris Motor Show early next month, the All-Terrain combines more rugged styling styling – such as a raised ride height, larger wheels, black skirts and flared guards that make it look taller, and a front end that borrows heavily from the GL line of high-riding SUVs – combined with the E-Class interior to give off-road prowess combined with on-road comfort.
"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," Mercedes-Benz sales and marketing chief Ola Källenius said. The air suspension system will allow drivers to raise the All-Terrain’s height by 20mm, or drop it by 15mm, while on the move.
Mercedes-Benz says the E-Class All-Terrain sits 29 millimetres higher than the E-Class Estate on which it is based, with 14mm coming from the taller tyres and 15mm coming from the normal driving level of the air suspension.
The All-Terrain features a two-fin grille borrowed from Merc’s SUV line, with the three-pointed star featured as a centrepiece. The carmaker has developed three styles of alloy wheel for the car, in either 19- or 20-inch diameters, that use taller sidewalls to give extra height and improve off-road ability.
As well as chrome-plated underbody protection, more durable floor mats and rubberised stainless steel pedals, the interior gains a bespoke aluminium and carbon-look trim.
The car will also borrow the Mercedes-Benz GLE’s five-setting driving program, which includes a special off-road setting that allows more slip .
Under the bonnet, the Mercedes-Benz E-Class All-Terrain will use a 143kW/400Nm turbocharged 2.0-litre four-cylinder engine paired with a nine-speed automatic transmission. A six-cylinder diesel engine will join the All-Terrain family a bit later than the first car’s launch in the second quarter of next year.
Model: Mercedes-Benz E220d 4Matic All-Terrain
Engine: 1950cc 4cyl, dohc, 16v turbo diesel
Max power: 143kW @ 3800rpm
Max torque: 400Nm @ 1600-2800rpm
Transmission: 9-speed automatic
Kerb weight: n/a
Fuel economy: 5.2L/100km (est)
Price: $115,000 (est)
On sale: H2, 2017