Mercedes is setting the design agenda again with an all-new model, the CLS Shooting Brake. Just as the CLS created the four-door coupe segment back in 2004 - which the Audi A7 and BMW 6 Series Gran Coupe have since followed - the Shooting Brake combines the practicality of an estate with the style of a coupe.
From the front grille to the top of the windscreen, the design is identical to the standard CLS. From there back, though, the stretched roof and window line - which arcs to beyond the rear wheel arches - give the Shooting Brake its unique profile.
At the back there’s the same wraparound tail-lights, joined by a horizontal chrome bar and a more upright rear screen.
Despite its bulky appearance, the Shooting Brake is only 16mm longer and 3mm lower than the standard CLS. There’s plenty of extra practicality, though, with 590 litres of boot space, rising to 1,550 litres with the rear seats down.
In a nod towards the world of yachts, the boot floor can be finished in cherry-wood decking, inlaid with aluminium rails – or if you don’t want the dog sliding around in the back, carpet comes as standard.
The rear bench features two individual seats and space for a third passenger to perch in the middle, while the rest of the interior fittings are identical to the CLS. Customers can choose between five interior colours, three qualities of leather and three exclusive wood trim types. And for the first time in a Mercedes, you can even order bits of interior trim in porcelain.
Only two engine choices will be offered from launch in November - both diesels and both fitted with a seven-speed automatic transmission and stop-start as standard.
The entry-level model is the CLS250 CDI, producing 201bhp and 500Nm of torque. Fuel consumption and CO2 emissions are 53.3mpg and 139g/km, respectively – 1mpg and 4g/km worse than the standard CLS. Performance is blunted by the extra weight - 0-62mph takes 0.3 seconds longer, which means a time of 7.8 seconds.
At the top of the range (until the CLS63 AMG variant arrives, at least) is the CLS350 CDI, with 261bhp and 620Nm of torque from its 3.0-litre V6. Fuel consumption and CO2 emissions both increase to 47mpg and 159g/km, while 0-62mph takes 6.6 seconds - four-tenths of a seconds longer than the standard car.