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First look: Benz E55 AMG for the family

Fast and vast: Could this be the world’s most rapid family transport?

Mercedes-Benz has released the mother of all family wagons, the E55 AMG Estate

1 Aug 2003

PERFORMANCE-loving parents listen up: Mercedes-Benz is investigating the possibility of offering the world’s quickest wagon Down Under, following the European reveal of the new E55 AMG Estate.

Packing the same 350kW/700Nm supercharged 5.5-litre V8 as the E55 AMG sedan upon which it is based, it is said to be the most powerful production estate available.

With 34 per cent more power and 32 per cent more torque than its predecessor, the new E55 wagon sprints to 100km/h in a staggering 4.8 seconds – more than a second under the previous model’s claim, notwithstanding its AMG Speedshift five-speed automatic transmission with steering wheel shift buttons.

But this flexible E55 also packs the biggest load capacity of any wagon, with luggage capacity stretching from 690 litres to a sprawling 1950 litres with the rear seats folded. But there’s more.

Apart from the 70/30-split, folding rear seats, there’s a storage box behind the rear backrests, an additional loading floor with subdivided compartments, an automatic load compartment cover and a tailgate that stays open in any position during the last third of its travel.

Options include electro-hydraulic power for the tailgate and load compartment floor, a folding backrest for the front passenger seat and the Easy-Pack load-securing kit for storing cargo.

Of course, all the latest AMG technology is included, like Sensotronic Brake Control electrohydraulic braking, twin-spoke 18-inch alloys, twin oval talpipes, Airmatic DC sports suspension and Adaptive Damping System II, which features new spring struts with reduced air volume and thicker stabilisers.

Mercedes-Benz Australia says a limited number of special order-only E55 AMG Estates is a possibility, pending local certification, with first cars expected in around six months if approved for import.

“We’re having a look at it,” said MBA spokesman Toni Andreevski.

“No final decision has been made and if it happens it will only be a few units. But the chances are probably slim.”

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