Here’s a rare thing in motoring circles: a new niche. Fancy a downsized coupefied estate car with a posh badge? Then your only choice (thus far) will be this: the new Mercedes CLA Shooting Brake.
Taking the svelte CLS Shooting Brake wagon template and applying it to the circa £25k CLA, the new A-class-based four-door wagon will arrive in 2014, costing slightly more than the standard CLA ‘coupe’.
What exactly are we looking at here?
Looks like a long-wheelbase A-class, doesn’t it? In fact, this is a CLA Shooting Brake in AMG Sport trim – hence the sparkly grille, aggressive front bumper intakes, 18in AMG wheels and twin tailpipes sandwiched by fake rear wheelarch vents.
The tailgate’s shutline follows the same bowed form as the big-brother CLS Shooting Brake, allowing the CLA wagon to retain its regular booted sister’s taillights. The Shooting Brake should boast a few practicality trump cards over its saloon twin – namely the bigger boot and ability to fold the rear seats down. Like the four-door, the Shooting Brake’s expected to be a five-seater – just.
Engines are set be an all four-cylinders: the regular CLA offers a 200 CDI (1.8-litre diesel, 136bhp) and a 220 CDI (2.2-litre diesel, 170bhp). Petrols come in the form of a 1.6-litre CLA 180 (122bhp) and a 2.0-litre CLA 250, developing as hot-hatch baiting 211bhp. Only the sub-150bhp engines are available with a six-speed manual gearbox. The other option is Merc’s somewhat dim-witted seven-speed dual-clutch automatic.
And what if I want to really make my CLA Shooting Brake go like a bullet?
Hold fire for the ultimate AMG version. The three cars already spun off Merc’s ‘MFA’ platform (A-class, CLA saloon and GLA crossover) have all spawned brawny ’45 AMG’ models, packing a 2.0-litre turbocharged four-pot with 355bhp.
The powertrain, complete with the paddleshift gearbox and 4Matic adaptive all-wheel drive, is expected to be transplanted into the CLA Shooting Brake, which will hit 62mph in around 4.6sec, and reach at least 155mph flat out.
How much is that going to cost?
The CLA Shooting Brake is likely to command a premium of around £1000-2000 versus a standard CLA saloon, which kicks off at £26,925. With the flagship CLA 45 AMG already asking £42,265 before options, it’s possible the Shooting Brake fire-spitter could get close to £45k. That’s the price you’ll pay to be unique…
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