Despite the relatively niche segment, luxury manufacturers continue to release soft-roading variants of full-sized wagons. Following earlier reveals from Audi and Volvo, Mercedes-Benz just unveiled the dirt-road-ready E-Class All-Terrain ahead of its official debut at this year’s Paris auto show.
The All-Terrain is noticeably taller than the E-Class station wagon that it’s based on. It receives a twin-slat grille that echoes the one found on many Mercedes SUVs, silver trim on both bumpers, and black cladding over the wheel arches and the rocker panels that protects the bodywork from dings and scratches when the going gets tough. Finally, it rides on All-Terrain-specific alloy wheels wrapped by meaty tires.
At launch, the E-Class All-Terrain will only be offered with a 2.0-liter turbodiesel four-cylinder engine that develops 194 horsepower at 3,800 rpm and 295 pound-feet of torque from 1,600 to 2,800 rpm. And while the All-Terrain wasn’t developed with performance in mind, it nonetheless hits 62 mph from a stop in a respectable eight seconds and keeps accelerating until it hits 144 mph.
Mercedes has confirmed that a more powerful model equipped with a six-cylinder turbodiesel engine will be added to the lineup a little later in the production run, but technical specifications aren’t available yet. A nine-speed automatic and Mercedes’ 4Matic all-wheel drive system come standard regardless of how many cylinders are under the hood.
A built-in All-Terrain mode lets motorists explore what the wagon is capable of. Turning it on displays key information such as the steering angle, the slope and incline angles, and the direction of travel on the high-resolution screen built into the center console. It also automatically raises the air suspension at speeds of up to 20 mph.