Mercedes-AMG is squeezing onto Audi Avant territory with its E43 Estate teaming pooch-paradise cargo space with 4.7-second 0-100km/h performance.
The E43 Estate tops – for now – the E-Class Estate range unveiled this week in Europe, although the cloth is due to be pulled from the new E63 at the Paris motor show this September with a wagon version not far behind.
Although Mercedes-AMG has produced an E63 Estate previously, the E43 Estate is a new concept that replaces the previous luxury-oriented E400 that sold locally for $138,510 plus on-road costs.
The new sports-wagon focus comes courtesy of the same 295kW/520Nm 3.0-litre twin-turbocharged V6 petrol engine that debuted earlier this year on the E43 sedan. Driving all four wheels through a nine-speed automatic, the E43 Estate is only a tenth slower from standstill to 100km/h than its E43 sedan sibling.
It places the wagon-backed Mercedes-AMG in a league of executive express load luggers such as the size-smaller outgoing Audi RS4 Avant that claims an identical 4.7-second sprint. A BMW 535i Estate is far slower, claiming a 5.9-second run.
The E43 Estate also gets a 670-litre cargo area that expands up to 1820 litres when the rear seat is folded.
Being a conservative E-Class at its core, it also gets softer Comfort adaptive suspension to go along with firmer Sport and Sport+ settings to go along with a sticky 19-inch alloy wheel and tyre package.
Likewise there is an abundance of technology from the 12.3-inch colour display screen to freeway hands-free lane-keep assistance and automatic adaptive LED high-beam that blocks out only the portion of light affecting forward or oncoming vehicles.
The E43 Estate will follow the E43 sedan to market during the first half of next year, with expected pricing slightly higher than today’s $140K E400 Estate.
Mercedes-AMG is riding on the back of a product onslaught that will see Australian sales potentially top 6000 units next year following an aim of 5000 cars this year. Still to come from the brand is C63 Cabriolet and GLC43 later this year, and the as yet unreleased GLC63 and new E63 next year.