Mercedes-Benz CLS Shooting Brake

Jul 02, 2012
Author: Evgeniy Sherstobitov
Photos: Mercedes Benz
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With the new CLS Shooting Brake, Mercedes-Benz is once again setting an example when it comes to creativity of design, and as such highlighting its leading role in this area: in terms of its proportions, the new CLS is quite clearly a Coupe, but with five doors and a roof which continues through to the rear, it promises some remarkable new possibilities. The idea of the four-door Coupe – successfully introduced in 2004 with the first CLS and long imitated in the meantime – has now been taken to new heights and to innovative effect. The result is automotive independence at its most beautiful.

According to CEO Dr. Dieter Zetsche: "Any memorable machine is equal parts art and science. A car has to first deliver in function – the ticket of entry – and then in fascination: the ticket to real excitement. The CLS Shooting Brake excels on both accounts – unlike any other car in the market".


"TheCLSShooting Brake is based on the great tradition of stylish sportiness which has always characterised Mercedes, and takes these unique icons an exciting step further", explains Gorden Wagener, Head of Design at Mercedes‑Benz. "It stands for the enhanced design idiom of Mercedes-Benz which is oriented towards aesthetic, avant-garde principles". This is seen in the impressive series of market-defining new vehicle concepts, such as the SLK for example, which in 1996 established a genre as the first Roadster with a retractable steel roof, the M-Class as the first premium SUV in 1998, or the first four-door CLS Coupe in 2004.

The second generation of the CLSset high standards in terms of the design and quality of the interior: straightforward elegance combined with innovative details and handcrafted perfection. The Shooting Brake also applies this same aspiration in the luggage compartment. It is lined with high-quality carpet, and the hand-stitched material is also incorporated into the sideliners in conjunction with leather appointments. Optional designer loading rails made of aluminium give an even more exclusive look.

An extravagant and unique feature for the automotive industry is the optional designo wooden luggage compartment floor, which serves to underscore the hand-finished nature of the interior. Cherry tree wood is a classic among fine wood species and contrasts perfectly with the inlaid smoked oak and aluminium rails. This affords the luggage compartment a touch of elegance normally found on yachts, combined with the exciting worlds of technology and precision craftsmanship. The wood is characterised by its flexibility and elasticity, as well as its density and fine texture.For the luggage compartment floor made of American cherry tree wood, selected veneer sheets are glued and pressed together by hand in five cross-bonded layers to achieve high dimensional stability. The blanks are milled into their precise shape using a CNC machine, and the surfaces sanded to a smooth finish and waterproofed to maintain the natural beauty of the wood. Inlaid work using darker smoked oak, precisely cut into three millimetre strips using laser technology, helps to enhance the design of the wooden floor. The lavishly produced aluminium rails have a brushed finish and rubber inserts, and not only help to protect the wooden floor but also feature anti-slip properties.


The CLSCoupe already set new standards in interiors with its wide variety of individualisation options. The Shooting Brake offers five interior colours, five trim designs and also three qualities of leather to choose from. Customers have a choice of three exclusive wood types: high-gloss brown burr walnut, high-gloss black ash and satin-finish light-brown poplar. The interior is given an even more progressive look with the addition of piano lacquer trim elements. A completely new addition comes in the form of porcelain interior appointments which afford both CLS models a sense of luxury normally found in the S-Class. The CLS Shooting Brake also lives up to its role as a design icon thanks to the innovative nature of the materials used. These comprise a mixture of satin and high-gloss finishes used on the metal surfaces.

No-one likes to have to compromise: even when the focus is not on the practical elements of the design of the Shooting Brake (length x width x height: 4956 x 1881 x 1413 mm), the new CLSmodel still has some trump cards up its sleeve. With a load volume of between 590 and 1550 litres, the luggage compartment offers a lot of room despite the flat, sporty lines of the roof, and is easy to use thanks to the automatically opening tailgate fitted as standard. A load compartment cover also protects luggage from prying eyes.

The standard air suspension at the rear helps to ensure optimum road holding at all times. For additional flexibility, the rear seat backrests can be folded down from the luggage compartment as standard. The rear seats themselves provide room for three people, with individual seats on the outsides and a third seat in the middle. The three saddle-type head restraints on the rear seats barely affect the view towards the rear, and can be lowered at the touch of a button by the driver. An optional trailer coupling is also available.


Intelligent lightweight construction plays a decisive role in bridging the classic conflict between the objectives of low weight and high strength in the CLSShooting Brake. The model features frameless, all-aluminium doors made from deep-drawn aluminium panels with extruded sections, and in comparison with conventional steel doors, are some 24 kilograms lighter. The tailgate, bonnet, front wings, various support profiles and substantial parts of the suspension and engines are all made of aluminium too. The aerodynamics also make a significant contribution to the efficiency of the Mercedes-Benz CLSShooting Brake. With a frontal area of 2.30 m² and a Cd value of 0.29, the drag area is 0.67 m².

Efficiency is also increased by the standard electro-mechanical power steering EPS (Electric Power Steering). EPS is a radical move in the relationship between the driver, car and road surface. This is because for the first time, it gives engineers the freedom to choose and programme many of the parameters that influence steering feedback. So they defined a Mercedes-Benz feeling behind the wheel. In addition to fuel economy, the result is a considerable improvement in handling and agility. The electromechanical power steering also enables another innovation to be implemented – Active Park Assist. The CLSShooting Brake is not only able to detect parking spaces, but can also park automatically.

TheCLSCoupe was the first passenger car in the world to offer dynamic full LED High Performance headlamps, which combine the exciting colour elements of LED technology – similar to those of daytime driving lights – with the performance, functionality and energy efficiency of today's bi-xenon generation. The CLS Shooting Brake is the world's second car to feature this technology which is standard in the UK on the Coupe Sport model line. For the first time ever, it provides the Intelligent Light System already proven in Mercedes models fitted with bi-xenon headlamps in combination with LED technology. The headlamps, with their 71 LED lamps in total, look exciting; and they serve to underline the unmistakable appearance of the CLS.

The light specialists from Mercedes-Benz have for the first time been able to use LED technology in the innovative Adaptive Highbeam Assist, resulting in an entirely new quality of illumination when driving at night.

In contrast to the first vehicles equipped with LED headlamps, no compromises are now necessary with respect to the functionality and performance of the lighting technology. There are further arguments for LED-based lighting technology: the average operating life of an LED is around 10,000 hours, around five times longer than that of a xenon light; moreover, LED headlamps most closely approximate to the colour of daylight. This means that LED light is in keeping with the normal human perception patterns and that the driver experiences significantly more brightness on the road at night. Studies have shown that the closer the colour of artificial light comes to daylight, the less the strain on the eyes. With a colour temperature of 5500 kelvin, LED light is closer to daylight (6500 K) than xenon light (4200 K).



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