This here is the upcoming Mercedes-Benz E-Class All Terrain, or at least that’s what it’s expected to be called once it launches next year. What this essentially is, is Merc’s answer to the Audi A6 Allroad quattro. So in essence it’s a high-riding all-wheel drive estate with mild off-road abilities.

It’s cosmetically distinguished from the saloon by wider wheelarches, some underbody protection, and, naturally, the estate body style. Merc’s range of frugal diesel and petrol engines will be offered, and our spy tells us it might even do a hot AMG version eventually. The All Terrain model will likely be added to the smaller C-Class range in the future.

The AT E-Class is aimed at people who want the space of an SUV and soft-roading abilities, but do not want to buy a massive car — pretty specific niche, then.

Not much is known about the model as of now, but word is the production version could be revealed as early as this year’s Paris motor show and hit dealer forecourts in 2017. Given that estates usually have no luck in our region, we’re not expecting the E-Class All Terrain to land on our shores. We hope we’re wrong, because imagining this in full AMG garb makes us giddy with anticipation.