Mercedes-Benz CLS Shooting Break Concept revealed ahead of Beijing

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Mercedes-Benz may not have invented the idea of a "four-door coupe" with the original CLS back in 2005, but the German automaker can surely be credited with the recent influx of such designs from automakers as varied and far-ranging as BMW, Jaguar and Hyundai. As such, you can be sure that Mercedes is keenly interested in reinventing the look it made so popular in the first place so as to differentiate itself from its competitors.

As we reported late last month, it seems likely that Mercedes-Benz will use the upcoming Beijing Motor Show to preview its next-gen CLS, along with the introduction of what appears to be a production-ready shooting break design. While the moniker is more often spelled 'shooting brake,' MB is keen to point out that the correct spelling is 'break,' as in breaking a horse that draws a carriage. Whatever the name, we're liking what we see from this concept.

From what we can see in these pictures, which we presume show a conceptual shape that's awfully close to what a future production model will look like, the Mercedes-Benz CLS Shooting Break seems to be a much more successful design than that of the BMW 5 Series GT that it will undoubtedly be compared to. We'd also wager that the rear hatchback and flat load floor would prove fairly useful in real life due to a suitably tall roof without too much downward slope.

Powerplants for the next-gen CLS are also previewed by this concept. Expect a turbocharged and direct injected 3.5-liter V6 engine with over 300 horsepower along with an uplevel turbocharged 4.6-liter V8 that puts out around 435 horsepower and over 400 pound-feet of torque. Those engines will reportedly provide a 25-percent improvement in fuel efficiency over the mills they replace and will route power to the rear wheels through a seven-speed automatic transmission.

Not powerful enough for you? Perhaps the 5.5-liter V8, complete with turbocharging and direct injection, in the AMG model will be more to your liking. How does up to 563 horsepower and 664 pound-feet of torque sound?

Expect to see a sedan (codenamed C218) in addition to this shooting brake (codenamed X218) when the next-gen CLS is finally ready for production. Either way, it appears buyers will be getting cutting-edge styling along with a nicely appointed and luxurious interior. As always, we suggest you take a peek for yourself in our high-res image gallery below.