Mercedes has revealed a sporty estate version of its CLS four-door coupé. Named the CLS Shooting Brake, it’ll go on sale in November and sit a rung above the E-Class estate on the Stuttgart giant’s ever-extending product ladder.
It was the CLS which famously started the four-door coupé market back in 2004. Now, one generation and eight years on, the sporty saloon has plenty of competitors, mainly in the form of the Audi A5 and BMW 6 Series Gran Coupé.
As many Classic Driver readers will know, the CLS Shooting Brake explores a niche which has, over the years, been popular; particularly in England in the 60s and 70s (albeit in two-door form). This time though, it’s not the first to arrive at the party: the Jaguar XF Sportbrake was unveiled late last year.
From the B-pillar forwards, little has been altered in translation from saloon to estate – or ‘coupé to brake’ as Mercedes would prefer it. From here backwards, however, it’s all change. While the CLS’s signature pillarless doors are retained, the roof tapers down more acutely than on any other Mercedes estate and an additional rear side window helps elongate the car’s profile.
Obviously, some practicalities must be sacrificed to afford the swooping looks; but not as many as you might think. While the 590-litre boot capacity falls somewhat short of the E-Class estate’s, it’s still more spacious than that of the A6 Avant or 5 Series. Additionally, the angled tailgate is power-operated and the boot floor is not only flat, but can also be optionally trimmed in cherry tree wood and brushed aluminium, reminiscent of yacht decking.
Dynamically, much remains unchanged from the CLS coupé: the familiar 7-speed automatic gearbox makes another appearance, and two popular diesel engines will be selected from the coupé line-up for the UK-spec Shooting Brake. These will be the four-cylinder CLS250 CDI and CLS350 CDI V6, while a CLS63 AMG model seems imminent after being paraded at the Goodwood Festival of Speed this year. Left-hand-drive markets will also be offered CLS350 and CLS500 petrol models, as well as the option of four-wheel drive.
UK pricing for the CLS Shooting Brake is yet to be announced, but, due to its exclusivity and sporting character, it can be expected to command a significant premium over the E-Class estate.