Stuttgart. With the new CLS Shooting Brake, Mercedes-Benz is once again setting an example when it comes to creativity of design, and as such highlighting its leading role in this area: in terms of its proportions, the new CLS is quite clearly a coupé, but with five doors and a roof which continues through to the rear, it promises some remarkable new possibilities. The idea of the four-door coupé – successfully introduced in 2004 with the first CLS and long imitated in the meantime – has now been taken to new heights and to innovative effect. The result is automotive independence at its most beautiful.
According to CEO Dr. Dieter Zetsche: “Any memorable machine is equal parts art and science. 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.”
The proportions of the CLS Shooting Brake are surprising but clearly those of a coupé, and create a basic stance which makes it look ready for the off: the long bonnet, narrow-look windows with frameless side windows, and dynamic roof sloping back towards the rear. It is only when taking a second look that it becomes clear that the Shooting Break actually has five doors and offers “more” in terms of function.
In essence it represents an unprecedented version of a sports car with five seats and a large tailgate. It is a special proposition for people looking to differentiate themselves from the mainstream, and who do not wish to compromise on either sportiness or stowage space when it comes to travelling in style. The Shooting Brake is a further highlight in the innovative luxury vehicle series from Mercedes-Benz and, like the CLS Coupé, has the potential to become the role model for a new market segment.
“The CLS Shooting Brake is based on the great tradition of stylish sportiness which has always characterised Mercedes, and takes these unique icons an exciting step further”, explains Gorden Wagener, Head of Design at Mercedes‑Benz. “It stands for the enhanced design idiom of Mercedes-Benz which is oriented towards aesthetic, avant-garde principles”. This is seen in the impressive series of market-defining new vehicle concepts, such as the SLK for example, which in 1996 established a genre as the first Roadster with a retractable steel roof, the M-Class as the first premium SUV in 1998, or the first four-door CLS Coupé in 2004.
The second generation of the CLS set high standards in terms of the design and quality of the interior: straightforward elegance combined with innovative details and handcrafted perfection. The Shooting Brake also applies this same aspiration in the luggage compartment. It is lined with high-quality carpet, and the hand-stitched material is also incorporated into the sideliners in conjunction with leather appointments. Optional designer loading rails made of aluminium give an even more exclusive look.
An extravagant and unique feature for the automotive industry is the designo wooden luggage compartment floor, which serves to underscore the hand-finished nature of the interior. Cherry tree wood is a classic among fine wood species and contrasts perfectly with the inlaid smoked oak and aluminium rails. This affords the luggage compartment a touch of elegance normally found on yachts, combined with the exciting worlds of technology and precision craftsmanship. The wood is characterised by its flexibility and elasticity, as well as its density and fine texture. For the luggage compartment floor made of American cherry tree wood, selected veneer sheets are glued and pressed together by hand in five cross-bonded layers to achieve high dimensional stability. The blanks are milled into their precise shape using a CNC machine, and the surfaces sanded to a smooth finish and waterproofed to maintain the natural beauty of the wood. Inlaid work using darker smoked oak, precisely cut into three millimetre strips using laser technology, helps to enhance the design of the wooden floor. The lavishly produced aluminium rails have a brushed finish and rubber inserts, and not only help to protect the wooden floor but also feature anti-slip properties.
The CLS coupé already set new standards in interiors with its wide variety of individualisation options. The Shooting Brake also offers five interior colours, five trim designs and also three qualities of leather to choose from. Customers have a choice of three exclusive wood types: high-gloss brown burr walnut, high-gloss black ash and satin-finish light-brown poplar. The interior is given an even more progressive look with the addition of piano lacquer or AMG carbon fibre/black piano lacquer trim elements. A completely new addition comes in the form of porcelain interior appointments which afford both CLS models a sense of luxury normally found in the S-Class. The CLS Shooting Brake also lives up to its role as a design icon thanks to the innovative nature of the materials used. These comprise a mixture of satin and high-gloss finishes used on the metal surfaces.
No-one likes to have to compromise: even when the focus is not on the practical elements of the design of the Shooting Brake (length x width x height: 4956 x 1881 x 1413 mm/ 195 x 74 x 56 in), the new CLS model still has some trump cards up its sleeve. With a load volume of between 590 and 1550 litres (21 and 55 cu. ft.), the luggage compartment offers a lot of room despite the flat, sporty lines of the roof, and is easy to use thanks to the automatically opening tailgate fitted as standard. A load compartment cover also protects luggage from prying eyes.
The standard air suspension at the rear helps to ensure optimum road holding at all times. For additional flexibility, the rear seat backrests can be folded down from the luggage compartment as standard. The rear seats themselves provide room for three people, with individual seats on the outsides and a third seat in the middle. The three saddle-type head restraints on the rear seats barely affect the view towards the rear, and can be lowered at the touch of a button by the driver. An optional trailer coupling is also available.
Dr. Joachim Schmidt, Board Member of Mercedes-Benz Cars responsible for Sales & Marketing, sums it all up: “The new CLS Shooting Brake represents a new dimension in vehicle concepts and offers discerning customers independence at its most beautiful.”