Nearly five years after launching the E-Class All-Terrain, Mercedes is putting the finishing touches on its smaller cousin to offer a second alternative to its massive SUV lineup. Rumours of a C-Class All-Terrain have been swirling around the Internet since 2018 and recent spy shots have confirmed the three-pointed star will be giving the C-Class Estate some GLC-esque upgrades.

A new speculative rendering from takes after the latest spy images of what will be the most versatile C-Class ever. With a raised ride height and chunky plastic cladding on the wheel arches, the All-Terrain should inherit the off-road upgrades from its bigger brother to take on the Audi A4 Allroad and Volvo V60 Cross Country in the premium segment. Mainstream brands are also competing in this niche, with relevant examples being the Volkswagen Passat Alltrack and the mechanically related Skoda Superb Scout.

2022 Mercedes C-Class All-Terrain rendering

Due to be offered as standard with 4Matic all-wheel drive, the first-ever C-Class All-Terrain is going to command a premium over the regular estate. In its domestic market Germany, the bigger E-Class All-Terrain is approximately €2,000 (£1,700) more expensive than the standard estate upon which it's based, although the price gap isn't entirely relevant since we're talking about two different drivetrains (E300de and E220d 4Matic).

We are expecting the camouflage to come off before the end of the year as Mercedes will likely unveil the C-Class All-Terrain by late 2021. Meanwhile, our spies have caught a prototype of the All-Terrain undergoing final testing with less camouflage than ever before. The more generous ground clearance enabled by the lifted suspension will allow the rugged estate to tackle some rough terrains, but you'll still have to step up to a G-Class for serious off-roading capabilities. The GLC alternative will target outdoorsy families without straying away too far from the traditional estate formula.

Gallery: 2022 Mercedes C-Class All-Terrain new spy photos

It won't be the only derivative for the estate as there should be another long-roof AMG C63, but this time with an electrified four-cylinder engine instead of the loud V8. The C-Class family should further grow with the launch of a two-door convertible, although we're hearing Mercedes will merge the C-Class and E-Class coupes and convertibles into a single CLE model.