You can keep your SUVs, we'd rather have this instead.
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Mercedes certainly took its sweet time coming out with a direct rival for the Audi A6 Allroad. The All-Terrain was launched in Europe in the second half of 2016 as a rugged and lifted E-Class Wagon with standard 4Matic and some extra plastic body cladding to make it look tough. A little over a year ago, Mercedes took us by surprise by unveiling an even more competent jacked-up estate ready to go off-road where no E-Class had gone before.
Fast forward to today, the extreme E-Class All-Terrain 4x4² is making the headlines once again as the three-pointed star has decided to demonstrate its further lifted midsize estate can climb ramps reserved to the G-Class and the all-conquering Unimog. Driving up steep hills, going through deep waters, tackling extremely bumpy roads – the car appears to be unstoppable.
There’s just one issue – it’s not for sale. For the time being, the E-Class All-Terrain 4x4² is strictly a one-off pet project of Mercedes development engineer Jürgen Eberle featured in this video. With portal axles inherited from the G500 4x42, an extremely generous ground clearance, and beefy wheel arches – this is far from being your ordinary E-Class Estate.
Underneath the bonnet it’s the standard engine you’ll find in the E400, a twin-turbo 3.0-litre V6 with 329 bhp and 354 pound-feet of torque. Although the All-Terrain 4x4² was built for the off-road, we can see it’s also good for a bit of drifting on a muddy surface.
It goes without saying this wasn’t a one-man job as a small team was involved in the project after Jürgen Eberle received the proverbial stamp of approval from his boss. It took about six months to finish the project, including six weeks to effectively build the car.
Coming from a company that in recent years has built some crazy vehicles like the G63 6x6, the G650 Landaulet, and the aforementioned G500 4x42, the E400 Estate-based All-Terrain 4x4² sort of makes sense. If only they’d build it…