Fitted with portal axles, this one-off All-Terrain could spawn a limited-edition model.
Portal axles are spreading across the Mercedes-Benz lineup so quickly we wonder if they're contagious. After a series of G-Class-based off-roaders, the German company has just introduced a one-of-a-kind E-Class All-Terrain that can drive over anything.
The project is the brainchild of Jürgen Eberle, an engineer who works in the E-Class development program. He told British magazine Auto Express that he liked the idea of the E-Class All-Terrain, but he wanted it to be even more rugged. At first, he only added about an inch and a half of ground clearance to help the wagon go further on the trail.
That wasn't enough, so he enlisted the help of a few fellow engineers to install portal axles. Surprisingly, his higher-ups at Mercedes agreed to fund part of the project.
When all is said and done, the portal axles give the E-Class over 15 inches of ground clearance. They also make the track noticeably wider, so Eberle had to build and install extensions over the four wheel arches.
No modifications were made to the drivetrain. The All-Terrain uses a turbocharged 3.0-liter V6 engine, an automatic transmission, and the company's electronically-controlled 4Matic all-wheel drive setup. Auto Express got to drive the E-Class monster truck, and it notes its off-road prowess is limited by the fact that it doesn't have a low-range gearbox.
Right now, the only E-Class All-Terrain 4x4-2 in existence is the one pictured in our gallery. Don't be surprised if they begin popping up outside of the world's most luxurious hotels, however. Mercedes-Benz is so impressed with the project that it's considering turning the one-off into a limited-edition model. If it happens, expect an announcement in the coming months, and a six-digit price tag.