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Mercedes CLS news - Break from the norm - 2010

If you’ve always hankered after a four-door coupe-estate, get ready to have
your nichey little mind blown.

Mercedes will this week unveil the CLS Shooting Break concept at the Beijing
show. Essentially it’s an estate version of Merc’s big sort-of-coupe and it
looks likely to reach production very soon.

See more pics of the CLS Shooting Break

You might quite reasonably point out that Mercedes already has a big four-door
estate in production, the E-Class Wagon. But hell, if BMW can have the 5-Series
Touring and GT (not to mention the X6), surely we can forgive Merc another
estate? Especially when it looks as good as this.

Of course, it’s not really a shooting brake (or even shooting break – Merc
asserts that either spelling is traditional). Shooting brakes have two doors.
But the concept retains the CLS’s four-door shape, melding its swoopy lines
with a decent-sized boot and an SLS-inspired front end – Merc’s so-called ‘soft
nose’ that will roll across the range over the next few years – featuring
clever new headlights.

These host an impressive 71 LEDs, and are the world’s first fully adaptive
front lamps, swivelling from side to side but also dipping and raising
depending on speed, road type and weather. They’ll reach production this year.

The Shooting Break also features Mercedes’ new 3.5-litre V6 petrol engine, a
turbocharged 302bhp unit which heralds a new generation of Merc ‘V’ engines
with lean burn technology to reduce emissions and improve economy. A twin-turbo
4.6-litre V8 producing well over 400bhp is also expected soon.

As you’d expect, there is much poshness in the cabin – milled aluminium,
porcelain-hued nappa leather and double-lapped stitching, no less – and precisely
four seats, no more. Like the CLS coupe, we’d expect the production Shooting
Break to remain a strict four-seater, leaving five-seat duties to the E-Class

It’s easy to be cynical about the nichification of the luxury estate market but,
if and when it reaches production, the CLS Shooting Break should be a good ‘un.
Thoughts, loyal TopGearers?

Sam Philip

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