Saturday, November 3, 2007

2008 Mercedes Estate

Mercedes C350

Sooner or later, it seems that gas prices here in the U.S. might catch up to those in Europe. If that happens, we’ll all be fleeing our SUVs and crossovers as though they were wired with dynamite. What will be there to shelter and transport us, our children, and all those fabulous Ikea scores we had stashed in the Exploder?

If our minds were more open to wagons, we’d be able to plop merrily into the new C-class wagon that Mercedes will unveil in Frankfurt and motor on, with all the above onboard. But given America’s peculiar aversion to wagons, this is another hauler that you won’t see unless you rent one while vacationing on the far shores of the pond.

Too bad. Based on Mercedes’ new C-class sedan, the new C-class estate promises to be a sportier drive than the taller and—no doubt—heavier upcoming GLK crossover.

With 18 cubic feet of cargo space behind the rear seats and 53 cubes with the rear seats folded, Mercedes insists the C-class estate will carry four golf bags with trolleys (pull carts for those who can’t walk and carry clubs at the same time) or 44 drink crates each holding six one-liter bottles of…juice. We can see what two people—a driver and a passenger—might be doing with 44 crates of one-liter bottles, but what are two people going to do with four sets of golf clubs? Perhaps have a bad round and snap a couple of sets each over their knees?

Your engine choices for the C-class wagon are nonexistent. (Remember? You can’t get one.) But should you move in with your third cousin, Günther von Wurstundbier, over in Sindelfingen, you’d spend your sleepless nights deciding whether to put one of two gasoline four-cylinders, two diesel four-cylinders, three gasoline V-6s, or a diesel V-6 in your new wagon.

And don’t forget the 451-hp, 6.2-liter V-8 in the C63 AMG Estate, which skins the mild-mannered wagon and drapes its likeness over a frothing, screaming terror that will haul all your groceries so fast you’ll arrive home with the chicken already cooked and the asparagus steamed. Of course, the AMG comes with the requisite filleted body kit, bigger wheels and brakes, and stiffer suspension.

As for the regular C-class wagon, all but the top-of-the-line gas V-6, the C350, come with six-speed manuals; the C350, as in the U.S., has only the seven-speed automatic that is by now familiar to U.S.-market Mercedes pilots.

On our side of the pond, where no wagons or coupes will find their way, Mercedes is mid-launch with our versions of the 2008 C300 and C350, with two available engines and a six-speed automatic for the C300 and the seven-speed for the C350. Mercedes types tell us not to expect a diesel for the U.S. for 2008 or 2009.

Stop by and check out their Mercedes Wheels inventory.
Source: automobile-car

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