An independent spirit.
Blending stunning coupé styling with spacious, five-door practicality, the CLS Shooting Brake represents a bold new breed of estate car.
Drawing inspiration from the custom-built Shooting Brake coupé-estates of the 1960s and 70s, it defies convention, injecting unprecedented dynamism and sportiness into the family cars segment.
The low stance, rakish profile and expressive front section echo the second generation CLS Coupé, as do the exquisite interior appointments. From the leather upholstery to the advanced multimedia equipment, this is a cabin dedicated to sheer driving pleasure.
Yet the CLS Shooting Brake also offers a vast load space of up to 1,550 litres, plus the convenience of an automatic powered tailgate as standard. Match this with agile handling and powerful, efficient performance and you have a truly groundbreaking piece of automotive engineering.
Mercedes-Benz is giving us our best look yet at its next CLS-class four-door at the Beijing auto show in the form of the Shooting Break concept. Just as the current E-class sedan’s body sculpting and lighting were previewed at the 2008 Paris auto show by the wagon-esque ConceptFASCINATION, the Shooting Break (Mercedes’ spelling, not ours) shows us most of the next-gen four-door CLS’s bod. The front end’s bisected grille, huge three-pointed star, and aggressive headlamp shapes will make it to production, although we’re not sure if the lamps themselves will be comprised completely of LEDs, as seen here. Only from the C-pillar back should the production CLS differ, as its roof will drape gracefully into a low decklid. So if you hold your finger over the rear part of the roof and D-pillar and squint, (most of) the CLS sedan will magically appear.Shooting-brake is a car body style that has evolved through several distinct meanings over its history.
Shooting-brake originated as an early 19th century British term for a vehicle used to carry shooting parties with their equipment and game. The term brake was initially a chassis used to break in horses — and was subsequently used to describe a motorized vehicle.
The term was later applied to custom-built wagons by high-end coachbuilders and subsequently became synonymous with station wagon or estate.
In contemporary usage, the term shooting-brake has broadened to include a range of vehicles from five-door station wagons — to three-door models combining features of a wagon and a coupé.
In 2006, The New York Times said the shooting-brake was conceived "to take gentlemen on the hunt with their firearms and dogs." and "although [its] glory days came before World War II, and it has faded from the scene in recent decades, the body style is showing signs of a renaissance as automakers seek to invent (or reinvent) new kinds of vehicles for consumers constantly on the hunt for the next new thing." In 2014, Lawrence Ulrich of the New York Times said the shooting-brake is "essentially a two-door station wagon."
The term "shooting brake" comes from turn-of-the-century England, where it referred to a car used to transport a hunting party and its gear. "Brake" referred to a chassis that was used to break in horses. It eventually just came to refer to early wagons in general.
In the latter half of the 20th century, automakers were looking at a way to distinguish new cars like the Volvo 1800ES and the Reliant Scimitar GTE from larger five-door wagons and boxier hatchbacks. Looking back at the old school shooting brakes they noticed that the originals all only had two doors. Thus was the modern idea of a shooting brake born as a low, sleek two-door wagon.
"[A Shooting Brake] is not your basic two-door hatchback, a body style with different proportions; the hatchback tends to be squatty, while a shooting brake is sleek and has 'a very interesting profile.' It makes use of the road space it covers a little better than a normal coupé, and also helps the rear person with headroom. Especially in America, every member of the family has their own car. The occasional use of the rear seat means you can do one of these cars, even if such a wagon lacks the everyday practicality of four doors."