Mercedes has confirmed that it will build the CLS Shooting Brake – an unusual estate car take on the new CLS four-door coupé.
The Mercedes CLS Shooting Brake aims to capture ‘lifestyle’ buyers who need plenty of space but find the traditional E-Class estate too boring.
Shooting Break concept
The Mercedes CLS Shooting Brake was first seen in concept car guise at the Beijing motor show in April this year.
Back then it was called the Shooting Break – Mercedes has now seemingly decided to change the spelling to one we’re all more familiar with.
The term dates back to horse-drawn hunting carriages, which were both stylish and functional. In motoring circles it is used to denote a more practical version of a sporting vehicle – but this is the first time it’s really made it into the mainstream (previous shooting brakes have been bespoke Aston Martins, Ferraris and the like).
New Shooting Brake spec
Beyond the production confirmation and a single official image (which appears to be of the concept anyway), Mercedes is so far remaining tight-lipped about the CLS Shooting Brake’s specification.
However, it will clearly be based on the latest CLS coupé platform, and shares a number of visual similarities. Engine choice is also likely to mirror that of its coupé sibling. We can therefore expect 2.2-litre and 3.0-litre turbodiesels, 3.5-litre and 4.6-litre petrols – plus smaller, more efficient turbocharged units and an AMG high performance version at some point.
We don’t imagine it will have the same carrying capacity as the E-Class, but it will probably be more exciting to drive.
A new niche for Mercedes
A slight premium is inevitable over the coupé, but we can’t even begin to accurately estimate prices since the new CLS Shooting Brake isn’t due to reach dealerships until 2012.
Mercedes has so far sold 170,000 four-door CLS coupés, successfully launching an entirely new segment of the premium car market that Audi and BMW are only just joining. The second-generation CLS coupé, which will also underpin the new Shooting Brake, hits UK showrooms in the new year.
Whether the Shooting Brake will manage the same sales success remains to be seen. After all, Mercedes doesn’t always get it right when it attempts to be radical – as the unloved R-Class shows.