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Mercedes Benz Ponders Viability of allroad-Fighting Station Wagon

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On: Mon, Jul 20, 2015 at 2:46PM | By: Carl Malek

Mercedes Benz Ponders Viability of allroad-Fighting Station Wagon

In a statement made recently, Mercedes Benz revealed that it is exploring the possibility of creating a high-riding off-road station wagon that will have its sights set on the sales niche that is currently occupied by Audi's range of allroad-branded vehicles.

Currently the project is reported to be in the very early stages of development, and executives involved with the project have not decided if the allroad fighter will be based on the C-Class wagon or the E-Class wagon, which would allow a C-Class version to take on the current generation A4 allroad, while an E-Class variant would most likely be targeted at the A6. Regardless of which model is ultimately chosen to underpin the new allroad fighter, it will certainly stand out from its more mainstream siblings, thanks to a more noticeable increase in ride height as well as strategically placed elements of aluminum and hard black plastic trim. With the latter being located in the rocker panels and wheel arches.

Performance for the allroad fighter will come from various gasoline and diesel engines that will be cribbed from the company's extensive parts bin. In a statement to the Australian magazine Drive, the company's Vice President of Sales, Matthias Luehrs, said, “We are studying this at the moment, but it's not confirmed. We are looking obviously at E-Class and C-Class.” Robert Lesnik, Mercedes' Director of Exterior Design, added that a wagon-based SUV would be “something interesting”, and noted that the wagon would have to come standard with the company's familiar 4Matic all-wheel-drive system to allow it to be an effective counter to the allroad's Quattro all-wheel-drive system.

Look for the new model to also feature heavy duty skidplates to help protect essential components, while also possibly offering the company's AIRMATIC suspension system, though don't expect the car to make the likes of Jeep and Land Rover lose sleep anytime soon when it comes to overall capability and approach angles.

The company has not revealed when it plans to formally unveil its alleged allroad fighter, but if it is based on the C-Class, expect the car to make its appearance next year at the Geneva Motor Show. If it is based on the bigger E-Class, however, look for the timetable to be pushed forward by at least a year, and for the model to make its appearance on the next generation E-Class, which is currently under development.

The bigger question however is whether the higher riding wagon will make the trip across the Atlantic to our shores? While the European market has seen relative stability in wagon sales, thanks in part to narrower roads and higher fuel prices, the U.S. has seen consistent declines in wagon sales over the past couple decades, due to competition from the growing CUV and SUV segments, which has motivated many automakers to either not offer station wagons outright, or offer them only on select model lines.


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