Niche after niche the three German titans keep on creating every segment possible in order to keep increasing sales. Now enter the brand new Mercedes-Benz CLS Shooting Brake, essentially a wagon-style version of the CLS four-door Coupé. CLS itself created the niche four-door segment in 2004.
Certainly it may be considered for Coupé-dom, thanks to the frameless side windows and a dynamic sloping roof that flows all the way to the rear bumper. Yet, it’s hard not to notice exactly how long it keeps flowing, thus placing the Coupé word in thick jeopardy, while simultaneously bringing the words station wagon into mind. Nevertheless, we’ll use the Shooting Brake name so selflessly provided by Mercedes-Benz.
“Any memorable machine is equal parts art and science,” according to Daimler CEO Dr Dieter Zetsche. “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.”
So the car has four doors and five seats, or at least a rear middle sitting space suitable for rather small people. And it’s quite long too, scaling in at 4.96 metres, 1.88m wide and 1.4m high. One can load items of up to 1550 litres, which is quite massive. Interior appointments include hand-stitching on some of the surfaces, a designo wooden luggage compartment floor that resembles that of a luxury yacht.
The engine range is guided by a 7G-Tronic Plus automatic gearbox with ECO start/stop function as standard. At the bottom of the list is the CLS 250 CDI BlueEfficiency with 150kW, followed by two V6s – petrol and diesel – the CLS 350 CDI BlueEfficiency making 195kW and the CLS 350 BlueEfficiency (petrol) doing 225kW. Topping the normal range is the CLS 500 BlueEfficiency shifting 300kW.
But of course, this being a CLS and all, there is an AMG model for those who just absolutely have to have their horses. The CLS 63 AMG Shooting Brake gives off 386kW of power and 700Nm of torque in standard garb, while 410kW and 800Nm are available to the greedy man who splashes out on the AMG Performance Package. Both are powered by the highly rated 5.5-litre Biturbo V8.
While nothing’s been confirmed, we do expect to see the CLS Shooting Brake range in South Africa during Q2 in 2013.