With their new five-door CLS Shooting Brake, Mercedes-Benz has again demonstrated a capacity for innovation by adding the recreational and utility values of an estate car to a model, the CLS Coupé, that is already famed for its refined features and sporty elegance.
Notwithstanding its model designation – a name whose origins can be traced back to the very earliest days of motoring - Mercedes-Benz still regards the CLS Shooting Brake as a ‘totally new’ concept.
There are four different engine variants to choose from, two diesel and two petrol, including two with 4-Matic all wheel drive spanning a range from the entry level CLS 250 up to the CLS 500 V8 of which 7G-Tronic transmission and ECO stop/start are features common to all.
Of these, the one most likely to catch the imagination of Irish motorists will be the 4-cylinder, 204bhp CLS 250 CDI with its economical 5.3 litres/100km fuel consumption, top speed of 235km/h, CO2 emissions of 139 grams/km and 0-100 km/h acceleration time of 7.8 seconds.
Due here in time for 2013 registrations, the CLS Shooting Brake is 1.6cm longer than the CLS Coupé and identical in width and height. Its unique roofline means that rear seat passengers have 4.7 cm more headroom.
A four-plus-one five-seater, it has individual rear seats on the outside and a third seat in the centre. Rear seats can be folded forward to increase load volume from 590 to 1,550 litres. Payload is 525kg.
The luggage compartment is lined with high-quality carpet while the various optional items available include a floor made from classic cherry tree wood inlaid with smoked oak and protective aluminium rails. An automatically opening tailgate complements the overall impression of luxury while a retractable load compartment cover protects luggage from prying eyes.
Five interior colours, five trim designs, porcelain appointments, three qualities of leather and three wood finishes combine to convey the same sense of luxury into the passenger area while the driving experience is enhanced by the provision of a dozen and more driving assistance systems of which electric power steering, active park assist, LED high performance headlamps with adaptive high beam assist are examples.
For optimum comfort and road holding, rear air suspension is standard while the list of optional items includes an inbuilt trailer coupling, load compartment roller blinds and 19” wheels.
Though prices have yet to be agreed across the range, it is expected that it will launch here at a figure around 5% above the CLS Coupé.