Mercedes-Benz introduced a new vehicle in a class that is seldom seen from the luxury auto maker, the CLS 2004, a large four-door with a coupe look, with a back hatch for more cargo, and a Shooting Brake, hence the name. This new series makes a lot of sense thanks to the rear hatch for loading goods, the increased inside space, and a sleek design that the company managed to maintain on the exterior.
The side doors were created to be large, and the floor is thickly carpeted which helps to preserve the car’s integrity. There are even aluminum railings available for the floor, with another option being a cherry wood deck, perhaps something for a bike to go on. This allows the maximum of carrying options, along with a better than average mileage for a similar type of vehicle.
As for the name, the company says that Break came from the idea that carriages used to be able to break with horses and also hints at an urge to move. These vehicles used to carry anything, and had a shooting component, and the company came up with the crazy name of Shooting Brake. The vehicle is aimed at a world audience, although the name really makes more sense in the US market rather than here, otherwise something like a simple estate car would be more descriptive.
Mercedes made the huge R-Class vehicle for the US primarily, but it has sold in more countries as well. In fact, the American market has mostly ignored this particular car, going instead for their own national versions. The 350CDI for example is smoother and costs less. It also has a rear air suspension, something that the German version does not have.
This vehicle has a V8 engine but is fairly good on an economy standpoint. For £50,000, it provides a five meter long carrying capacity, along with a comfortable ride. This type of car will obviously do better in some lower income markets which the company may have mis-targeted by going after a purely US audience. Meanwhile, the results have been less than obvious for the vehicle which has been on the roads for several years now.
Meanwhile, the company is preparing yet another series of cars to replace this one, also based on the same type of engine and chassis, with enough carrying room for a while family, but not using the same estate car style look. This is to please to a broader audience, as Mercedes-Benz has to compete with the subcompact category among others, taking in several parts of the market.
By going after such a payload, the first CLS Coupe managed to bring in both formal and informal driving customers, those who drive for business and may have to carry some business oriented equipment, and full families who may have to bring kids for days out and so on. The Brake continues to serve its targeted market in order to fulfill the order requirements that the auto maker has for this type of vehicle.