Mercedes Kills Third-Generation CLS Shooting Brake
It is true that, for a while there, German luxury carmakers were going a little bit crazy with all of the different body styles being offered. There has to be a point at which inventing new niches becomes counterproductive, but some of the cars produced in this frenzy were genuinely appealing. One of these was the 2015 Mercedes-Benz CLS Shooting Brake, an attractive wagon version of the Mk2 CLS. Still essentially a wagon, this version of the 2015 Mercedes-Benz CLS had more flowing lines and appealing curves, hence the use of the name “Shooting Brake” to denote its role as something other than an ordinary wagon.
Plans were drawn up for a replacement to debut alongside the next generation of the CLS sedan in 2018, but it has now apparently been dropped from the lineup due to a lack of interest from the U.S. and China. Something like this was coming eventually; the boom in body styles would eventually run out of customers, and the Germans would have to take a moment to evaluate which ones were working and which ones weren’t, but it’s a shame to see this one get the chop when uglier models continue on in production.
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Why it matters
The decision not to build a new Shooting Brake because of a lack of American interest carries with it a bizarre implication. It means that someone at some point designed an expensive station wagon on the belief that Americans would buy enough of them to keep the model afloat. Americans haven’t been keen on wagons since the ’90s, and it’s not exactly a secret within the automotive industry. A fair number of European brands don’t even bother bringing wagon models across the Atlantic, but someone at Mercedes thought that calling it something else would somehow equal sales. Regardless, I hate to be losing the beautiful Shooting Brake.
Read our full review here.