Mercedes-Benz has unveiled its own take on the four-door coupe with the new Mercedes-Benz CLS Shooting Break concept. Following in the footsteps of the Porsche Panamera and Aston Martin Rapide, the Mercedes-Benz CLS Shooting Break concept signals the arrival of a new market segment for the brand.
Due to make its debut at Auto China 2010, the Shooting Break concept features elements introduced with the latest models from the Mercedes stable, including the radiator grille, with the large star and bionic slats from the SLS AMG super sports car. The grille is flanked on either side by full LED headlamps, which for the first time feature LED technology for all of the dynamic light functions.
From the side, Merc’s Shooting Brake manages to pull-off a compromise between coupe and shooting break, finishing with an estate-like rump to complete the package. The coupe element has been emphasised with a low window design that also highlights the cabin area with polished aluminium trim.
The interior is a combination of natural wood and leather materials, with a full-length centre console and four-seat layout now typical of cars in this new market segment. The Mercedes-Benz CLS Shooting Break concept is powered by a, yet to be released, 3,5-litre V6 that produces 225 kW and peak torque of 370 Nm.
Along with the unveiling of their latest concept, Mercedes also chose to give a brief history lesson of the origins of the name ‘Shooting Break’…
Break, or the homonym Brake, was the name once given to carriages used to ‘break’ in wild horses and also to restrict (or ‘brake’) their urge to move, so that they could be put to use as work horses. Since the carts could easily be broken as part of this process, people tended not to use ones which they may have urgently needed for other purposes.
Where necessary, ‘Brakes’ were often fitted out with variable bodies, which were only really used to carry along anything that may have been necessary for the hunt, for example. Any such vehicle which was used when going out shooting was called a Shooting Brake or Shooting Break. In the 1960s and 1970s motorised Shooting Breaks were popular in Great Britain – exclusive cross-over vehicles, which combined the luxuriousness of a coupé with the luggage space of an estate.