Mercedes introduces a new stylish way to haul people, cargo

(July 1, 2012) STUTTGART — With the new 2013 CLS Shooting Brake — revealed last week at the Goodwood Festival of Speed — Mercedes-Benz is once again setting an example when it comes to creativity of design.

The idea of the "four-door coupé"— successfully introduced in 2004 with the first CLS and long imitated in the meantime — has now been taken to new heights and to innovative effect, Mercedes proclaims.

According to CEO Dr. Dieter Zetsche: "Any memorable machine is equal parts art and science. A car has to first deliver in function — the ticket of entry — and then in fascination: the ticket to real excitement. The CLS Shooting Brake excels on both accounts – unlike any other car in the market".

The proportions of the CLS Shooting Brake — in this case a sleek hatchback wagon — are surprising but clearly those of a coupé — long hood, narrow-look windows with frameless side windows, and dynamic roof sloping back towards the rear. It is only when taking a second look that it becomes clear that the Shooting Break actually has five doors and offers "more" in terms of function.

In essence it represents an unprecedented version of a sports car with five seats and a large tailgate, according to Mercedes. It is a special proposition for people looking to differentiate themselves from the mainstream, and who do not wish to compromise on either sportiness or stowage space when it comes to traveling in style. The Shooting Brake is a further highlight in the innovative luxury vehicle series from Mercedes-Benz and, like the CLS Coupé, has the potential to become the role model for a new market segment.

The Shooting Brake first showed up as a concept car at the 2010 Beijing Auto Show.

Buyers of the CLS Shooting Brake will able to specify a special maritime-inspired trim for the cargo bay through Mercedes-Benz's designo aftermarket operation. It uses a combination of U.S.-sourced cherry tree veneer and oak inlays, with brushed-aluminum fittings — a look that was first unveiled on the original CLS Shooting Brake concept car.

Engine choices for European buyers mirror those of the CLS sedan on sale since 2010 and include two standard gasoline units: a 302-horsepower naturally aspirated 3.5-liter V6 and a 402-hp twin-turbocharged 4.6-liter V8 in the CLS350 Shooting Brake and CLS500 Shooting Brake, respectively. They are joined in the launch lineup by a pair of common-rail turbocharged diesel engines: an entry level 201-hp 2.1-liter four-cylinder in the CLS250 CDI Shooting Brake and 261-hp 3.0-liter V6 in the CLS350 CDI Shooting Brake — the latter packing a hefty 457 pound-feet of torque, some 15 lb-ft more than the CLS500 Shooting Brake.

In terms of performance, there's little separating the CLS sedan and CLS Shooting Brake. In CLS500/550 form, they possess official 0-62-mph times of 5.2 seconds and 5.3 seconds, respectively, along with top speeds limited to 155 mph in both cases.

Mercedes says there are no current plans to bring the car to the U.S.

For those not familiar with the term “shooting brake,” Mercedes provides a little background: “Break, or the homonym Brake, was the name once given to carriages used to “break” in wild horses and also to restrict (or “brake”) their urge to move, so that they could be put to use as work horses. Since the carts could easily be broken as part of this process, people tended not to use ones which they may have urgently needed for other purposes. Any such vehicle which was used when going out shooting was called a Shooting Brake or Shooting Break. Motorized Shooting Brakes were popular in England in the 60s and 70s – exclusive two-door sports cars, which combined the luxury and style of a coupé with a larger load compartment and large tailgate.”

Sources: Mercedes-Benz, Inside Line