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Future models - Mercedes-Benz - E-class - E55 Estate

First look: AMG’s bristling E55 Estate

Muscular: E55 AMG Estate packs a supercharged 350kW V8 and goes on sale here in April.

Mercedes reveals all-new E500 and E55 AMG Estate models – both Australia-bound

18 Mar 2004

MERCEDES-BENZ has revealed first pictures of its brutally powerful new E55 AMG Estate, the new flagship of the E-class wagon range.

Confirmed for Australian sale from April, with first customer deliveries starting in July, the new E55 Estate will be priced at $229,900 – an $8000 price premium over the E55 AMG sedan flagship.

Pricing has also been announced for the new E500 Estate, which will join the E-class wagon range here at the same time in Elegance ($161,900) and Avantgarde ($163,900) variants.

Mercedes-Benz Australia’s E-class Estate range already comprises the $96,900 2.6-litre V6-powered E240 Classic, E240 Elegance ($101,500) and E240 Avangarde ($103,500), plus 3.2-litre V6-engined E320 Elegance ($126,900) and E320 Avantgarde ($128,900) models.

Like the rest of the W211 Estate range launched here in October 2003, the E55 and E500 wagons both feature a load space of up to 1930 litres, a figure Mercedes claims makes it the most voluminous wagon available.

But the real allure of both new V8 Estate models lies under the bonnet where, in E55 AMG guise, the same supercharged 5.5-litre V8 as employed by the E55 sedan produces 350kW and a staggering 700Nm of torque between 2650 and 4500rpm.

That’s a massive 34 per cent more power and 32 per cent more torque than its (naturally-aspirated V8) predecessor, which delivered 260kW and 530Nm – and enough to propel the quickest Benz wagon ever to 100km/h in just 4.8 seconds.

Officially, the outgoing E55 Estate completed the 0-100km/h sprint more than a second slower, in 5.9 seconds - although its electronically-limited 250km/h top speed is unchanged.

Allied to the blisteringly effective blown V8 in the AMG wagon is a variation of Mercedes’ five-speed automatic transmission called AMG Speedshift. Offering steering wheel gearshifting, the system also features active downshifting while braking, more rapid changes and torque converter lock-up after first gear.

The E55 Estate also offers unique braking and suspension systems, with the former employing electro-hydraulics via the Sensotronic Brake Control system and the latter featuring AMG sports suspension dubbed AIRMATIC DC, in conjunction with the adaptive damping system ADS II.

The revised system features reduced air volume, thicker anti-roll bars and the ability to choose between three ride comfort settings. There is also a level control function for the rear suspension to cope with heavy loads.

4 center image Of course, the highest-performing E-class Estate also features AMG bodystyling, including a front apron with large air dams, contoured side skirts and a rear apron with black facing. Eighteen-inch twin-spoke AMG wheels and an AMG sports exhaust system with two twin oval tailpipes complete the visual package.

Inside, there are power-adjustable AMG sports seats with heating and memory, plus nappa/nubuck leather upholstery in three different colour combinations, an AMG sports steering wheel with gearshift paddles and the AMG instrument cluster.

Options include an electro-hydraulic tailgate, hydraulic load compartment floor (a no-cost replacement for third row seating) and the flexible Easy-Pack compartment management system.

Meantime, the new E500 Estate comes packed with many of the features standard on E55, including AIRMATIC DC air suspension, four-zone automatic climate control and speed-sensitive power steering.

However, like many other new V8 Benzes, it employs the company’s new seven-speed 7G-Tronic auto, in place of the E55’s AMG Speedshift auto.

E500 Estate is powered by a 225kW 5.0-litre V8 that also delivers a handy 460Nm of torque at just 2700rpm – enough to accelerate to 100km/h in 6.2 seconds while delivering an average 11.6 litres per 100km on the EUDC fuel consumption cycle.

"Since the release of the new E-class Estate last year, eight per cent of E-class customers have opted for an estate model, choosing between the 2.6-litre V6 powered E 240 or 3.2-litre V6 E 320," said Horst von Sanden, managing director of the Mercedes Car Group in Australia/Pacific.

"The new E 500 Estate and E 55 AMG Estate will suit customers seeking the benefit of a larger capacity engine in the practicality of the estate body style.

"Whilst these new model variants will remain relatively modest in terms of volume, we are delighted to add further individuality to the E-class model line-up in response to customer requests."

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