Mercedes shoots for top with its coupe-estate
Mercedes-Benz head Dieter Zetsche has unveiled the brand’s CLS Shooting Brake and commented that combining two extremes in the automotive universe – a sporty coupe and a full-size estate – can result in very attractive offspring.
The car has been given its world premiere in the UK, on the eve of the Goodwood Festival of Speed, and made a surprise appearance, complete with camouflage livery, on the Goodwood hill.
The car was first revealed as the Concept Fascination in 2008 and according to Zetsche the media response suggested its design lived up to its name.
“Two years later we took this concept to the next level with the Concept Shooting Brake and again the feedback was very encouraging,” he says.
He also has little time for what he describes as skeptics who have asked whether the world really needs a coupe estate.
“Maybe those were the same people who wondered two years ago if the world really needed iPads – or those non-believers 125 years ago who asked does the world really need a horseless carriage,” Zetsche says.
He believes the new Shooting Brake “captures the very essence of premium cars, because it’s not about making any false compromises”.
The new model has five seats and is a full-fledged touring car with ample cargo volume of up to 1,550 litres.
“Along with the styling you also get driving dynamics with fuel consumption as low as 53.3mpg in the 250 Diesel,” Zetsche adds.
“Plus, the CLS underlines that at Mercedes, lightweight construction goes beyond a handful of showcars. It’s all-aluminium doors alone save nearly 50lbs in weight. There are many more aluminium parts because less weight means more driving fun.”
The CLS remains the market leader in its segment and year-to-date, retail sales have climbed more than 50 per cent over the first five months of last year.
The Shooting Brake follows hot on the heels of the new A-Class as Mercedes-Benz sets its sights on becoming the leading player in the premium segment by 2020.
“We’re already in the middle of a product offensive that trumps anything we have done before,” Zetsche says.
“During our first major product offensive during the mid-1990s we launched four models that were new to Mercedes. This time around, we’ll introduce 10 new cars that have no predecessor in our current line-up.
“Plus, 15 years ago it was only about gas and diesel engines. Now we’re making headway on three lanes with combustions, hybridisation and full electrification.
“We are also expanding our global production footprint with two new locations and there’s more to come. So clearly, this is not just about shaping a new portfolio – it’s about building a new company.”
Words by: Headline Auto