02 October 2008

Fascination

We fight off angry men to get a decent look at Merc's massive shooting brake concept

Mercedes Fascination

The Mercedes stand is very busy. We tell you this both to justify our somewhat rubbish pictures of the very nice Fascination concept, and also to justify the somewhat heated exchange we've just had with a large man in a suit who kept on standing in the way when we were trying to take said pictures.

From what we could see of it, the Fascination looks great. It's a shooting brake concept that, says Merc, is a one-off study that gives their designers a chance to play around with posh interior decor and clever surfacing.

It's got some great angles - the pillarless window line gives the Fascination a sleek, swept back look, and the sleek, curved lines running over the arches are spot-on, too. Which was exactly what we said to the aforementioned large man in a suit. But in slightly different words.

The cabin is seriously plush, too - all polished wood and aluminium and white tiger-skin seats. The last one of those isn't true.

There's something more important going on here than design show-offingness, though. The Fascination's front end, double headlights and all, give - in the words of one Merc insider - 'a very strong indication' of the design on the next E-Class, set to arrive early next year.

No bad thing, that. We won't see a shooting brake, sadly, but we reckon that nose should look good out front on the E-Class saloon and coupe.

E-Class Coupe, you say? Oh yes. We're told that the next CLS will be branded the E-Class Coupe instead. So long as it looks as good as the Fascination, we don't care.

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