Mercedes unveils CLS Shooting Brake

Mercedes-Benz has unveiled an estate version of its sleek CLS - poetically named the CLS Shooting Brake. However this is a world away from the traditional boxy estate. Instead Mercedes-Benz has designed a swooping five-door version of the coupe-like CLS. It goes on sale in November and prices start at £49,360.

So is it practical? Well the boot has 590 litres of carrying capacity which is similar to a Volkswagen Passat Estate while dropping the rear seats boosts this to 1550 litres. Mercedes says the boot offers a lot of room despite the flat lines of the roof. It should be easy to access thanks to the automatically opening tailgate fitted as standard plus there's a a load compartment cover. There's room for three in the back and usefully the rear seats can be folded down from the boot.

The CLS Shooting Brake also gets some bespoke interior features, most notably the optional Cherry Tree wooden boot floor to give it a yacht-like classic appearance. There are also aluminium loading rails with rubber inserts to protect the floor and stop luggage sliding around. As standard the boot is lined in high quality carpet but you'd expect a high proportion of buyers to go for the wooden floor finish.

The rest of the interior is available in five colours, five trim designs and three qualities of leather. There are also three exclusive wood types: high-gloss brown burr walnut, high-gloss black ash and satin-finish light-brown poplar.

The engine line up is limited to the CLS 250 CDI and the CLS 350 CDI and both are impressively efficient. The CLS 250 CDI really stands out with average claimed fuel economy of 53.3mpg and CO2 emissions of just 139g/km. With 500Nm of torque it should be a strong performer too with a 0-62mph time of 7.8 seconds.

All models get air suspension as standard along with the 7G-Tronic Plus automatic gearbox and an engine start/stop system. The CLS Shooting Brake also has electro-mechanical power steering which helps efficiency and includes Active Park Assist which parks the car in parallel spaces automatically.

And what about the name? Break, or Brake, was the name once given to carriages used to "break" in wild horses so that they could be put to use as work horses. Since the carts could easily be broken as part of this process, people tended not to use ones which they may have urgently needed for other purposes. Where necessary, "Brakes" were often fitted out with variable bodies, which were only really used to carry anything that may have been necessary for the hunt.

Any such vehicle used when going out shooting was called a Shooting Brake or Shooting Break. Motorised Shooting Brakes were popular in England in the 60s and 70s – exclusive two-door sports cars, which combined the luxury and style of a coupé with a larger load compartment and large tailgate.

Model CLS250 CDI CLS350 CDI
Cylinder arrangement/ number   4 in-line V6
Displacement cc 2143 2987
Rated output hp at rpm 204 @ 4200 265 @ 3800
Rated torque Nm at rpm 500 @ 1600 - 1800 620 @ 1600 - 2400
Fuel consumption, combined mpg 53.3 47.0
CO2 emissions, combined g/km 139 159
Acceleration0-62 mph s 7.8 6.6
Top speed mph 146 155

Mercedes -Benz CLS Shooting Brake (2)

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