Think back to the era of the station wagons (circa 1970 through 1985) and imagine the wagons that graced the garages of large families. These were typically massive slabs of iron with not enough power to outrun a 3-year-old on a tricycle and massive faux-wood stickers plastered on the side. Yeah, they weren’t necessarily things of beauty, to say the least.
As we progressed through the 1980s and 1990s, the minivan took over for the station wagon and emasculated men around the world. Now it looks as if the station wagon has come full circle in the automotive realm, as minivans are slowly disappearing, and crossovers and station wagons are taking their place.
Of course, now station wagons are called either 5-door sedans or “shooting brake.” Much like when Prince decided to change his name to an unpronounceable symbol, we’ll continue to think of these as station wagons. However, with Mercedes-Benz releasing the all-new CLS Shooting Brake , we can’t help but notice that the station wagon isn’t quite the underpowered, puke green, wood-trimmed gas guzzler that we recall. With Brabus now getting its expert hands on the CLS Shooting Brake, we are in for a big change.
That’s right, Brabus decided to take the entire CLS Shooting Brake line – from the CLS 250 Shooting Brake all the way to the CLS 63 AMG Shooting Brake – and pump it up a notch in the “cool” department. Well, however “cool” a station wagon can really be.
Click past the jump to read all about the Mercedes-Benz LS Shooting Brake by Brabus.
First of all, the CLS Shooting Brake is not your typical station wagon. It is elegant, stylish, and, in some cases, downright fast. Its body lines are not something you would expect from a wagon and Brabus made sure to take care when developing its exterior modifications, as to not harm the CLS’s already stout exterior.
On the CLS 250 and CLS 350 CDI BlueEfficiency models, as well as the CLS 350 and CLS 500 BlueEfficiency with the factory-added aerodynamics package, you can upgrade to the Brabus exterior package. Up front, this package offers a Brabus front spoiler to help add a little down-force to the front end, but mostly to enhance its overall appearance. You also get the Brabus front fascia attachments with integrated LED daytime running lamps, which is a bit of a lowlight on this package, as it features faux air vents that simply look tacky. The CLS’s factory fenders are replaced sport fenders, which feature faux heat extractors that look almost as if they were glued in place – not too clean of a job. Finally, you get a set of Brabus side skirts with integrated entrance light, which are relatively well-fit when you compare them to the rest of the kit.
For those lucky enough to have the AMG sport package, you get an additional front spoiler lip, fender attachments with an illuminated “Brabus” logo, and an additional front spoiler. All of the additions to the AMG sport package are clear coated carbon-fiber to help add to the already stout appearance of the CLS AMG Shooting Brake.
On the corners, you have six different wheel packages to choose from, ranging from 8.5J x 17 to 10.5J x 20. In the 20-inch variety, you can choose from the Brabus Monoblock F, Q, or R design. The Monoblock R design is the newest addition to Brabus’ line and features two sets of five double spokes arranged in two plains. The inner spokes are painted Liquid Titanium and the outer spokes are diamond polished and sealed with a tinted clear coat.
We absolutely love the rim packages that Brabus has brought to the table for the CLS Shooting Brake. Unfortunately, the body kit just doesn’t do it for us. It looks clunky, out of place, and downright cheap in some cases.
On the inside, Brabus will make your CLS Sport Brake exactly how you like it. You can choose to drape the seats in a Brabus Mastik leather and Alcantara. You can also add in scuff plates that feature a Brabus back-lit logo and opt for 340 km/h (211 mph) or 400 km/h (250 mph) speedometer faces, rear tray tables, aluminum pedals, door-lock pins, and shift paddles. You also can get clear coated carbon-fiber inlays for the dashboard and center console or wood inlays for the same areas.
Brabus went above and beyond by custom crafting a multimedia system for the CLS Shooting Brake that also allows you to integrate your Apple iPad with the car.
For the mess that Brabus made on the outside, its offerings on the inside made up for it with the subtle, yet luxurious, changes it made.
Engine and Drivetrain
Okay, under the hood is where Brabus typically makes its biggest mark, so let’s see what it has in store for us.
At the base level, the CLS 250 CDI, Brabus installed the PowerXtra D4 performance kit, which brings the CLS 250 CDI BlueEfficiency from 150 kW (204 horsepower) to 172.8 kW (235 horsepower) and from 500 Nm (369 pound-feet) of torque to 560 Nm (413 pound-feet), that’s a 15-percent and 12-percent increase, respectively.
The CLS 350 CDI Blue Efficiency gets the aid of the Brabus ECO PowerXtra D6S tuning kit. This tune is much more in depth than the CLS 250 CDI model, as this one also changes up the 7G-Tronic Plus gearbox. When your 350 CDI is in “ECO” mode, the 350 CDI’s torque is increased from its standard 620 Nm (457 pound-feet) to 690 Nm (509 pound-feet), but its 195 kW (265 horsepower) is left unchanged. Once you shift your 350 CDI manual or change it to “Sport” mode, the real fun kicks in, as an extra 35 kW (48 horsepower) heads to the wheels, giving it a stout 230 kW (313 horsepower). This gets the fairly large CLS 350 CDI to 100 km/h (62 mph) in just 5.9 seconds, a full 0.7 seconds faster than stock. The Mercedes top speed limiter remains at the factory-set 250 km/h (155 mph).
Next in line is the CLS 500 BlueEfficiency model, which Brabus used its B50-500 performance kit on to boost its power from 300 kW (402 horsepower) to 368 kW (500 horsepower). The base torque output for the CLS 500 is 600 Nm (442 pound-feet) and this upgrade bumps it up to an impressive 720 Nm (531 pound-feet). There is no mention of the CLS 500 CDI’s 0-to-100 km/h time, but this kit does bump it up to a 300 km/h (186 mph) top speed – its standard top speed it 250 km/h (155 mph).
Now onto the big dog: the CLS 63 AMG Shooting Brake. Brabus installed the B63-620 performance kit on the CLS 63 AMG, which pumps its output from an already impressive 415 kW (557 horsepower) and 720 Nm (531 pound-feet) of torque to 455 kW (619 horsepower) and 900 to 1,000 Nm (663 to 737 pound-feet) of torque. This drops its 0-to-100 km/h time from 4.4 seconds to 4.2 seconds and increases it top speed from an electronically limited 249 km/h (155 mph) to 320 km/h (200 mph).
In addition to the tuning on the CLS 63 AMG Shooting Brake, Brabus also installed a sports exhaust system with a butterfly valve to allow you to tune the exhaust not on the fly. A steering wheel-mounted button allows the driver to choose from “Coming Home” mode and “Sport” mode, with the former being a quiet operation and the latter being a more sporty tone. Additionally, the dual ceramic-coated exhaust tips hanging from the rear end are a nice visual addition. The other models get a full-stainless-steel quad-sport exhaust system that both increases power output and exhaust note.
Finally, Brabus installed a clutch-type limited-slip differential with a 40-percent locking rate, which helps keep the CLS’s tires from slipping when cornering at high speeds.
|Model||Engine Output||0-to-100 km/h (62 mph)||Top Speed|
|CLS 250 CDI BlueEfficiency||172.8 kW (235 horsepower) and 560 Nm (413 pound-feet)||Not Tested (7.4 second TopSpeed Est.)||Not Tested (150 mph TopSpeed Est.)|
|CLS 350 CDI BlueEfficiency||230 kW (313 horsepower) and 690 Nm (509 pound-feet)||5.9 seconds||250 km/h (155 mph) electronically limited|
|CLS 500 Blue Efficiency||368 kW (500 horsepower) and 720 Nm (531 pound-feet)||Not Tested (5 seconds TopSpeed Est.)||325 km/h (155 mph) electronically limited|
|CLS 65 AMG||455 kW (619 horsepower) and 900 to 1,000 Nm (663 to 737 pound-feet)||4.2 seconds||320 km/h (200 mph)|
Suspension and Handling
Brabus did a little bit of tuning to the CLS Shooting Brake’s suspension system too. It offers up a wide range of suspension options, ranging from sports springs to a Brabus suspension module that lowers the CL’s ride height by 35 mm (1.37 inches), which is only available on CLS models with the Airmatic air suspension system installed. You also get a wide array of low-profile tires to choose from to help keep the CLS glued to the ground.
You know, we often have a love-hate relationship with all things Brabus. It’ll do one thing absolutely right, then completely screw up another. This is a glowing example of this situation, as the body kit is a complete mess and looks like it was designed by a 16-year-old kid with his first Honda Civic. Under the hood and inside the car, however, Brabus created near perfection, but adding just enough to set it apart from every other CLS Shooting Brakes on the road. If Brabus offers the option to install everything but the body kit, we highly recommend this setup.
- Significant power increases with minimal mods
- Laundry list of options
- That’s one fast station wagon!
- Body kit is horrendous
- Needs optional power modifications to get a little more from the engine
- No pricing released, but we’ll guess that it’s very expensive
08.10.2012 - BRABUS refines the new Mercedes CLS Shooting BrakeBRABUS refines the new Mercedes CLS Shooting Brake
The new Mercedes CLS Shooting Brake has arrived! And like the first CLS that created a market for four-door coupes, the new five-door model redefines the sporty-elegant wagon. The exclusive final touch in the form of a sophisticated refinement program is now available from BRABUS. The extensive product lineup starts with sporty-elegant aerodynamic-enhancement components for all Shooting Brake models with or without AMG sport package, and features custom-tailored BRABUS wheels with diameters of up to 20 inches. Also part of the BRABUS portfolio are exclusive interior options and engine tuning that delivers up to 455 kW / 619 hp (610 bhp) of power, 1,000 Nm (737 lb-ft) of torque and a top speed of 320 km/h (200 mph).
Sporty-elegant styling paired with aerodynamic efficiency is the trademark of all BRABUS body kits. As always, the body components for the new CLS Shooting Brake were developed in the wind tunnel. They are manufactured from flexible Pur-R-Rim high-grade plastics or from carbon fibers depending on the version.
The CLS 250 and 350 CDI BlueEFFICIENCY diesel models and the CLS 350 and 500 BlueEFFICIENCY with production aerodynamics outfit can be upgraded with the BRABUS front spoiler, the BRABUS front fascia attachments with integrated LED daytime running lights, the sport fenders and the BRABUS side skirts with integrated entrance lights.
For vehicles equipped with AMG sport package BRABUS offers a striking BRABUS front spoiler lip that attaches to the underside of the front fascia. The CLS 63 AMG can be refined with an additional front spoiler and fender attachments with backlit BRABUS logo. Their clear-coated carbon-fiber construction lends the sport wagon full-blooded racing looks.
BRABUS Monoblock wheels in sizes ranging from 8.5Jx17 to 10.5Jx20 also play a major role in the exclusive BRABUS looks of the new CLS Shooting Brake. The OEM-quality alloy wheels are available in six different designs. The most exclusive version on offer features BRABUS Monoblock F, Q or R designs with a diameter of 20 inches. The latest addition to the BRABUS wheel family is the BRABUS Monoblock R wheel with especially innovative design. Two sets of five double spokes are arranged in two plains. While the inner set of spokes is painted a "Liquid Titanium" shade, the outer spokes are diamond-polished and afterwards sealed with a smoke-colored clear lacquer, lending the wheel its very own character. The largest tires supplied by BRABUS technology partners Continental, Pirelli and YOKOHAMA for the 20-inch version come in size 255/30 ZR 20 in front and in size 295/25 ZR 20 for the rear axle.
The BRABUS suspension options are specifically calibrated to the use of sporty low-profile tires. They were developed in tandem with technology partner BILSTEIN. The lineup ranges from BRABUS sport springs to complete suspensions and the BRABUS suspension module that lowers the ride height of cars equipped with the semi-active AIRMATIC air suspension system by about 35 millimeters.
BRABUS offers the world’s largest program of performance tuning for Mercedes-Benz automobiles. The ECO PowerXtra D4 performance kit bumps the power output of the CLS 250 CDI BlueEFFICIENCY by 22.8 kW / 31 hp and boosts peak torque to 560 Nm (446 lb-ft).
For the CLS 350 CDI BlueEFFICIENCY there is BRABUS ECO PowerXtra D6S tuning. Thanks to its plug-and-play design the auxiliary control unit can be installed by any authorized Mercedes-Benz workshop and any BRABUS center of competence in less than 45 minutes.
As a special feature this high-tech performance tuning system allows the driver to influence the power yield through the selection of the transmission program of the 7G-TRONIC PLUS automatic gearbox. In Eco mode only peak torque is increased, from standard 620 Nm to 690 Nm (509 lb-ft) between 1,600 and 2,400 rpm. This selection leaves the maximum power output unchanged. If sport mode is activated or gears are shifted manually, the increase in peak torque is accompanied by a boost in power output from 195 kW / 265 hp (261 bhp) to 230 kW / 313 hp (308 bhp) at a low 3,600 rpm. The tuned turbodiesel accelerates from rest to 100 km/h (62 mph) in just 5.9 seconds. Top speed is limited electronically to 250 km/h (155 mph).
It goes without saying that BRABUS performance tuning is also available for the gasoline-powered versions of the CLS Shooting Brake. The BRABUS B50 - 500 performance tuning was developed for the V8 Biturbo engine of the CLS 500 BlueEFFICIENCY. As the name indicates, this tuning kit produces 368 kW / 500 hp (493 bhp) and a peak torque of 720 Nm (531 lb-ft) and in conjunction with the BRABUS Vmax unit gives the wagon a top speed of 300 km/h (186 mph).
Two ultra-powerful tuning options are available for the top-of-the-line CLS 63 AMG model. Both BRABUS power upgrades for the 5.5-liter eight-cylinder Biturbo engine comprise an auxiliary control unit for the engine electronics and an additional water-to-air intercooler powered by an auxiliary electric pump. In both cases the lower temperature of the charge air benefits not only power yield but also engine longevity even under extreme operating conditions. After the installation of the BRABUS B63 - 620 version the driver commands 455 kW / 619 hp (610 bhp) of power at a low 5,500 rpms. Simultaneously peak torque grows from 900 to 1.000 Nm (663 to 737 lb-ft), on tap between 2,250 and 3,750 rpm. A sprint time from rest to 100 km/h (62 mph) of just 4.2 seconds is just as unique for a wagon as is the top speed of 320 km/h (200 mph) that the car attains in conjunction with the BRABUS V/max unit.
As an ideal complement to the engine tuning, BRABUS offers a sport exhaust system with butterfly valve for the CLS 63. At the push of a button on the steering wheel the driver can switch between a discrete and quiet “Coming Home” mode and “Sport,” which produces a decidedly sporty exhaust note. The stainless-steel exhaust system also adds some visual highlights with its two beautifully styled ceramic-coated dual tailpipes.
For all other CLS engines BRABUS offers fully stainless-steel quad sport exhaust systems. The precision-calibrated exhaust systems also optimize power yield and produce a sportier exhaust note.
A BRABUS clutch-type limited-slip differential with a locking rate of 40 percent optimizes traction and handling in fast corners on all CLS versions.
All BRABUS engines are operated with MOTUL high-performance lubricants and like all BRABUS components are backed by the one-of-a-kind BRABUS limited tuning warranty of three years up to 100,000 kilometers / 62,000 miles (see BRABUS warranty conditions, updated November 2006).
Exclusive interior design that leaves nothing to be desired is yet another BRABUS specialty that comes to life in the company upholstery shop. The product lineup for the new Mercedes CLS Shooting Brake ranges from attractive accessories to custom-tailored interiors crafted from especially soft, breathable and highly durable BRABUS Mastik leather and Alcantara. Scuff plates with backlit BRABUS logo, a speedometer with 340-km/h or 400-km/h dial (211 or 250 mph) and the tables for the rear compartment that attach to the back of the front seats add sporty highlights as do decidedly sporty aluminum components such as pedal pads, door-lock pins and shift paddles for the steering wheel. High-end clear-coated carbon-fiber inlays for dashboard and center console in any desired color are also part of the program as are wood inlays in any desired color and with any desired grain.
To top it all off, BRABUS offers a custom-tailored multimedia concept for the five-door CLS , including the integration of an Apple iPad if desired.