Crossover & Midsize

Off-Road Mercedes Station Wagon Could Actually Happen

For almost 100 years, Mercedes-Benz has been creating luxury vehicles with superior build quality. Last year, the company was recognized as the best-selling premium car brand in the world. It’s well-known for producing modern station wagons and its iconic AMG sports cars.

What’s next for the company? A brand-new Mercedes C-class wagon is said to be in production. Spy shots of the newest sports sedan were captured this week, so fans already got a sneak preview of what the new car will possibly look like. Additionally, the car will feature updated technology and the option to have a hybrid drivetrain. With these newest implementations, this new car could have the best off-roading capability of any Mercedes station wagon yet.

Why the push for an all-terrain model?

The sales of C-class wagons have decreased dramatically in the U.S. A big reason for this is because more drivers are leaning towards SUVs, which have more space and power than a standard sedan. Mercedes-Benz hopes that the added appeal of some off-roading power will boost its popularity.

The C-class’s design is also a bit outdated compared to its competitors. The current generation was redesigned in 2014 and it hasn’t gotten any significant updates since then. It’s definitely well overdue for a facelift and some new technology.

The E 400 All-Terrain 4×4 Squared

To get a feel for how this new all-terrain C-Class station wagon could perform, we can look at the E-Class 4×4 Squared. This vehicle was only a prototype, so it wasn’t widely available for release. However, the folks at MotorTrend got to test drive it and gave the car some high praise. What’s unique about this station wagon is its portal axles, which give the car a heightened ground clearance of up to 17 inches. It also has a different engine from previous Mercedes-Benz off-roaders. It’s a V6 3.0-liter twin-turbo engine that delivers great power and has no problems tackling any obstacle under the wheels.

New body features

Looking at the spy shots, it’s clear that the newest C-class car got a few noticeable exterior changes. It was built on a Modular Rear Architecture, which features multi-link rear suspension, a double-wishbone front end, and adaptive damping. This newer and more efficient structure will also be better suited to house the 48-volt system for the hybrid variants. Additionally, the spy shots also confirmed that the headlights are now squared-off to look more like the E-class models.

New technology

According to Mercedes-Benz, the C-Class station wagon will feature all the latest technology of the more expensive S-Class vehicles. The car will have Level 4 autonomy, capable of hands-free driving at 80 miles per hour and follow distance control of up to 130 miles per hour. It will also have lidar, ultrasonic, and radar sensors for features like self-parking. An LG stereo camera has also been confirmed.

For off-roading adventures, the new C-Class station wagon will also have improved underbody protection. If the all-terrain wagon trim gets a stateside release, this will definitely help ensure its success.

The competition

Despite declining sales in the U.S., station wagons are still fairly popular in Europe. Mercedes-Benz wanted a car to rival the Volvo 360 Cross Country and the Audi A4 Allroad, both very popular compact sedans. Both of these cars have the same price point and a good amount of driver’s assistance features, but don’t share the higher autonomy of the future C-class.

A release in the United States has not been confirmed yet, but if the car excels in off-roading, there’s no doubt that demand will bring it across the pond. The new C-class car is expected to be available in 2021.