Mercedes explores new niche with CLS Shooting Brake
FLORENCE, Italy -- Mercedes-Benz expects demand for four-door luxury cars with coupe styling will grow in the coming years and the brand is aiming for a larger share of the niche with the introduction of the CLS Shooting Brake.
The car is a wagon variant of the CLS sedan launched in 2004. As the niche is small and relatively new, Mercedes-Benz expects the CLS Shooting Brake to win conquest sales, mainly from European and Asian customers rather than buyers in the United States.
Mercedes expects about 15,000 of the 50,000 to 55,000 annual CLS sales to be Shooting Brake variants.
The CLS Shooting Brake is available with five engine variants – two diesel and three gasoline engines. All engines are mated to a seven-speed automatic transmission and have a fuel saving start/stop function as standard.
Shooting Brakes are named after carriages once used to transport hunting equipment for wealthy British hunters. Motorized Shooting Brakes, also spelled Breaks, were popular in England in the 1960s and 1970s. These were two-door sports cars that combined the luxury and style of a coupe with a larger load compartment and large tailgate.
The CLS Shooting Brake offers an optional luggage compartment floor made from American cherrywood and inspired by luxury yachts. The car has a load volume of between 590 and 1,550 liters.
Target buyers: Well-heeled car buyers who want to make a lifestyle statement.
What's good: Excellent road manners and performance.
What's bad: Cramped rear compartment; expensive options such as the 4,600 euro wood load floor.
Launch date: October
Base price: 61,761 euros (Germany)
Platform: E class
Where built: Sindelfingen, Germany
Annual sales forecast: 15,000
Lowest CO2 emissions: 139g/km
Main rivals: Audi A7, BMW 5 series GT