For the uninitiated, a car named a shooting brake came from a naming convention applied to hunting party vehicles, ergo “shooting” in the name. The term brake and its historical application are a bit foggy, but it wouldn’t be off base to figure that when hunting, one might want to stop suddenly to get off a shot, though that’s a wild guess at best. Today’s shooting brake car is essentially a Mercedes-Benz performance wagon style car.
A Unique Body Design
With regards to Mercedes-Benz CLS Shooting Brake, the German automaker’s product is a far cry from the days of the boxy wagon car or the 1970s Grand Vista cruisers. Instead, the Mercedes-Benz model first seen in 2012 was a sleek design that looked almost like a stretched out, contoured sedan moving through a time warp.
The front end has the classic CLS look, one of the most expensive models Mercedes-Benz puts out in its line of cars. However, the rear part of the car is clearly capable of holding far more, as is the benefit of a typical Mercedes-Benz wagon.
While the CLS Shooting Brake enjoyed a large amount of popularity in Europe, at least enough to maintain production, the same could not be said for prospects in North American markets or even China (a booming auto market these days for new designs).
For example, the 2015 Shooting Brake won multiple top reviews and high-quality markets among British reviewers, especially given the latest model at the time, had been updated with LED light technology as well as an advanced diesel engine packages underneath the front hood with butter-smooth transmission management.
And, if the quality and make wasn’t enough, the reviewers were also quite impressed with how sound proof the internal cabin design proved to be, an aspect that other German automakers were not necessarily always famous for.
Power, Safety, and Features
In terms of performance, the Shooting Brake has some muscle attached to its axles and wheels. The premium gasoline combustion model with all the engine features puts out a 62 mph speed within 4.4. seconds. Right behind it is the diesel engine package reaching the same speed point in a respectable 6.2 seconds.
The car is also jam-packed with an assortment of safety features and electronic assistance. Full surround airbags are standard. This is coupled with neck restraints, multiple belt systems and advance electronic computer systems that kick in when specific threat triggers occur.
Unfortunately, the CLS Shooting Brake has reached the end of its production life, it seems. Mercedes dealers in the U.S. are finally being able to get their hands on the model but the inventory is extremely limited and clearly defined as a short-run availability model. It’s very likely car collectors will be the major buyers of these unique vehicles, at least in the American market versus overseas in Europe.
Mercedes-Benz reasoning for discontinuing the line was likely associated with its inability to expand out in a growing demand trajectory. However, many car industry market watchers also note that a drop in luxury car sales in both China and Russia have caused management decisions in Stuttgart, and cuts had to be made to made to balance the books.
The Birth of a Rare Apple
So, the CLS Shooting Brake may very well end up as a footnote in the automotive history books within a year or two. Jay Leno and similar types, as we mentioned, may pick one up to add a one-off treasure to the warehouse collection, but the average U.S. luxury driver is very unlikely to get his hands on one outside of very special ordering.
In fact, it may provide better odds to go over to Germany and buy one directly through an in-country purchase and then import it back. Like many European car makers, Mercedes-Benz offers such a program to American buyers, allowing them to pick up the car right at the Stuttgart factory and headquarters.