First Look: 2011 Mercedes-Benz E350 4MATIC Wagon
Mercedes-Benz has released the first official photos and facts on its new E-Class Wagon which will formally bow in at the Frankfurt Auto Show next month. While Europeans will have a choice of powertrains and packages when this handsome, seven-passenger hauler goes on sale there in the fall, the initial build for our market will consist of just a V6-powered E350 4MATIC in Sport trim which will arrive here next June as an early 2011. Save for its unique wagon rear quarters, this elegant estate shares a good deal of its exterior and interior bits with the new-for-2010 E-Class Sedan and Coupe. However the Sport Package kit -- never before offered on an E-Class Wagon in the U.S. -- adds a new level of visual kick with more aggressive front/rear fascias, unique grille and side-sill treatments and twin-trapezoidal tailpipe finishers along with upgraded front brakes and 17-inch alloy wheels. Buyers also will be able to opt for an AMG wheel package that nets unique 18-inch rims and three-spoke steering wheel.
Inside, the new E350 4MATIC Sport wagon will enhance its richly appointed cabin with paddle shifters that allow a driver more direct control of the wagon's seven-speed automatic transmission. It will send the engine's 268-horses to each wheel via the latest, lightest and most efficient version yet of M-B's 4MATIC all-wheel drive package. Other key elements in this E-Class estate's basic formula include adaptive damping with automatic rear self leveling to ensure proper suspension geometry regardless of how much cargo is being carried in its now even-more-spacious and easily-accessed rear bay. Mercedes says that feature coupled with its slightly tauter chassis tuning puts the wagon on par with the sedan when it comes to overall handling. In addition to stability/traction control and anti-lock disc brakes, the E350 4MATIC Sport Wagon will arrive with a comprehensive array of safety standards including nine airbags and M-B's ATTENTION ASSIST system that can alert a driver at the first signs of drowsiness. It will also offer the automaker's Lane Keeping Assist, Adaptive High Beam Assist and DISTRONIC PLUS adaptive cruise control with PRE-SAFE Brake on its list of options. Pricing is expected to start somewhere in the mid-$50K range.