The 20th annual Goodwood Festival of Speed kicked off this weekend in England, and one of the first new production vehicles to surface was the 2013 Mercedes-Benz CLS Shooting Brake. Initially seen as the Mercedes-Benz Shooting Break Concept at the 2010 Beijing Auto Show, the volume-build version of this high-styled hauler retains all of the design spirit of that original one-off but dispenses with its M-B coined and astonishingly lame "Break" appellation in favor of the proper "Brake" nomenclature used by every other automaker in the world who produces vehicles with this type of body style. Regardless of what it's called, the latest addition to the Mercedes lineup won't be coming to America when it goes on sale this fall - or likely any time in the foreseeable future.

Based on the existing CLS-Class four-door coupe package, Mercedes characterizes its new CLS Shooting Brake as "an unprecedented version of a sports car with five seats and a large tailgate," and sees it as "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 traveling in style." The exterior carries on the same fundamental long nose/sweeping roofline/narrow greenhouse character as the baseline CLS but adds it own unique twist from the B-pillar back that results in more interior space, specifically in the cargo bay that offers greater stow space - 20.8 cu ft with rear seat up and 54.7 cu ft with it folded flat.

To complement its standard leather upholstery, cabin appointments on the new Shooting Brake also feature premium luggage compartment detailing that includes a host of elegant designo touches highlighted by a wood floor comprised of cherry and smoked oak planks set off with rubber-topped brushed aluminum rails.

Like its CLS-Class sibling, the new Shooting Brake makes extensive use of aluminum body panels including its frameless doors, hood, front fenders and tailgate. Airmatic adjustable rear air suspension and efficiency enhancing electric power steering also are standard while full LED headlamps, 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-SAFE Brake systems.

The new Mercedes-Benz CLS Shooting Brake will be available with four engine choices, a 204-horsepower/2.1-liter turbodiesel 4-cylinder (CLS 250 CDI), a 265-horse/3.0-liter turbodiesel CLS 350 CDI), a 3.5-liter/306-horsepower gasoline V6 (CLS 350) and a 408-horse/5.0-liter biturbo V8 (CLS 500). The CLS 350 CDI and CLS 500 variants also will be offered with optional 4Matic all-wheel drive. As for what lies ahead, Mercedes also used this Goodwood reveal to tease a camouflaged high-performance variant, the CLS63 AMG Shooting Brake. While offering no details about the vehicle, its expected to share many of the AMG-spec cosmetic and functional enhancements found on the CLS63 AMG as well as its 5.5-liter twin-turbo V8 engine that makes 518 horsepower in base form or 550 with the AMG Performance Package.


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