The new DS3, customise every feature to suit your style
Mercedes-Benz already stretched the use of the word coupé a bit too far for our liking with its CLS 'four-door coupé' and now the company is pushing the boundaries even further with the CLS Shooting Brake, which it says is quite clearly a coupé in terms of its proportions but with five doors and long roof.
ROOM FOR LASSIE?
But if you've ever wanted a Mercedes station wagon but found the E-Class too bland, this distinctive load lugger could really be up your alley. It even allows you to load your bags in style, with a designo luggage compartment floor made from real cherry tree wood - which, if anything, probably lessens Lassie's chances of coming along for the ride.
Another designer feature is the optional aluminium loading rail system but one thing you won't have to pay more for is the electrically-operated tailgate mechanism.
As far as actual boot room goes, the CLS Shooting Brake can accommodate 590 litres worth of luggage in its normal configuration with the rear seats up - that's 85 more than the CLS sedan but 105 less than the E-Class Estate to put that into perspective. Fold the seats down, however, and this CLS will devour 1550 litres.
As with the sedan, many of the Shooting Brake's body parts and components are hewn from aluminium, including the frameless doors, bonnet, tailgate, front wings and most of the engine and suspension components.
STANDARD AIR SUSPENSION
Talking suspension, this CLS aims to provide an exceptionally plush ride with a standard air suspension system. There's also plenty of kit to help keep it on the straight and narrow, with gadgets like Active Blind Spot Assist and Active Lane Keeping assist being available, along with Distronic Plus and PreSafe.
It's biggest boast though, is being the second car in the world (after the CLS sedan) to offer optional dynamic full LED high performance headlights, which claim to provide the full lighting functionality of modern bi-xenon lights despite being LED-based. The big advantage here, then, is aesthetic.
European markets will have four engines to choose from in a half-petrol, half-diesel line-up. The diesel range kicks off with a 150kW/500Nm 2.1-litre engine that's said to sip just 5.3 l/100km on the combined cycle. The gutsier option wears the CLS 350 CDI badge and is good for 195kW and 620Nm.
The base petrol engine also has six cylinders and this 3.5-litre engine thumps out 225kW and 370Nm. The flagship (presumably until AMG gets its hands on the Shooting Brake) is the CLS 500 with a 4.7-litre biturbo V8 that's rated at 300kW and 600Nm.
The Shooting Brake is likely to make its first appearance at the Paris Motor Show in late September and you can expect to see it in South African showrooms during the first quarter of 2013.