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Mercedes C-Class Estate officially revealed

Real Estate: The new Mercedes-Benz C-Class Estate carries a sleeker design than the outgoing model and features safety technology from its larger siblings.

Stylish fourth-generation Mercedes-Benz C-Class Estate here in late 2014

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Mercedes-Benz logo22 May 2014

MERCEDES-BENZ officially revealed its C-Class Estate overnight after leaked images surfaced online yesterday revealing the sleek new-generation luxury wagon in all its glory.

As reported yesterday, the load-lugging version of Mercedes' top-selling passenger vehicle will go on sale locally in quarter four this year, following the launch of the sedan in July.

The fourth-generation C-Class Estate is larger than the outgoing model, with an 80mm increase in wheelbase to 2840mm, a 96mm boost in length to 4702mm and a 40mm increase in width to 1810mm.

Compared with its closest competitor, the BMW 3 Series Touring, the Benz 30mm longer in the wheelbase, 78mm longer overall and 1mm narrower.

Cargo capacity in the Estate is also up by five litres to 490 litres with the rear 40/20/40 split-fold seats raised and 1510 litres with the rear bench folded. The 3 Series can carry 495/1500 litres in its cargo area.

Mercedes has tried to make loading cargo a little easier with the inclusion of a hands-free tail-gate that is operated using a kicking motion under the sensor in the rear bumper, similar to the system used in the Ford Kuga SUV, while the rear-seat backrests can be folded electrically by pushing a button.

Despite the increase in dimensions and equipment, Mercedes has stripped 65kg from the outgoing model thanks in part to a body shell of 49 per cent aluminium.

The front-end design naturally follows that of the C-Class sedan that was revealed in December last year, but takes its own distinctive form from the B-pillar back.

There is a quarter moon-shape to the glasshouse thanks to tapered rear three-quarter windows that give the new Benz a sleeker look than its predecessor and even references its low-slung CLS Shooting Brake sibling.

Sharper, narrower tail-lights cap off the sportier more modern look of the new-gen load-lugger.

The Estate will likely launch with 125kW/400Nm C220 diesel and the 135kW/300Nm C200 petrol variants, but Mercedes-Benz Australia Pacific senior manager of corporate communications David McCarthy confirmed with GoAuto yesterday that the 245kW/480Nm petrol V6 and the super frugal C300 BlueTEC diesel-electric hybrid that sips 3.9 litres of fuel per 100km, will not be offered locally.

A super powerful C63 AMG performance wagon that would line up against Audi's mad RS4 Avant is also in the works but is unlikely to make it until well into 2015.

The Estate will feature a new four-link front axle for improved dynamics as a part of the newly designed suspension. Mercedes will also offer its Airmatic air suspension with all-round self-levelling for better ride comfort, even when the wagon is loaded.

The driver can choose a number of driving modes at the touch of a button, including comfort, ECO, Sport, and Sport +.

Safety systems to filter down from the E- and S-Class include attention assist, which warns the driver of drowsiness, and collision prevention assist plus with adaptive braking at 105km/h on the open road and up to 50km/h in response to stationary vehicles.

Distronic plus adaptive cruise control is also available. This features a function that allows the car to follow the acceleration and braking of the vehicle ahead even in stop-start traffic.

Depending on the variant, other safety gear includes lane keep assist, which directs the vehicle back to the lane when it detects road markings, a traffic sign warning system and an active high-beam assist that maintains high-beam headlights but masks other vehicles to avoid dazzling the driver.

The cabin mimics that of the sedan and therefore some of the features including a climate control system that detects tunnels using GPS data and closes the air recirculation flap in preparation and opens it when exiting the tunnel.

Sat-nav uses Google Maps data and the Comand Online system allows access to many apps including Facebook, while the company's Connect Me system that uses a SIM card to contact emergency services in the event of a crash or breakdown.

Drivers can also access the system remotely to confirm information such as current fuel level as well as activating the heating system.

Daimler AG board member Thomas Weber said the new C-Class Estate combined practicality with state-of-the-art technology and safety with innovative driver aids.

“The new C-Class Estate is not only extremely practical thanks to its large, variable load compartment,” he said.

“With its state-of-the-art technical features it also strikes out in new directions in its segment with regard to safety, efficiency and comfort. And both men and women drivers enjoy noticeably more driving pleasure”.

Pricing will be released closer to launch, but expect the Estate to carry a small premium over the equivalent sedan variant. Mercedes charges $2000 more for the wagon in the current C-Class range.

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