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Future models - Mercedes-Benz - C-Class - All Terrain

Benz evaluating jacked-up C-Class Estate

All in: The E-Class All-Terrain could soon be joined by a smaller C-Class-based sibling.

C-Class wagon to get the All-Terrain treatment if Mercedes case stacks up

Mercedes-Benz logo28 Mar 2018

By TIM NICHOLSON in New York

MERCEDES-BENZ looks set to introduce a higher-riding All-Terrain version of its C-Class Estate wagon to take on the likes of the Audi A4 Allroad.

While Audi has offered a jacked-up Allroad version of its A6 wagon since 1999, and more recently the A4 since 2009, Mercedes was late to the party, revealing the All-Terrain variant of its new-generation E-Class wagon at the 2016 Paris motor show.

Rumours have circulated that a C-Class All-Terrain was on the cards, but now it appears the German giant is actively investigating the viability of such a model.

When asked if the All-Terrain concept could be transferred from the E-Class to the C-Class wagon, Mercedes-Benz Cars chief engineer for the C-Class Christian Frueh said it could and added that it was something he had been keen to develop for some time.

“Yes actually it can be transferred,” he told Australian journalists at a Benz media event before the New York motor show. “Actually the idea started in the C-Class already in the generation before, because I loved it always. But it never was calculated as a big success so we didn’t do it.

“And now we have started it for the first time in the E-Class, and it runs very well, it is a good success. And we are, of course, thinking about it also for C-Class. It is designed into the platform. The platform can do it.”

When asked to clarify if he meant the current platform or the next-generation C-Class platform due next decade, Mr Frueh said: “The current (platform) could do it. Next generation as well.”

In terms of whether there was an active business case for a C-Class All-Terrain, he said the company was “discussing it”.

GoAuto understands that the C-Class All-Terrain is all but confirmed for production, but timing is unclear.

If it does get the green light for production, it is unclear what powertrains Benz would use, or how many variants it will offer.

The E-Class All-Terrain is offered in Australia in just one model grade, the E220d 4Matic all-wheel drive that uses a 143kW/400Nm 2.0-litre turbo-diesel engine.

It is priced from $109,900 plus on-road costs, while the Audi A6 Allroad starts from $114,700.

While Benz only sells the All-Terrain version of the E-Class wagon in Australia, it is likely the regular C-Class wagon would continue to be sold alongside the All-Terrain if it gets the go-ahead, as wagons make up about 10 per cent of overall C-Class volume Down Under.

Audi and Mercedes are the only two premium manufacturers to offer a jacked-up passenger station wagon, but Subaru started the trend back in 1994 with its Outback.

BMW does not offer a high-riding version of its 3 Series or 5 Series wagons.

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