In an interview at Detroit Motorshow, Thomas Weber, Group Research & Mercedes-Benz Cars Development did not confirmed a Mercedes E-Class Estate in style of an Audi A6 Allroad. Wolf-Dieter Kurz, Mercedes-Benz vice president product group SUVs and sports cars consider that a R-Class concept successor would have more chances.
The story is not new. In June 2015, Matthias Luhrs, vice president sales functions Mercedes-Benz cars and product management Mercedes-Benz declared to www.motoring.com.au: “We are looking at every single niche, so we are studying this [Allroad] at the moment, but it is not confirmed.”
Luhrs explained that the Allroad concept faced some challenges because of the varying popularity of wagons around the world. This kind of vehicle is not very popular either in China, Mercedes first market, and USA, the second biggest market.
On the other side, Mercedes does not need a high investment for an Audi A6 Allroad rival. The most expensive aditional component of a such car is the air suspension with possibility to adjust the ground clearance. But this suspension type is already part of the new MRA platform, so investments costs would not be so important.
But also the market would be small for a such vehicle.
In an interview at Detroit motorshow, Thomas Weber did not confirmed the E-Class rival for Audi A6 Allroad.
On the other side, Mercedes is considering the R-Class concept as a development direction for the future.
Wolf-Dieter Kurz, Mercedes-Benz vice president product group SUVs and sports cars, is in favour of bringing some form of people-mover back to the market and believe that R-Class concept can be a source of inspiration.
R-Class is still selling good in China with 12,000 -14,000 units a year. This combination between SUV and estate is a very interesting segment also in the future.
As Auto Bild German car magazine already wrote, Mercedes study a possible Mercedes C-Class in style of a BMW 3 Series GT, which would be more interesting for the main markets – USA and China than an estate version.
From 1,87 million cars sold last year by Mercedes, more than 500,000 units were SUVs.
The SUV range will be completed this year with the GLC Coupe. Rumours speak about a GLS in Maybach clothes which makes sense to fight against new Bentley Bentayga.
In 2019, the Mercedes GLB with seven seats based on the MFA platform will fill the gap between GLA and GLC.
Under development is a solution to build a smaller GLA, possible name Mercedes X-Class, to compete with the second generation Mini Countryman and with the new Audi Q1.