2012 Mercedes-Benz CLS Shooting Brake renderingEnlarge Photo
The Mercedes-Benz CLS ignited the four-door coupe market when it was first introduced back in 2004, and since then we’ve seen several other luxury rivals attempt to emulate the design with cars like the 2010 Porsche Panamera, recently revealed 2010 Aston Martin Rapide and upcoming Audi A7.
For the second-generation CLS, expected to arrive late this year as a 2011 model, Mercedes is set to popularize a niche segment once again, this time reinvigorating the ‘Shooting Brake’ bodystyle.
The Shooting Brake is essentially a two-door wagon, and Mercedes designers hinted at the possibility of a modern version with the unveiling of the ConceptFASCINATION study at the 2008 Paris Motor Show. While the ConceptFASCINATION was based around the design of the new 2010 E-Class Coupe, which is expected to spawn a Shooting Brake model of its own, our inside source suggests that a new CLS version will be offered as well.
So what might a CLS Shooting Brake look like? Not terribly unlike the Concept Fascination, but with four doors and more CLS-themed styling. Considering the CLS's coupe-like styling and the presence of rival vehicles like the BMW 5-Series Gran Turismo and Acura ZDX, Mercedes may also be shooting for a patch of that indecipherable niche form factor. Powertrains will mimic the CLS sedan it will share underpinnings with, with both rear-wheel and all-wheel drive models in the offing.
The Shooting Brake will come alongside the next generation of the CLS, though it won't come until later through the model cycle, most likely in late 2012.
The new CLS range is expected to be positioned more upmarket to bring it in line with some of its more premium rivals. This will also allow Mercedes to introduce a second four-door coupe model, rumored to be based on its next-generation small car platform. For more details on the upcoming 2011 Mercedes-Benz CLS, including revealing spy shots, check out our previous story by clicking here.