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Mercedes-Benz appears to be mulling the idea of producing a jacked-up crossover version of the C-Class wagon to match the Audi A4 Allroad.

The German company last week staged the world premiere of the GLC (see local pricing and specifications here), a mid-sized SUV rival for the Audi Q5 and BMW X3 based on the same ‘MRA’ modular architecture as the C-Class, and sharing about 70 per cent of its parts.

But while that car fills a massive void in its range, Mercedes might also spin off a more niche-oriented C-Class to tackle the A4 Allroad, Volkswagen Passat Alltrack and even high-end versions of the Subaru Outback.

The recipe would be simple — take a C-Class wagon (as pictured above), add a version of the Airmatic air suspension and potentially the trick new Off-Road system from the GLC, some body cladding and Bob’s your uncle — assuming there’s capacity at the German plant that makes the wagon,

Mercedes-Benz Fahrveranstaltung GLC; Elsass 2015The new GLC Press Drive, Alsace 2015

Given the C-Class Estate is pricier than the equivalent GLC (pictured above) in Australia, a crossover version of the former could also be priced in a way that would make it very economically feasible (read: having good margins).

The hypothetical was posed this week by Australian media to Thomas Weber, member of the Board of Management of Daimler AG. The response was interesting.

“Would you laugh with such a car as this?” Weber said.

“Very often the question is a different framing. Are we at the end of different body styles and different variants? No we not at the end.

Audi A4 allroad

Pictured above: Audi A4 Allroad. 

“With the ability to be faster, more flexible, more also computer-based with less hardware, we are able in the meantime to do more variants for less money.

“Now we are across the SUV line-up, limousines and these coupes (such as the imminent GLC Coupe crossover derivative), is there a niche for… these kind of vehicles? I think so.”

One thing appears clear — Mercedes-Benz is showing little outward intention of slowing down in its pursuit of every model niche it sees as viable.

What do you think of the notion of a Mercedes-badged rival to the Audi A4 Allroad?




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