Mercedes CLS Shooting Brake (2012) scooped

Published: 02 February 2012

This is Mercedes’ new impractical estate, the CLS Shooting Brake, which our spies have caught testing in southern Europe. The first Mercedes CLS created a new ‘four-door coupe’ niche, but the CLS Shooting Brake is even more obscure, opening up the ‘four-door coupe-cum-estate’ market – if one exists.

Mercedes unveiled the Shooting Break [sic] show car in 2010, public reaction was good, and it appears the production version will be little changed from concept.

So the Mercedes CLS Shooting Brake is a silly estate car?

That depends on your point of view. We loved our long-term E63 AMG estate, but it never looked like anything but a hotted-up hearse; the CLS Shooting Brake is for those people who don’t mind their dog having a little less space to move about.

That sloping rear end means the CLS Shooting Brake won’t have the same humungous 695-litre carrying capacity as the E-class estate (though the rear seats will still fold flat). And this lack of load space won’t come cheaply either – the standard CLS carries a £13k premium over and above an E-class saloon, so expect prices for this elongated and enlarged CLS to start at around £47k.

What else?

Just as the exterior styling of the CLS is much sleeker than the E-class, so the interior is swoopier too, doing away with the E’s geometric lines for much more organic shapes. The materials used are of higher quality too, to help justify the higher list price.

Engine-wise we expect the CLS Shooting Brake to broadly mirror its sibling, so the offerings under the bonnet should stretch from a CLS250 CDI – with a twin-turbo 2.1-litre four-cylinder diesel – all the way up to the twin-turbo 5.5-litre V8 CLS63 AMG. The latter could arguably be the fastest and most stylish way in the world to transport flat-pack furniture.

Our spies have snapped the CLS Shooting Brake almost undisguised, so a public unveiling isn’t far away. We hear it won’t have a traditional motor show debut (Mercedes will reveal the new A-class at the 2012 Geneva motor show in March) so instead expect it to be first shown to the world at something like the 2012 Goodwood Festival of Speed or the Villa d’Este Concours.

By Ben Pulman

CAR's editor-at-large, co-ordinator, tallboy

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