Paris Motor Show 2012: The all new Mercedes-Benz CLS Shooting Brake - Independence at its most beguiling
"Every genuine car legend appeals equally to the heart and mind," observes CEO Dr Dieter Zetsche. "Functionality is obligatory for a vehicle – our customers take this for granted. What sets a car apart is a special fascinating quality. The CLS Shooting Brake combines functionality and fascination in a way that is unmatched by any other automobile."
Surprising yet unequivocally coupé, the CLS Shooting Brake's proportions create a crouched posture, as if the vehicle were poised to make a leap: long bonnet, narrow window profile with frameless side windows, roof sloping dynamically towards the rear and continuing to the tail end of the vehicle. It is only when taking a second look that it becomes clear that the Shooting Brake actually has five doors and offers more in terms of function.
In essence it represents an unprecedented version of a sports car with five seats and a large tailgate. It is a special proposition for people looking to differentiate themselves from the mainstream, and who do not wish to compromise on either sportiness or stowage space when it comes to travelling in style. The Shooting Brake is a further highlight in the innovative luxury vehicle series from Mercedes-Benz and, like the CLS Coupé, has the potential to become the role model for a new market segment.
"The CLS Shooting Brake is based on the great tradition of stylish sportiness which has always characterised Mercedes, and takes these unique icons an exciting step further", explains Gorden Wagener, Head of Design at Mercedes-Benz Cars. "It stands for the enhanced design idiom of Mercedes-Benz which is oriented towards aesthetic, avant-garde principles". This is seen in the impressive series of market-defining new vehicle concepts, such as the SLK for example, which in 1996 established a genre as the first Roadster with a retractable steel roof, the M-Class as the first premium SUV in 1998, or the first four-door CLS Coupé in 2004.
Exclusive innovation in the interior: wooden luggage compartment floor
The second generation of the CLS set high standards in terms of the design and quality of the interior: straightforward elegance combined with innovative details and handcrafted perfection. The Shooting Brake also applies this same aspiration in the luggage compartment. It is lined with high-quality carpeting, and the hand-stitched material is also incorporated into the sideliners in conjunction with Exclusive PASSION leather appointments. Optional designer rails made of aluminium on the luggage compartment floor give an even more exclusive look.
An extravagant touch is the designo wood luggage compartment floor, which highlights the interior's hand-crafted character. The American cherry wood is a classic fine wood variety which contrasts effectively with the fumed oak inlaid work and the aluminium rails. This lends the luggage compartment the elegance of a yacht's wooden deck combined with the fascination of high-tech and precision workmanship. The wood is characterised by its flexibility and elasticity, as well as its density and fine texture.
For the American cherry wood luggage compartment floor, specially selected veneer sheets are glued and pressed by hand in five layers to attain a high level of dimensional stability. The blanks are milled to their exact format using a CNC machine and the surfaces are ground smooth and impregnated to bring out the wood's natural beauty. Dark fumed oak inlays, precision-cut in narrow three-millimetre strips using laser technology, lend a definitive finishing touch to the design of the luggage compartment floor. The lavishly produced aluminium rails have a brushed finish and rubber inserts, and not only help to protect the wooden floor but also feature anti-slip properties.
The CLS Coupé already set new standards in interiors with its wide variety of individualisation options. The Shooting Brake also offers five interior colours, five trim designs plus three qualities of leather to choose from. Customers have a choice of three exclusive wood types for the trim: high-gloss brown burr walnut, high-gloss black ash and satin-finish light-brown poplar. Black piano lacquer trim is also optionally available. The interior is given an even more progressive look by the AMG trim features in carbon fibre in combination with black piano lacquer. A completely new addition comes in the form of "porcelain" interior appointments which afford both CLS models a sense of luxury normally found in the S-Class. The CLS Shooting Brake also lives up to its role as a design trend-setter thanks to the innovative nature of the materials used. These comprise a mixture of satin and high-gloss finishes used on the metal surfaces.
A whole new vehicle concept: the four-door Shooting Brake
No-one likes to have to compromise: even though the focus is not on the practical elements of the design of the Shooting Brake (length x width x height 4956 x 1881 x 1416 mm), the new CLS model still has some trump cards up its sleeve. With a load volume of between 590 and 1550 litres, the luggage compartment offers a lot of room despite the flat, sporty lines of the roof, and is easy to use thanks to the automatically opening tailgate fitted as standard. A load compartment cover also protects luggage from prying eyes.
The standard air suspension at the rear helps to ensure optimum road holding at all times. For additional flexibility, the rear seat backrests can be folded down from the luggage compartment as standard. The rear seats themselves provide room for three people, with individual seats on the outsides and a third seat in the middle. The three saddle-type head restraints on the rear seats barely affect the view towards the rear, and can be lowered at the touch of a button by the driver. An optional trailer coupling is also available.
Dr Joachim Schmidt, Executive Vice President Mercedes-Benz Cars, Sales and Marketing, sums it all up: "The new CLS Shooting Brake represents a new dimension in vehicle concepts and offers discerning customers independence at its most beguiling."
Lightweight construction and aerodynamics: important contributions to efficiency
Intelligent lightweight construction plays a decisive role in bridging the classic conflict between the objectives of low weight and high strength in the CLS Shooting Brake. The model features frameless, all-aluminium doors made from deep-drawn aluminium panels with extruded sections, which in comparison to conventional steel doors are some 32 kilograms lighter. The tailgate, bonnet, front wings, various support profiles and substantial parts of the suspension and engines are all made of aluminium too.
The aerodynamics also make a significant contribution to the efficiency of the Mercedes-Benz CLS Shooting Brake. With a frontal area of 2.30 m² and a Cd value of 0.29, the drag area is 0.67 m².
Drive system: powerful and efficient
The CLS Shooting Brake is available with five engine variants – two diesel and three petrol engines. All engines come together with a 7-speed automatic transmission and the ECO start/stop function as standard. Two models with all-wheel drive are additionally available: CLS 350 CDI 4MATIC BlueEFFICIENCY and CLS 500 4MATIC BlueEFFICIENCY.
The entry-level model is the CLS 250 CDI BlueEFFICIENCY, with a power output of 150 kW (204 hp). Fuel consumption in combined mode is outstanding for this power category, at 5.3 litres of diesel per 100 kilometres, corresponding to CO2 emissions of 130 grams per kilometre. On the next level come the two six-cylinder engines: CLS 350 CDI BlueEFFICIENCY, rated at 195 kW (265 hp) and CLS 350 BlueEFFICIENCY at 225 kW (306 hp), while the CLS 500 BlueEFFICIENCY with V8 biturbo engine has a power output of 300 kW (408 hp).
The dynamic top model of the Shooting Brake range is the CLS 63 AMG Shooting Brake, fitted with an AMG V8 biturbo engine rated at 386 kW (525 hp) which delivers 700 Newton metres of torque and comes with the AMG SPEEDSHIFT MCT 7-speed sports transmission. With the "Edition 1" variant, these performance values rise to 410 kW (557 hp) and 800 Newton metres.
The combination of AMG RIDE CONTROL sports suspension with electronically controlled damping, electro-mechanical AMG speed-sensitive steering and the optional AMG ceramic high-performance composite brake system is the epitome of superlative driving dynamics. In terms of appearance, the CLS 63 AMG cuts an impressive figure with its athletic lines and its distinctive exterior and interior design.
Efficiency is also increased by the stand-fit electro-mechanical Direct-Steer system. This represents a radical development in the relationship between the driver, car and road surface. For the first time, it gives engineers the freedom to choose and programme many of the parameters that influence steering feedback. They were thus able to define a Mercedes-Benz feeling behind the wheel. In addition to fuel economy, the result is a considerable improvement in handling and agility. The electromechanical Direct-Steer system has also made Active Park Assist possible. The CLS Shooting Brake is not only able to detect parking spaces, but can also park automatically.
Still without parallel anywhere in the world: dynamic LED High Performance headlamps
The CLS Coupé was the first passenger car in the world to offer optional dynamic LED High Performance headlamps, which combine the exciting colour elements of LED technology – similar to those of daytime driving lights – with the performance, functionality and energy efficiency of today's bi-xenon generation. Some 95 percent of all customers opt for these lights in the CLS Coupé. The CLS Shooting Brake is also optionally available with the new light system. It offers the proven Intelligent Light System in combination with LED technology. The headlamps, with their 71 LED lamps in total, look exciting; and they serve to underline the unmistakable appearance of the CLS. The light specialists at Mercedes-Benz have additionally managed to combine the LED technology with Adaptive Highbeam Assist, resulting in a totally new quality of illumination at night.
In contrast to other vehicles equipped with LED headlamps, no compromises are now necessary with respect to the functionality and performance of the lighting technology. There are further arguments for LED-based lighting technology: the average operating life of an LED is around 10,000 hours, around five times longer than that of a xenon light; moreover, LED headlamps most closely approximate to the colour of daylight. This means that LED light is in keeping with the normal human perception patterns and that the driver experiences significantly more brightness on the road at night. Studies have shown that the closer the colour of artificial light comes to daylight, the less the strain on the eyes. With a colour temperature of 5500 kelvin, LED light is closer to daylight (6500 K) than xenon light (4200 K).
More than a dozen driver assistance systems are able to help prevent traffic accidents and reduce the severity of an accident. Active Blind Spot Assist and Active Lane Keeping Assist are available as part of the Driving Assistance package Plus, in combination with DISTRONIC PLUS, BAS PLUS and the PRE-SAFE® Brake. Both assistance systems are not only able to detect an unintentional lane change or vehicles in the blind spot, but can also correct the direction of travel by gentle brake intervention if the driver ignores the visual or audible danger warnings.
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