The new Mercedes-Benz CLS Shooting Brake makes its mark with a creative design concept that underscores its leading role in the design field: while unmistakably coupÃ© in its proportions, the new CLS opens up a wealth of new possibilities with five doors and a roof extending back all the way to the rear end. As such, the new Shooting Brake represents an innovative development of the four-door coupÃ© concept, which was successfully introduced with the first CLS in 2004 and has since provided the template for numerous copycat designs. The result is automotive 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 coupÃ©, the Mercedes-Benz 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 CoupÃ©, 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 CoupÃ© 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 CoupÃ© 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 Mercedes-Benz 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 five-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 Mercedes 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 mÂ² and a Cd value of 0.29, the drag area is 0.67 mÂ².
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 CLS63 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 CLS63 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 Mercedes-Benz 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 CoupÃ© 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 CoupÃ©. 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-SAFEÂ® 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.
It's all in a name: the origins of the name "Shooting Brake"
Brake, or the identically sounding Break, was the name once given to carriages which were commonly fitted out with light, variable bodies to transport hunting equipment, for example. For larger hunting parties, seats were fitted so as to offer greater comfort to those participating in the hunt. Such vehicles which were taken out on shoots were referred to as shooting brakes or shooting breaks. Any such vehicle which was used when going out shooting was called a Shooting Brake or Shooting Break. Motorised Shooting Brakes were particularly popular in England in the 1960s and 1970s - exclusive two-door sports cars, which combined the luxury and style of a coupÃ© with a larger load compartment and large tailgate.
The design: Exclusive new interpretation of the emotional coupÃ©
The CLS Shooting Brake's proportions are surprising yet unequivocally coupÃ© and create a basic stance which makes it look ready for the off: the long bonnet, narrow-look windows with frameless side windows, and dynamic roof sloping back towards the rear. 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.
The proportions of the CLS Shooting Brake (length x width x height: 4956 x 1881 x 1416 mm) are unequivocally coupÃ© - but in a new and unique guise featuring a long roof line and a seemingly endless roof contour line above the windows. The long sweep of the rear wings further enhances the dynamic appearance.
The sleek rear end places the emphasis on width, with the air flow break-away edge integrated in the roof spoiler extending far down. The tautly drawn-in D-pillars in conjunction with the shoulder muscle over the rear wheel arch present an athletic impression, particularly when the vehicle is viewed from the rear. The light-catching contour of the rear muscle runs over the wide rear lamp up to the luggage compartment joint, thus establishing a link between the sides and rear.
Underneath the star, a long chrome handle strip emphasizes the width of the rear end. The all-round chrome trim strip in the bumper lends the rear end a wide look and provides a counterweight to the handle strip.
The Shooting Brake comes as standard with LED High Performance tail lights which extend far into the sidewall. With their exclusive detailing, they dominate the rear-end design. The rear fog lamp is positioned in the middle under the bumper. This enables the rear lights and indicators to be arranged circularly around the reversing lights. With the white glass area of the reversing lights in the middle, the red tail light conforms to the typical layout of current Mercedes-Benz passenger cars. The brake light maintains the layout of the rear light, boosting the LED output. Intermediate layers with graphic trim lines underscore the contours when the lights are off. In keeping with the external form, both the reflectors and the reversing lights are integrated on the intermediate layer.
In the basic variant, the Mercedes-Benz CLS Shooting Brake features concealed tailpipes. An emphatically sporty bumper with a diffuser-look insert and twin stainless steel exhaust tailpipes is optionally available (standard for the models with V8).
Similarly to the CLS CoupÃ© the CLS Shooting Brake is also defined to a pronounced extent by its side view. A striking feature is the long, chrome-highlighted roof contour line, which merges into a downward-tapering D-pillar. The expressive features of the Shooting Brake's profile include:
High shoulderline, low side windows
Extending well forward, the upright radiator grille highlights the long bonnet. The grille is dominated by the large central star, which underlines the car's kinship with the other coupÃ©s of the brand and strengthens the brand identity. The large, dark, wide air intakes with black grilles also indicate athleticism.
Another distinguishing feature comes in the form of the LED High Performance headlamps, which offer all of the regular dynamic light functions using LED technology. Inside, this headlamp is divided into three arrow-shaped layers from top to bottom: the upper layer contains an LED indicator, beneath which is a striking LED side light offering LED low beam functions. The side light can also be seen when the dipped beam function is switched on, thereby creating a separate night-time design as a distinctive look. The lowest level of the headlamp houses the main beam and nightview functions.
Interior: elegance and innovative details
The interior of the CLS Shooting Brake is defined by timeless design combining elegance with innovative details and hand-crafted perfection. An eye-catching feature is the wrap-around effect of the cockpit: a high line sweeps from the driver's door over the instrument panel support and across to the front passenger door. The central display is integrated harmoniously into the upper part of the instrument panel. At the same time, the downward sweeping side line on the doors continues the dynamic dropping line of the exterior.
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. Highlights here also include matt galvanised air vents, for example, which form the ideal framework for a high-gloss-trimmed analogue clock.
Handcrafted perfection is reflected in details such as the stitched seat covers, the shoulderline extending into the luggage compartment or the so-called sewn covering for the dashboard. For the latter, the individual parts of the leather cover are sewn together by hand in a process which takes several hours, after which they are fitted and upholstered with foam. Prior to this process, the leather is heated up to preshrink it, so that it will retain its shape even after extreme exposure to direct sunlight.
The PASSION leather, a particularly fine, 1.6 millimetre thick semi-aniline leather, has a class feel and appearance. Protected only by gentle pigmentation, the natural pore structure is retained, lending the leather a particularly warm and soft feel.
The copious array of fine trim features also lends a touch of refined sportiness to the interior of the CLS. The trim elements are located on the centre console's instrument panel support and on parts of the door panelling.
The interior: A top-class setting
While the Shooting Brake's practical merits were not a prime consideration in its development, the new CLS model nevertheless has a number of utility benefits to offer in its stylish interior.
With a load capacity of 590 to 1550 litres, the Shooting Brake's luggage compartment offers plenty of space, despite the flat, sporty lines of the roof. The rear door opens automatically as standard to provide convenient access. A load compartment cover protects luggage from prying eyes. There is an additional spacious stowage compartment under the luggage compartment floor.
A particularly eye-catching feature inside the CLS is the three-spoke multifunction steering wheel in nappa leather with perforated inserts in the grip area, a silver-coloured chrome insert and twelve multifunction keys. The Mercedes-Benz CLS Shooting Brake features the new lever positioning and the new lever design on the steering column: indicator and windscreen wiper for front and rear at top left, electric steering wheel adjustment/steering wheel heating centre left, cruise control with variable SPEEDTRONIC at bottom left and transmission selector lever at top right.
The highlight of the CLS instrumentation is the all-colour, three-dimensional TFT display in the middle of the speedometer, measuring 109 millimetres in diameter. The mileage and trip odometer appear in the upper area of the display, the bottom area displays - amongst other things - information from the driver assistance systems. A three-dimensional image of the vehicle appears when getting into or out of the CLS.
Three tube-shaped round dials in the cockpit inform the driver of the coolant temperature and fuel tank level (on the left), speed (in the middle) and engine rpm (on the right). A large colour display in 16:9 format, integrated into the upper part of the instrument panel support, gives information on all the infotainment functions. The TFT display (Active Matrix Thin Film Transistor), which is backlit with LED lights, uses so-called IPS technology. IPS stands for "in-plane switching", which describes the shift direction of the liquid crystal. The benefit of this technology is that it displays high-contrast images. Depending on the specification, two versions of this display are available: a 14.7 cm version for the Audio 20 CD device and a high-resolution 17.7 cm variant for COMAND Online.
The centre console fits with the shape and colour of the instrument panel. The control unit for the infotainment system and the car telephone can be found underneath the analogue clock and air vents. The push-button switches for seat heating, seat ventilation, lowerable head restraints in the rear, PARKTRONIC and ECO start/stop function are arranged below this; they have been galvanised and are backlit. The large round control knobs for the automatic climate control, which is supplied as standard, are located in the lower part of the centre console. The controller in front of the armrest serves as the central control element for the infotainment systems and provides a quick and easy starting point for navigating the menus controlling the systems.
THERMOTRONIC climate control with three individual climate modes
The CLS 500, CLS 500 4MATIC and CLS63 AMG are fitted as standard with an automatic climate control system which not only allows individual temperatures to be set for three zones - for the driver, the front passenger and the rear passengers - but additionally offers special climate modes. This means that if the optionally available THERMOTRONIC system is fitted, the car occupants can select "Diffuse", "Medium" or "Focus" settings on the THERMOTRONIC at the push of a button and thus adjust the air quantity and air distribution to their liking without having to leave the convenient automatic mode.
In "Diffuse" mode, for example, the THERMOTRONIC system operates with a lower air speed and distributes the air over a wide area so that there are fewer draughts. This is the purpose of the automatically controlled, upwards inclined diffuse nozzle in the centre of the dashboard. In "Focus" mode, meanwhile, the air outlets in the centre area of the dashboard are used for the most part, meeting the need for a direct flow of a larger quantity of air. The standard system fitted in the CLS 250 CDI, CLS 350 CDI/CLS 350 CDI 4MATIC and CLS 350 is the two-zone THERMATIC automatic climate control. They are optionally available with THERMOTRONIC.
Seating comfort allowing adjustments to suit individual ergonomic needs
The seats in the CLS Shooting Brake combine seated comfort with lateral support. There is a choice of four different front seats:
The standard seat itself meets the highest ergonomic standards. Thanks to the filled seat piping, the feeling of comfort when getting into the vehicle is unique. A special upholstery technology is deployed here which inserts additional foam filling immediately beneath the cloth or leather upholstery. The front seats can be adjusted electrically as standard. The Memory package, which enables three individual settings to be saved, is available as an optional extra.
The rear seating comprises three seats with ergonomically shaped individual outer seats and backrests with a 1/3 2/3 split. The backrests can be released from the luggage compartment by means of handles on the D-pillar. When the backrests are released they fold down automatically and the head restraints are lowered by their own weight onto the backrests, enabling them to be folded down together with the backrests. The rear-seat backrests are fitted with three head restraints designed for optimum visibility, whereby the two outer head restraints are height- and tilt-adjustable.
Close up: the wooden luggage compartment floor - Inspired by exclusive yachts
An extravagant feature inspired by the interiors of exclusive yachts is the designo wooden luggage compartment floor, which serves to underscore the hand-crafted nature of the interior. Cherry tree wood is a classic among fine wood varieties and contrasts perfectly with the inlaid smoked oak and aluminium rails. This affords the luggage compartment a touch of elegance normally found on yachts, combined with the exciting worlds of technology and precision craftsmanship. 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. Four lavishly produced aluminium rails feature a brushed finish and rubber inserts, and not only help to protect the wooden floor but also feature anti-slip properties. The designo wood luggage compartment floor is available in combination with the EASY-PACK load-securing kit.
Close up: the positioning - No compromises
The Shooting Brake highlights Mercedes-Benz's leading role when it comes to new vehicle concepts. As such, it represents the latest in a long line of vehicle concepts which have had a far-reaching impact on the market, such as the SLK, which defined a new type of vehicle in 1996 as the first roadster with a lowerable steel roof, the M-Class which was introduced as the first premium SUV in 1998 or the four-door CLS CoupÃ© from 2004.
The CLS Shooting Brake is neither a coupÃ© nor an estate. Rather, it is a totally new form of sports car, with five seats and a large tailgate. The CLS Shooting Brake is a special proposition for a very special type of customer: architects, collectors, travellers - people who do not wish to compromise. It is a special product for people who stand apart from the mainstream and who do not wish to forego sportiness or luggage space as they travel in style. Its special status is also revealed by the fact that it is categorised as a coupÃ© by the Federal Motor Transport Authority.
The model range: Exclusive and individual
Stylish sportiness is a defining feature of the Mercedes-Benz CLS Shooting Brake. This is underscored by five engines with four, six and eight cylinders, optional 4MATIC all-wheel drive and numerous individualisation options.
Right from the market launch in October 2012, the CLS Shooting Brake will be available with five petrol and diesel engines covering a power output range from 150 kW (204 hp) to 410 kW (557 hp) plus 4MATIC all-wheel drive (see section "The drive"). Standard features include the EASY-PACK tailgate with electric opening and closing and the EASY-PACK quickfold luggage compartment system with split-folding rear seat backrests. This system offers convenient operation from the luggage compartment.
The luggage compartment is fitted out with high-quality carpeting. In conjunction with PASSION Exclusive leather appointments the hand-sewn material is also incorporated in the sideliners. Designer aluminium rails are optionally available for an exclusive look. An extravagant touch is the optional designo wood luggage compartment floor (see "Close up"), which highlights the interior's hand-crafted character.
Optional extras further include a trailer coupling with folding mechanism, which enables the ball coupling to be folded compactly away behind the rear bumper. In conjunction with COMAND Online and reversing camera, a special camera resolution and an additional guide line are available to help the driver hook up a trailer without any assistance. The EASY Pack Fixkit luggage compartment management system comprises load securing rails, fixing elements, a telescopic rod, rear sill protector and retractable belt.
A total of 17 different exterior colours can be combined with the five interior colours - black, alpaca grey, almond beige, black/aubergine and black/porcelain. The choice of different leather qualities comprises leather (nappa leather), PASSION leather (a fine, semi-aniline leather), Exclusive PASSION leather (here the instrument panel and the entire beltline are also covered in leather) and single-tone designo leather (seat and backrest surfaces and head restraints in designo aniline leather). Five different finishes are available for the trim elements - high-gloss brown burr walnut, satin-finish light brown poplar, high-gloss black ash, black piano lacquer and carbon fibre/piano lacquer.
Numerous optional items enable individualisation of the CLS, including active multicontour seat, heated multifunction steering wheel, dynamic LED High Performance headlamps, KEYLESS-GO and numerous assistance systems including Active Blind Spot Assist and Active Lane Keeping Assist with braking intervention (see "Active safety" section).
Mercedes-Benz has additionally put together three packages combining optional features.
The Exterior Sports package includes a twin-pipe exhaust system with square tailpipe trims in polished stainless steel integrated in the bumper and a rear bumper with black trim. The DIRECT CONTROL suspension features a sportier set-up. There is also a choice of different light-alloy wheels in ten-, five and five-twin-spoke design and in 17", 18" and 19" variants.
The CLS Shooting Brake "Edition 1" will be available for a limited period of one year following market launch. The distinguishing features of this special model include a designo magno allanite grey matt paint finish, designo platinum white pearl leather appointments, floor mats with "Edition 1" lettering, black fabric designo roof liner and brushed stainless steel pedals. Depending on the model concerned, up to five alternative paint finishes are also available. In addition to high-gloss black ash trim, other interior trim options available for the "Edition 1" include black piano lacquer or AMG carbon fibre/black piano lacquer.
Close up: How the name "Shooting Brake" arose - Exclusive sports car with high recreational utility value
Brake, or the identically sounding Break, was the name once given to carriages which were commonly fitted out with light, variable bodies to transport hunting equipment, for example. For larger hunting parties, seats were fitted so as to offer greater comfort to those participating in the hunt. Such vehicles which were taken out on shoots were referred to as shooting brakes or shooting breaks. Motorised Shooting Brakes were particularly popular in England in the 1960s and 1970s - exclusive crossover vehicles combining the luxury and style of a coupÃ© with the luggage capacity of an estate.
A typical example of this exclusive design is the Aston Martin DB 5 Shooting Brake, the prototype of which was produced by the Aston Martin factory for its then owner, David Brown. A further dozen of this vehicle were subsequently produced by way of conversion measures by bodybuilder Harold Radford. The E-Type Jaguar converted into a Shooting Brake achieved cult status in the film Harold & Maude. The one-off car was destroyed in the scene in the film in which it is driven over a cliff. The Lynx company converted precisely 67 Jaguar XJSs into Shooting Brakes between 1982 and 2002, marketing them under the name Lynx Eventer. One-off cars were also built on the basis of Ferrari sports cars, such as the Ferrari 365 GTB/4 Daytona Shooting Break produced by Panther Westwinds in 1974.
The body: Robust, light and streamlined
Intelligent lightweight construction plays a decisive role in reconciling the classic conflict between the objectives of low weight and high strength in the CLS Shooting Brake. The model features frameless, all-aluminium doors, for example. The aerodynamic design also makes a crucial contribution to efficiency, with a Cd value of 0.29.
The second-generation CLS CoupÃ© was the first vehicle from Mercedes-Benz with frameless all-aluminium doors. The Shooting Brake also features these doors produced from deep-drawn aluminium panels with extruded sections, which are around 32 kilograms lighter than conventional steel doors.
Apart from the doors, the bonnet, front wings, rear door and various support profiles are all made of aluminium. The front end is a hybrid construction made of aluminium panels and plastic strengthened with fibre-glass. The one-piece aluminium crash boxes in the front area are fitted in the side members and screwed into the side with them.
The large front bumper with the integrated grille sporting the central star is made of polypropylene. A front-end hybrid construction made of aluminium panelling and glass fibre-reinforced plastic provides a supporting structure for the bumpers. A perfect fit for the front and a uniform gap pattern are ensured on every CLS by means of specially adjustable assembly devices.
About 72 percent of all panels used for the bodyshell are made from rigid and ultra-rigid steel alloys. The ultra-rigid high-tech alloys, which have three to four times more tensile strength than conventional rigid types of steel, account for around eight percent of total weight. They are deployed in areas in which materials could be subjected to extreme stress in the event of an accident -, in the B-pillars and side frame of the roof in the event of a side-on collision, for example - and in the rear to create a stable crossmember.
Front-end structure: crumple zone on four levels
The front crumple zone has four independently acting impact levels, which enable the forces to be distributed over a wide area while bypassing the passenger cell.
Sectional panels above the wheel arches form the upper side-member level. From here, the impact forces are channelled into the A-pillars and, subsequently, into the roof frame. An aluminium crossmember connects the forward-extended side members and ensures that the forces are transferred to the side facing away from the impact. The crossmember and the forward-extended side members form the central impact zone.
The subframe to which the engine, steering and front axle are attached also serves as an impact level in the event of a frontal collision. It is made of high-strength steel and, depending on the engine variant, can be connected to the newly developed floor side members by means of special supporting tubes. As a consequence, the subframe can deform in a predetermined manner and absorb energy in the event of a crash on the one hand and channel high impact forces straight into the vehicle floor on the other.
The side skirts have been extended forwards to support the wheel and prevent it from entering the footwell in the event of an offset frontal collision. In order to provide specifically targeted front-wheel support and location, Mercedes-Benz has also developed special struts and additional energy-absorbing elements for the wheel arches. The struts are arranged diagonally and prevent the passenger cell from sinking in the event of an impact.
The firewall is a four-part construction. This design enables Mercedes engineers to vary the material thickness according to the level of vulnerability in an accident. As the load acting on the firewall during a frontal crash is greatest in the lower section, the sheet steel used here is almost 50 percent thicker.
As well as being a major reason behind the high level of impact resistance, this intelligently designed bodyshell reduces noise and vibration. The Sindelfingen engineers paid particular attention to the connecting points between the chassis and the bodyshell, which are required to withstand very high forces. These were specifically reinforced to ensure that road-induced vibrations are not transferred to the body at the expense of driving enjoyment.
Passenger cell: custom-designed floor panels and robust load-bearing sections
The passenger cell of the CLS has been shown to be a highly robust structure which keeps the occupant space intact, even at high impact speeds, regardless of whether the collision is head-on, from the rear or from the side, or whether the vehicle rolls over. The use of high-strength steel and thicker panels plays as important a role here as the installation of additional load-bearing members.
The main floor assembly thus consists of different sheet-metal plates that either undergo flexible rolling or are welded together by laser beam and subsequently shaped. 'Flexible' means that the high-tensile steel can be processed in such a way that areas with different steel thicknesses can be produced within a single component. The middle blank forms the tunnel - the actual backbone of the passenger cell. Here the thickness of the custom-designed panels varies between 0.7 and 1.1 millimetres, and between 1.55 and 2.0 millimetres for the tunnel reinforcements, depending on the stresses and loads to which they are subjected.
The continuous floor side members, the insides of which are further reinforced with extra sections, are very important both for occupant protection and the rigidity of the bodyshell. Their front faces connect to the side members, thereby lengthening the load-bearing paths along which forces can be distributed in the event of an impact. At the rear, the floor side members extend as far as the crossmember beneath the rear seat unit to stabilise the entire floor structure.
The Mercedes engineers have also incorporated sturdy aluminium transverse sections - known as transmission tunnel braces - into the floor assembly. One is located beneath the transmission, and is designed to direct forces to the side of the vehicle facing away from the impact in the event of a side-on collision. The second forms a connection between the two side members. It likewise braces the floor assembly and is able to channel impact forces into the floor structure at an early stage following a side-on collision.
Rear-end structure: side members with specifically graduated material thicknesses
Multi-piece side members and a robust, flexible crossmember made from ultra-high-strength steel form the key components of the rear-end structure. The rear side members are continuous, closed box sections with carefully graduated material thicknesses. These are able to absorb high forces, thereby making a decisive contribution to occupant safety in the event of a rear impact. The bolt-on flexible crossmember is manufactured using a flexible rolling process which likewise allows the material thickness to be varied as required. Accordingly, the material thickness on the outside of the crossmember - where impact loads are highest - is greater than on the inside.
Aerodynamics: fine tuning of the body
The aerodynamics also make a significant contribution to the efficiency of the Mercedes-Benz CLS Shooting Brake. With a frontal area of 2.30 mÂ² and a Cd value of 0.29, the drag area is 0.67 mÂ².
These values result from fine-tuning work on the body and technical measures such as a cooling air louver. Other focuses of aerodynamic development have been on reducing wind noise and keeping all surfaces which contribute to visibility free of soiling.
Specifically, the key focuses of aerodynamic development work were as follows:
Exterior mirrors optimised in terms of aerodynamics, aeroacoustics and dirt deflection, positioned expediently on the beltline
Active safety: Numerous assistants on board
Mercedes-Benz pursues a holistic approach in its safety research efforts, which aim to avoid accidents and to reduce the severity of unavoidable accidents under the banner "Real Life Safety". The CLS Shooting Brake features a whole range of systems to further reduce the strain on the driver. These include Active Blind Spot Assist and Active Lane Keeping Assist, plus the LED High Performance headlamps with various light functions.
The CLS CoupÃ© was the first automobile in the world with dynamic LED High Performance headlamps. The innovation was very well received, with 95 percent of all CLS CoupÃ© customers choosing this option. The innovative light system is also available for the Mercedes-Benz CLS Shooting Brake, combining the fascinating near-daylight colour impression of LED technology with the performance, functionality and energy efficiency of the present-day bi-xenon generation. The light system offers the proven Intelligent Light System on the basis of LED technology. The five light functions - country mode, motorway mode, enhanced fog light function, active light function and cornering lights - are geared to typical driving or weather conditions.
In contrast to other vehicles with LED headlamps, this rules out any need for compromises with regard to the functionality and performance of the lights. Other merits of the light technology based on light-emitting diodes are an average LED service life of 10,000 hours - around five times that of a xenon bulb - and the fact that the light from LED headlamps comes closest to daylight. This means that LED light is in keeping with the normal human perception patterns. 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). The driver's experience of this effect is that colour impressions at night-time seem close to daylight colours, resulting in a subjective impression of greater brightness on the road.
The light specialists at Mercedes-Benz have also combined LED technology with the innovative Adaptive Highbeam Assist system, leading to a new level of safety at night. The basic principle behind Adaptive Highbeam Assist is as follows: if the system detects an oncoming vehicle or a vehicle in front with its lights on, the system dims the headlamps and continually adjusts the headlamp range in such a way that the cone-shaped beam of headlamp light does not reach these vehicles. There is, in addition, the Night View Assist Plus system as an option.
Active Blind Spot Assist and Active Lane Keeping Assist
In the CLS, proven technologies such as ABS, ESPÂ® and Brake Assist work alongside a dozen assistance systems to help prevent accidents and reduce the severity of unavoidable accidents. These range from drowsiness detection to automatic full brake application on recognising that there is an acute risk of a collision, and from Adaptive Highbeam Assist to traffic sign recognition.
Active Blind Spot Assistwarns the driver when changing lanes if a risk of collision is detected due to another vehicle in the neighbouring lane being in the so-called blind spot of the exterior mirror. If the driver ignores the warning and nevertheless initiates the lane-changing manoeuvre, the Active Blind Spot Assist intervenes. By applying gentle braking force to the wheels on the opposite side of the vehicle, a yaw movement is created which counteracts the collision course.
Active Lane Keeping Assist is also linked up to ESPÂ®. This system kicks into action if the Mercedes vehicle inadvertently drifts over a solid line to the right or left of a lane. In such a case, a warning sign in the instrument cluster and vibration of the steering wheel alert the driver. If the driver does not heed the warning in the case of the solid line, Active Lane Keeping Assist can use the ESPÂ® to gently brake the opposite wheels and thereby prevent the vehicle from crossing the solid line.
ADAPTIVE BRAKE (standard):this Mercedes-Benz brake system offers assistance functions for greater safety and comfort, such as a HOLD function when waiting at traffic lights, and Hill-Start Assist which can help prevent rolling backwards when moving off on a slope.
Passive safety: Prevention and early detection
With nine airbags as standard, belt tensioners and belt force limiters also in the rear and crash-responsive NECK-PRO head restraints for driver and front passenger, the CLS Shooting Brake offers a comprehensive scope of safety equipment. The PRE-SAFEÂ® preventive occupant protection system, which is able to reduce the forces acting on occupants in an accident by up to 40 percent, also comes as standard.
The airbags, which can deploy in a matter of milliseconds in the event of an accident, include two adaptive airbags for the driver and front passenger, a kneebag for the driver, two sidebags in the front-seat backrests and two large windowbags which extend from the A-pillar to the C-pillar during side impact. In addition, pelvisbags are included as standard for front-seat passengers, which in the event of a side collision can help to reduce loads in the pelvic area. Sidebags are also available for the rear as an optional extra, resulting in a total of eleven airbags.
Three-point automatic safety belts with belt tensioners and belt force limiters are fitted as standard for the driver, front passenger and rear passengers. Mercedes-Benz is offering adaptive belt force limiters for the outer rear seats as an option (as part of the Rear Seat Safety package together with the two sidebags in the rear). These adapt to the size of passengers automatically. The system detects whether the rear seat passenger is large or small as soon as the seat belt is put on, based on the length of the pulled-out seat belt, and can adapt its protective effect accordingly. The maximum belt force is activated immediately if the rear passenger is large in size, while in the case of smaller occupants the force exerted by the belt is initially set to a lower level.
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.
For toddlers on board, the Shooting Brake is equipped as standard with ISOFIX, the international standard securing system for child seats. The standard-fit mechanism is installed on the outer rear seats and comprises two retaining brackets in each rear seat position, in the gap between the back rest and seat cushion, as well as an additional third anchor point, the so-called top tether. The ACSR automatic child seat recognition system is optionally available for the front passenger seat.
NECK-PRO is the name Mercedes-Benz has given to a crash-responsive head restraint whose development, like that of PRE-SAFEÂ® and other Mercedes-Benz innovations, is based on analyses of real accidents. NECK-PRO is an effective means of reducing the risk of whiplash injuries during a rear-end collision. If the sensor system detects a rear-end collision with a defined impact severity, it releases pre-tensioned springs inside the head restraints, causing the head restraints to move forward by about 40 millimetres and upwards by 30 millimetres within a matter of milliseconds. This means that the heads of the driver and front passenger can be supported at an early stage.
The Mercedes-Benz CLS Shooting Brake is also equipped as standard with the PRE-SAFEÂ® anticipatory occupant protection system. This Mercedes-Benz innovation uses the time between detection of a potential accident situation and a possible collision to initiate preventive protective measures, thus reducing the loads exerted on the occupants in the event of a crash by up to 40 percent. The PRE-SAFEÂ® system consists of reversible belt tensioners for the front seats, a closing function for power windows, and automatic positioning for the front passenger seat. Depending on the equipment variant, the system may also include a closing function for the electric sliding sunroof and adjustment of the seat contours on the driver's and the front passenger's side.
When installed in combination with DISTRONIC PLUS, PRE-SAFEÂ® also uses the information provided by the short-range radar sensors in the front bumper to tension the front seat belts at the very last moment before an unavoidable collision, thus reducing the forces exerted on the driver and front passenger during the crash.
The drive: Powerful and efficient
Common hallmarks of all five of the engines deployed in the Mercedes-Benz CLS Shooting Brake are superlative efficiency and the ultimate in driving enjoyment. The two diesel drives and three petrol engines also all feature a 7-speed automatic transmission and the ECO start/stop function. Two models with all-wheel drive are additionally available: CLS 350 CDI 4MATIC BlueEFFICIENCY and CLS 500 4MATIC BlueEFFICIENCY. Absolute peak performance is embodied by the CLS63 AMG Shooting Brake.
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: the CLS 350 CDI BlueEFFICIENCY rated at 195 kW (265 hp) and the CLS 350 BlueEFFICIENCY with a power output of 225 kW (306 hp). The V8 biturbo engine of the CLS 500 BlueEFFICIENCY generates an output of 300 kW (408 hp). The top model is the CLS63 AMG, delivering up to 410 kW (557 hp).
An all-rounder: the four-cylinder diesel engine of the CLS 250 CDI
From the S-Class through the M-Class to the C-Class, the top version of the four-cylinder direct-injection engine measures up on all fronts while setting efficiency benchmarks in the luxury segment. In the second generation of the four-door CoupÃ© it is being offered in this segment for the first time, as the CLS 250 CDI BlueEFFICIENCY. With an output of 150 kW (204 hp), a top speed of 235 km/h and a full 500 Nm of torque, it offers unbridled driving enjoyment while surprising the driver at the filling station with fuel consumption on a par with that of a compact car: on average, the CLS Shooting Brake gets by on 5.3 litres per 100 km, corresponding to CO2 emissions of 139 g/km.
The ultimate diesel: the V6 engine of the CLS 350 CDI
195 kW (265 hp) and 620 Newton metres of torque: The large diesel engine in the CLS 350 CDI BlueEFFICIENCY is a highly refined power house. Its performance figures are suitably impressive: the Shooting Brake accelerates to 100 km/h from a standing start in 6.6 seconds, and the top speed is 250 km/h. Ample tractive power and sporty performance are accompanied by exemplary fuel efficiency: in combined mode, the V6 runs on 6.0 litres per 100 km, while CO2 emissions stand at 159 g/km.
The Mercedes engineers carried out a thorough overhaul of the engine for the launch of the CLS CoupÃ©. It now has improved engine management in the form of new-generation control units and new software, new sensors and actuators, and more efficient aftertreatment in the maintenance-free diesel particulate filter system with reduced back-pressure. In addition to more effective cooling of recirculated exhaust gas using a variable bypass valve, the in-engine measures include a reduction of the compression ratio from 17.7:1 to 15.5:1, an optimised VNT turbocharger with low-friction shaft bearings for greater agility and high output, new injection nozzles and revised ducting in the intake tract. A whole package of measures has resulted in substantial fuel savings: apart from the ECO start/stop function, these also include generally lower in-engine friction (through precision honing of the cylinder walls, amongst other measures), more efficient thermal management, an improved compound oil pump and modified cylinder head cooling.
The V6 diesel engine is also deployed in the CLS 350 CDI BlueEFFICIENCY 4MATIC.
Petrol engine with BlueDIRECT: the most efficient form of direct injection
The second generation of direct petrol injection made its debut in the CLS 350 CGI introduced in 2006. The six cylinder unit was the world's first petrol engine with piezo-electric direct injection and spray-guided combustion, and as such achieved a fuel saving of around ten percent compared with its predecessor with port injection.
The current CLS features third-generation direct petrol injection. The innovation which goes by the name of BlueDIRECT has established the V-engines from Mercedes-Benz as worldwide benchmarks, both by virtue of their elegantly powerful thrust and in terms of fuel consumption. Key data for the CLS 350 BlueEFFICIENCY: 225 kW (306 hp), 370 Nm, 7.3 litres of fuel per 100 km, 169 g CO2 per km. The CLS 350 BlueEFFICIENCY accelerates from zero to 100 km/h in 6.7 seconds and attains a top speed of 250 km/h.
Direct petrol injection with spray-guided combustion, which Mercedes-Benz was the first car manufacturer to introduce in series production, disposes of a system pressure of up to 200 bar as the third-generation BlueDIRECT injection system, with variable optimisation of the pressure level according to the engine's characteristic map. Piezo-electric injectors allow up to five injections per power stroke for the best possible mixture formation, while multi-spark ignition helps to ensure reliable combustion of the mixture. Key features of the V6 petrol engine with BlueDIRECT technology in the CLS 350 BlueEFFICIENCY are:
60Â° cylinder angle, no balancer shaft
V8 biturbo: the ultimate in refined sportiness
While V6 is a naturally aspirated engine, the technically closely related V8 engine in the CLS 500 BlueEFFICIENCY features biturbo-charging. The V8 also disposes of direct injection, but it has been designed for countries in which sulphur-free fuel is not available and is thus operated in homogeneous mode throughout the entire performance map. With a cubic capacity of 4633 cc, the eight-cylinder engine delivers 300 kW (408 hp) of power and maximum torque of 600 Nm. This enables the CLS Shooting Brake to accelerate from 0 to 100 km/h in 5.3 seconds while maintaining exemplary fuel efficiency for its power category at 9.2 l/100 km, corresponding to CO2 emissions of (214 g/km). The V8 biturbo is also available as a CLS 500 BlueEFFICIENCY 4MATIC variant.
CLS63 AMG: delivering up to 410 kW (557 hp)
The AMG 5.5-litre V8 biturbo engine impresses with a combination of direct petrol injection with spray-guided combustion, piezo injectors, biturbocharging, air/water intercooling, generator management and ECO start/stop function.
The eight-cylinder engine is the embodiment of pure dynamism and high efficiency: offering power output and torque levels of 386 kW (525 hp) and 700 Nm respectively, the effortless superiority of the CLS63 AMG Shooting Brake can be enjoyed by the driver over every single kilometre. In conjunction with the "Edition 1", these figures are pushed to 410 kW (557 hp) and 800 Newton metres. Both variants offer driving performance of the highest calibre: accelerating from zero to 100 km/h takes 4.4 and 4.3 seconds respectively, and the top speed is 250 km/h (electronically limited).
7G-TRONIC PLUS automatic transmission also available with the four-cylinder diesel engine
All CLS models apart from the CLS63 AMG come with the 7G-TRONIC PLUS automatic transmission as standard. The current generation of the torque converter provides an improved dynamic response, better durability and reduced noise and vibration levels thanks to a new hydraulic circuit, as well as enhanced dampers and torque converter housing. The extreme wheel-slip reduction of the torque converter housing, combined with larger mechanical damper de-coupling, helps to reduce consumption significantly. In addition, the gearshift program in ECO mode has been changed in favour of lower engine rpm at cruising speeds.
AMG SPEEDSHIFT MCT 7-speed sports transmission - individual and flexible
The CLS63 AMG Shooting Brake is fitted with the AMG SPEEDSHIFT MCT 7-speed sports transmission. Equipped with four individual transmission modes as well as automatic double declutching and RACE START functions, its power delivery is characterised by responsiveness and maximum variability. In "Controlled Efficiency" (C) mode, the ECO start/stop function is always enabled and switches the eight-cylinder engine off when the vehicle is at a standstill. In "S" (Sport), "S+" (Sport plus) and "M" (Manual) transmission modes, the engine and transmission are significantly more responsive: short, precisely defined interruptions of ignition and injection result in faster gear changes under full load.
4MATIC all-wheel drive: superior traction, whatever the conditions
The all-wheel drive is designed as a permanently operative drive mechanism. This offers crucial advantages over other systems, which activate all-wheel mode only after detecting a lack of traction. In contrast, the 4MATIC transfers drive torque via the wheels to the road without any interruption. In addition, the Shooting Brake offers quiet running and vibrational comfort in line with the high standards expected of vehicles from Mercedes-Benz.
When pulling away in slippery conditions, the 4MATIC models are designed to develop maximum traction. To this end, certain road conditions are automatically detected and the interventions of the 4ETS electronic traction control system adjusted so as to achieve the greatest possible acceleration while minimising wheel slip, ensuring optimum directional stability in the process. This strategy also allows the vehicle to pull away under the most adverse conditions, such as when one side of the vehicle is on an icy slope (Âµ-split) or both wheels on either the front or rear axle have limited grip (Âµ-jump).
On twisting roads covered with snow and ice, driving stability is primarily controlled by the ASR acceleration skid control system's regulation of engine torque. The ASR control thresholds are adjusted according to the driving situation based on the vehicle's longitudinal and lateral dynamic readings as continuously measured by the ESPÂ® sensor system. If vehicle stability is to be maintained, the longitudinal force when cornering must be controlled by means of engine torque regulation in such a way that there are sufficient reserves of lateral force at all times. In order to comply with this physical correlation, when cornering on road surfaces with a low friction coefficient the control thresholds for engine torque regulation at the wheels on the outside of the bend are reduced considerably so that the tyres can develop sufficient lateral force.
As with the system's set-up on a dry or wet road, handling stability and subsequently active safety are paramount at all times when wintry conditions prevail too in the CLS models with 4MATIC. The mechanical principle of the 4MATIC system, featuring a 45:55 torque split between the front and rear axles and a multi-disc limited-slip centre differential with a basic locking torque of 50 Newton metres, offers all the right ingredients for this.
This basic design enables high levels of traction, as the dynamic shift in axle load toward the rear axle that occurs during acceleration is harnessed to deliver more drive torque to the rear wheels. However, the multi-disc differential lock is also able to shift the drive torque between the front and rear axles, varying the split between 30:70 and 70:30 as the road conditions dictate. Consequently, intervention by the ESPÂ®, 4ETS or ASR electronic control systems can be delayed for as long as possible and the bulk of the drive torque converted into tractive power, even on slippery roads. All control system interventions go virtually unnoticed, yet drivers still know straight away if they are driving near the limit, as a yellow warning symbol will flash in the instrument cluster. This serves as a clear prompt to adapt the driving style to the road conditions.
The chassis and suspension: Excellent dynamics without compromising on comfort
Supreme driving dynamics coupled with superlative ride comfort on long journeys were the terms of reference in developing the chassis for the new Mercedes-Benz CLS Shooting Brake, whose design and functions are geared towards a stylish sportiness.
As on the CLS CoupÃ©, the front suspension takes the form of a 3-link front axle with McPherson struts. The key feature of this modified suspension is two individual links (pulling strut and cross strut) in the lower link plane. The stabiliser is connected to the suspension strut. The forward-sloping pulling strut is designed as a weight-optimised forged aluminium component, while the cross strut fitted in lateral direction is a weight-optimised forged steel component. The tie rod is defined as the third link, forming part of the rack-and-pinion steering system. The arrangement and design of the wheel control parts, and in particular the manner in which the lower A-arm is divided into two individual links, offer more favourable characteristics for the axle kinematics than the fixed A-arm. The kingpin inclination is closer to the wheel centre. This provides for large longitudinal force leverage, thus minimising sensitivity to tyre imbalances and fluctuations in braking force.
The principle of the lightweight multi-link independent rear suspension has been adopted for the CLS Shooting Brake from the E-Class Estate on account of its unsurpassed wheel control qualities. As on the E-Class Estate, the front cross-bar of the axle housing is supported by the vehicle body over a wide area. This reduces the forces transmitted into the passenger compartment, a comfort feature that is particularly noticeable when crossing transverse joints in the road surface. In keeping with the lightweight-design concept at the heart of the new CLS Shooting Brake, wheel location components such as struts, hub carriers and the metal sections of the elastomer bearings are largely made of aluminium. The rear-axle subframe is made of high-strength steel.
The Shooting Brake comes as standard with fully load-bearing air suspension featuring automatic level control at the rear axle. This avoids variations in the compression and rebound strokes and ensures comfortable vibration characteristics even when carrying a full load. In addition, the full ground clearance is maintained at all times.
The spring struts on the front axle consist of cylindrical, lateral force compensating coils springs, dual-pipe shock absorbers and newly-developed three-phase head bearings. The front axle stabiliser is connected to the spring strut, which also assists actively in controlling the front wheels.
The DIRECT CONTROL suspension on the Mercedes-Benz CLS Shooting Brake is equipped as standard with a selective damping system. The shock absorbers adapt to the given driving situation, reducing the damping forces automatically during normal driving with minimal actuation of the shock absorbers and increasing them as necessary up to maximum level during dynamic cornering or evasive manoeuvres. An even sportier suspension set-up is optionally available.
AIRMATIC: air suspension with continuously variable damping system
The optionally available AIRMATIC air suspension (standard on CLS 500 BlueEFFICIENCY/CLS 500 4MATIC BlueEFFICIENCY) is combined with an electronically controlled continuously variable damping system which controls each wheel individually. A total of seven sensors monitor the driving situation and body status and relay information to an electronic control unit which additionally processes information on vehicle speed, steering wheel angle, braking torque and engine torque to determine the ideal shock absorber characteristic. The system adjusts the damping force for each wheel individually according to the given road or driving conditions. The extremely fast damping adjustment enables high driving dynamics without compromising on comfort. In evasive manoeuvres, for example, the damping forces are adapted immediately to the vehicle's driving dynamics. The driver is additionally able to alter the vehicle's characteristic by means of the damping programme switch in a broad range extending from comfortable to sporty handling.
Automatic ride-height control is a feature of the AIRMATIC system. The level of the vehicle does not alter as a result of loading, ensuring that outstanding ride comfort is maintained when the vehicle is loaded. Lowering of the ride height at higher speeds reduces fuel consumption and enhances driving safety. The driver is additionally able to increase ground clearance on rough roads or on difficult upward slopes by pressing the level adjustment button.
Electromechanical Direct-Steer system as on the CLS CoupÃ©
The electromechanical Direct-Steer system, which featured as a world-first in the upper vehicle segment on board the second generation of the CLS CoupÃ©, now graces the Shooting Brake, too. This pioneering innovation offers the engineers broad scope for new tuning options and will be introduced in a large number of Mercedes-Benz models in the coming years. In addition, this steering technology also makes an important contribution to the overall efficiency of the CLS: the steering assist function only requires energy when steering actually takes place, cutting fuel consumption by up to 0.3 litres per 100 km and emissions by 7 g of CO2 per km in comparison to vehicles with hydraulic steering assist.
The steering gear and the supporting servo-motor form a single compact unit and are mounted on an extremely rigid and low-weight integral support frame made of high-strength steel which is positioned in front of the wheel's centre line. The steering gear is designed as a direct-steer system, which means that the steering ratio becomes noticeably more direct over the steering angle. This enhances the vehicle's handling and agility substantially.
In combination with the sensors and the control unit, the electromechanical steering system allows substantial degrees of freedom in configuring the forces which the driver is required to apply at the steering wheel in different driving situations - from parking to fast motorway driving. Active damping enhances the feeling of safety when driving straight ahead at high speed. In addition to more precise steering and a more comfortable feel at the wheel, the electromechanical steering system offers a range of additional advantages. Power assistance remains available when the engine is stationary, for example - whereby a control algorithm ensures that the combustion engine is not prompted to start up in ECO start/stop mode when the driver is merely moving the steering wheel while the vehicle is at a standstill. The new steering system has also enabled implementation of the "Active Park Assist" automatic parking function and relieves the strain on the driver on road surfaces which slope away towards the kerb.
The steering system also assists with braking on a surface with vastly varying grip (split friction surface). Sensors recognise the impending yaw (the vehicle starts to turn towards the side of the lane with more grip). Steering-wheel torque is applied to prompt the driver to undertake countersteering. Series of tests conducted with drivers have shown that deploying Steering Assist on split friction surfaces has improved the directional stability and shortened the braking time.
The CLS Shooting Brake comes with a mechanically length and height-adjustable steering column as standard. A variant featuring electric length and height adjustment with easy entry function is optionally available as part of the Memory package. The mechanical and electric versions of the steering column are height-adjustable by +/- 25 mm from the steering wheel's home position and length-adjustable by 15 mm towards the front and 35 mm towards the rear.
Brakes: with Hill-Start Assist and brake drying function
With ADAPTIVE BRAKE, the new CLS offers an innovative braking system incorporating additional assistance functions for even greater comfort and safety. One example of this is the practical HOLD function: after braking to a standstill, briefly pressing the brake pedal a little further is all that is required to activate this function. The car is then held by the brakes and the ECO start/stop function remains active - even if the driver's foot comes off the brake pedal. The HOLD function is deactivated automatically when the car moves off.
If the driver's foot moves abruptly from the accelerator to the brake pedal before an emergency stop, the brake system increases the pressure in the brake lines and already brings the pads into contact with the brake discs so that maximum braking power is available as soon as the driver hits the brake pedal. This priming of the brakes allows the system to assist the standard-fit Brake Assist system.
ADAPTIVE BRAKE also has safety benefits in the wet: the system briefly applies the brakes at regular intervals to wipe the film of water from the brake discs and ensure that the brakes are more quickly able to perform at their peak. The finely metered brake pulses are imperceptible to the driver. This automatic brake drying function is always activated when the windscreen wipers have been operating for a certain length of time.
Finally, ADAPTIVE BRAKE assists the driver when starting on an uphill slope. When the sensors detect that the CLS has stopped on an uphill slope, Hill Start Assist is activated automatically, briefly holding the brake pressure at a constant level so as to prevent the car from rolling backwards.
The brake system helps to reduce the unsprung masses through the use of floating (four- and six-cylinder models) or fixed front callipers with housings in aluminium or aluminium composite design and rear floating callipers with aluminium housings. Large front and rear brake discs provide an ideal technical basis for ensuring safe and reliable deceleration in any driving situation. The front and rear discs measure up to 360 millimetres and 320 millimetres in diameter respectively, depending on the engine version. To cool the brakes the Mercedes engineers have developed two-piece aluminium cover plates which have undergone testing in the wind tunnel. These ensure that the cooling air flows from the underbody into the wheel arches and subsequently on to the brake discs while the vehicle is in motion.
Wheels and tyres: 19-inch size available ex-factory
The four- and six-cylinder variants of the CLS Shooting Brake feature ten-spoke 17-inch light-alloy wheels fitted with 245/45 R 17 tyres as standard. The eight-cylinder models leave the factory with five-spoke 18-inch light-alloy wheels fitted with 255/40 R 18 tyres. Alternatively, 18-inch wheels fitted with tyres in size 255/40 R 18 at the front and 285/35 R 18 at the rear are available for all models. The 19-inch wheels lend the Shooting Brake an even sportier appearance. These wheels are fitted with tyres in size 255/35 R 19 at the front and 285/30 R 19 at the rear.
The electronic stability programme which features as standard also monitors the tyre pressure and displays a warning in case of any sudden loss of pressure in a tyre. For this purpose the system continuously compares the rotational speeds of the wheels, which are primarily dependent on the vehicle's speed, the load and the tyre pressure. The control unit additionally refers to other driving dynamics-related ESPÂ® sensor signals, such as lateral acceleration, yaw rate and wheel torques, in order to diagnose pressure loss in a tyre. In this way the system is able to establish any deviations, informing the driver accordingly on the central display.
CLS63 AMG: with AMG RIDE CONTROL sports suspension
The suspension, steering and braking system of the CLS63 AMG Shooting Brake complement the high-tech drive system perfectly. The AMG RIDE CONTROL sports suspension, with steel suspension struts on the front axle and air suspension struts on the rear axle, as well as automatic level control, is enhanced further by an electronically controlled damping system; this automatically adjusts the damping characteristics depending on the driving conditions and reduces the roll angle of the body. The effect of this is lightning-fast adjustment between optimum driving comfort and the best possible agility. The driver can switch between the three suspension modes of "Comfort", "Sport" and "Sport plus" at the press of a button. The 3-stage -ESPÂ® with SPORT Handling mode also enables three individual control strategies to be selected at the press of a button.
The AMG-specific front and rear axles with increased negative camber and optimised elastokinematics help to provide more stability at higher cornering speeds as well as better contact with the road. The front axle, with a track width which is 56 mm wider, is the optimum match for the electromechanical AMG sports parameter steering. It features a more direct ratio, variable power assistance which adapts according to the suspension mode, and also contributes towards reducing fuel consumption since the steering assistance system only draws power when the vehicle is actually being steered.
Perfect deceleration even when driving extremely briskly is provided by the AMG high-performance braking system with 360 mm ventilated and perforated brake discs all-round. Particularly robust, motorsports-tested composite technology is used on the front axle. The optional AMG ceramic high-performance composite braking system with yet larger brake discs and specially painted brake callipers with "AMG Carbon Ceramic" lettering ensures an even higher level of braking performance as well as lower unsprung masses. Good contact with the road, meanwhile, comes courtesy of the titanium grey-painted, high-sheen AMG light-alloy wheels featuring a triple-spoke design and fitted with 255/35 R 19 tyres on the front and 285/30 R 19 tyres on the rear.
The infotainment programme: Office, TV lounge and concert hall
The Shooting Brake's multimedia facilities cover your every need - keeping you up to date with happenings in the world or at the office and offering high-end audio quality into the bargain.
The CLS Shooting Brake is equipped with the Audio 20 CD radio as standard, featuring a twin tuner, mp3-capable CD player and a USB connector in the centre console. The TFT colour display has a diagonal of 14.7 cm. The basic background colour of the displays is silver grey. Thanks to a "cover art" function, the title images of the music albums currently being played are shown if their details are stored in the audio file.
A top line in the Audio 20 CD's menu navigation helps the user to find his way around the system's functions and can be operated via the controller. Wireless music playback is possible from BluetoothÂ®-capable terminal devices. Text messages can also be displayed. As optional extras, the Audio 20 CD can be combined with a six-disc CD changer and the BeckerÂ® MAP PILOT entry-level navigation solution.
The BeckerÂ® MAP PILOT makes a low-cost navigation function, which can also be retrofitted, available for the entry-level Audio 20 CD radio. Its advantages over aftermarket solutions include integrated operation via the central controls, voice output via the vehicle's loudspeakers and display on the Audio 20 screen, a concealed location in the glove compartment and updating via an internet portal.
With internet connection, navigation and emergency call function: COMAND Online
COMAND Online, optionally combinable with a six-disc DVD changer, offers internet access. Customers can either surf the web as they wish while the car is stationary or call up a Mercedes-Benz app whose particularly fast page loading and simple operation make it suitable for use while driving. Integrated apps include Googleâ„¢ Local Search and Weather and the facility for downloading a route which has previously been configured on a PC using Google Maps and transmitted to the car. In addition, apps for Googleâ„¢ Streetview and Googleâ„¢ Panoramio are available for COMAND Online. Streetview enables locations all over the world to be seen in 360-degree perspective views and at street level. Panoramio allows access to millions of photographs which have been taken and uploaded by other uses at locations all around the globe. Streetview and Panoramio thus provide comprehensive means of studying routes and checking out sights and destinations before embarking on a journey. A new feature is the "News" app which enables news on politics, finance and technology to be called up online in the vehicle. Information is displayed in such a way that it is clearly legible while on the move. Further apps, such as stock market news or a parking space finder, can be also be accessed via the Mercedes online shop.
The high-resolution colour display has a diagonal of 17.8 cm. Photos can be shown on the large screen and turned over manually, as in a slide show. Where the audio equipment is concerned, too, new types of representation bring a fresh look and more convenient operation. The new Cover Flow function, for instance, sorts the title images of the music albums stored in a carousel-like form, so that the driver can easily leaf through their music collection. The memory for compressed audio files (mp3, wma and aac formats) is now 10 GB in size.
Greatest convenience is afforded by the Music Search function, which enables drivers and passengers to search the hard disc, SD memory cards, USB sticks, CDs and DVDs for specific music tracks and artists. The search can be according to various criteria, for instance album, music category or composer. If a name needs to be entered, the software will also tolerate spelling mistakes. The driver is therefore able to devote their full attention to the traffic. As a further advantage, the occupants are able to search all the connected media and devices simultaneously.
The fast hard-disc navigation system of COMAND Online also has added functions. New features include a 3D display with three-dimensional city views. Also new: routes covered can be recorded and repeated later, specific personal destinations can be stored or imported via an SD card. Mercedes-Benz customers in Europe receive the current cards for their COMAND Online multimedia system free of charge for three years.
COMAND Online also includes the LINGUATRONIC voice-operated control system for audio, telephone and navigation. The new "One Shot" input function for the navigation system is particularly convenient, whereby the place and road can be spoken directly after one another. This function is currently available in seven languages and significantly enhances ease of operation. With COMAND Online and LINGUATRONIC, music can also be conveniently searched for in the Mercedes CLS Shooting Brake via voice control. The system first asks in which category it should conduct the search (artist, title, year). The category is selected by saying it directly or by saying the row number of the relevant category which appears on the screen. This is then followed by further questions about title, artist or album Mercedes-Benz emergency call system: emergency services are notified automatically.
In combination with COMAND Online, the CLS Shooting Brake is equipped with the Mercedes-Benz emergency call system. As long as COMAND Online is connected to a mobile phone, the Mercedes-Benz emergency call system can automatically alert the emergency services within a matter of minutes in the event of a serious accident.
After the airbags or belt tensioners are triggered, the vehicle's exact GPS position and vehicle identification number (VIN) are sent by SMS to a special emergency centre, with positional data also being transmitted using the DTMF method (dual-tone multi-frequency) at the same time. Even if the occupants are unconscious or unsure of exactly where they are because they are on a holiday trip, for example, the emergency services alerted by the emergency centre will be notified quickly with accurate information. The driver can also make the emergency call manually as "MB emergency call" is always the first entry in the system phone directory.
On receiving the call, the emergency centre establishes voice contact with the vehicle occupants in a matter of seconds. A particularly practical aspect in an emergency is that communication takes place not in the language of the country where the accident has occurred but in the language which the driver has preset in COMAND Online.
Other than any mobile phone communication charges, which would only arise in the event of an actual emergency call, no charges are incurred by the driver for the emergency call facility and no contractual relationship - other than the regular mobile phone contract - is required.
The ultimate in audio pleasure: the two high-end systems
Mercedes-Benz developed the "Logic7" surround sound system together with the audio specialist harman/kardonÂ®. Based on technology never before seen in a car, this system delivers three-dimensional sound as a natural 360-degree musical experience for all passengers. The audio signals are distributed via a 9-channel DSP amplifier and a two-channel booster with a power output of 610 W, connected to fourteen high-performance loudspeakers. In conjunction with COMAND Online a multi-channel listening experience with Dolby Digital 5.1 and DTS is possible.
At 1200 W, the Bang & Olufsen BeoSound AMG high-end-surround-system offers even more output. This system features a 16-channel DSP amplifier and ICEpower amplifier in combination with 14 high-end loudspeakers. This array of speakers includes two tweeters featuring "Acoustic Lens Technology" with LED lighting in front mirror triangles. The mid- and low-range speakers in the front and the tweeters and low-range speakers in the rear feature aluminium covers in silver chrome. Individual sound settings can be carried out using the B&O-specific "True Image" COMAND menu.
A front-row experience throughout the trip: TV and Rear Seat Entertainment
Numerous optional items are additionally available to customise the CLS Shooting Brake to the users' own multimedia needs. These include:
Digital radio (DAB)
All new infotainment items are also available in the CLS CoupÃ©.