We love it when the CAR Online community go all Hans Lehmann on us – and reader Piers Roache did just that on a recent trip to the Nurburgring. Earlier this week we published the leaked photos of the new 2009 Mercedes E-class saloon and now Piers has caught the latest spyshots of its sensible estate sister.
Not that it'll be all sensible, judging by the mother of all roll cages fitted to this prototype. Mercedes engineers were putting the E-class twins through their paces around the Nordschleife in advance of its launch in spring 2009. Expect to see the E saloon at the Geneva show, with the Tourer following six months behind.
Piers' photos also grab a snatched look inside the cabin, which appears totally undisguised. Expect a move upmarket, with the latest Merc family look and a separate binnacle for the sat-nav screen and chrome accents around the air vents. The dials are, however, old-tech analogue items, not the arcade-game digital affair in the S-class.
We've already spotted the AMG-spec E-class on test, but Piers' reports that the V8 sounded very high-revving, with lightning-bolt gearchanges. Interestingly, the prototype he spotted had a panoramic glass roof.
Good work, Piers!