More stories related to 2005 Greater L.A. Auto ShowLOS ANGELES – Mercedes-Benz USA unveils a 469-hp station wagon here at the Greater L.A. Auto Show, intended for sale in the U.S. in low volumes.

The importer, known for offering seemingly infinite performance versions of its vehicles – many under the AMG moniker – will add the E55 AMG Estate to the stable this year. The vehicle joins the $80,220 E55 sedan in Mercedes’ U.S. midsize car lineup.

In addition to numbing horsepower numbers, the turbocharged wagon churns out 516 lb.-ft. (700 Nm) of torque from a 5.5L V-8 that is mated to a 5-speed automatic transmission and specially tuned by Mercedes’ in-house performance unit. The vehicle is capable of reaching 62 mph (100 km/h) in 4.8 seconds from a standstill and can be shifted semi-manually from the steering wheel.

While it seems Mercedes is answering the question few U.S. buyers may be asking, the fact that at least some of the brand’s American buyer-base have requested the vehicle is enough reason to ship the vehicle here, a spokesman tells Ward’s.

Currently, Mercedes runs with European competitors BMW AG, Audi AG and Volvo Cars in offering performance-oriented wagons, albeit in low volumes.

Some 17% of E-Class sales are wagon derivatives, according to the most-current Ward’s data available. That compares with 4% of BMW 5-Series sold and 33% of Audi A6s.

jstoll@primediabusiness.com