2016 Mercedes Benz CLS Shooting Brake Reworked

In light of our Ssang Yong fun, I remembered the link to Mercedes. It’s not just the engines; it’s that the CLS shooting brake is another one of those cars where the sculpture and graphics have parted company. 

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The first image is the CLS as it is. The second one is a mark-up of the main lines of the car as it would appear if it had been done as a proper estate car and not as a strange not-quite-a-hatchback. On the actual car the roof wraps down so markedly onto the sides that it seems to have deflated. That’s not a good image for a car. If you like you can actively see it that way before you turn on your heel and leave.

[Image: turbo.fr]

Author: richard herriott

I like anchovies. I dislike post-war town planning.

13 thoughts on “2016 Mercedes Benz CLS Shooting Brake Reworked”

  1. I don’t agree. Lines going downwards to the tail have been proven to be at least as esthetically correct as lines going upward (which is the current trend that will eventually fade). Maybe this type of design is less practical, but it makes more sense for aerodynamics.


    Don’t correct this one please!

    1. I don’t mind downward going lines as such, as the are a vital part that makes many car designs work, such as in most big Citroëns (with exception of the XM).
      What bothers me on the CLS is the detail Richard also mentions, and describes as a discrepancy between shape and graphics: the window line is sloping much more than the roof line, and this already starts after the B-pillar. I think with a line that is a bit more risen, the car would look much better to me. I don’t see the need then to make the rear much more upright and boxy. After all, it’s not meant to be a practical car, is it?

    2. Would the car have not been nicer because of that element of practicality? I always liked the first 5-series estate for that reason, a combination of the sleek and the useful. The old Lancia HPE had the same feel. The CLS as it is looks so flouncy and trivial.

    3. “Flouncy and trivial” – yes, like every Mercedes nowadays. For me, that’s not a question of the volumes, though. It’s rather all the bulges and creases and the clumsy details they add to those.

      But as there is still a practical alternative in the E-class estate, why shouldn’t this car give away some of the useful space? I know you like coupés – they do the same.

  2. Well done on your English, Simon. I was worried “flouncy” would unsettle our non-native speakers. Sehr beeindruckend!
    These discussions split hairs, yes, and I’m pleased to be asked to try to justify why I want the shooting brake to be squarer but also to like less-practical coupes. Try this: the shooting brake is a two-door estate. Its estate character is first and primary. The coupe begins as a saloon (or once did) and its charms are the fusion of the formal and sporting. The CLS is not really a shooting brake and I think my outline tries to show a) what it should look like to be a real shooting brake and b) how its graphics are ill-fitting. I have seen these and they are absurdly all roof. I’m not a functionalist yet this car goes too far in the name of niche creation. Does that answer your valid point?

    1. To be honest, I often have to look up words when I’m reading or writing here. Flouncy was one of them. My thanks go to dict.leo.org, a very useful resource also for English speakers who have to cope with The Awful German Language.

      You don’t have to convince me of b), I’ve already mentioned this. And yes, a shooting brake does involve some squareness (and airiness) also in my conception. I think I just don’t see the CLS as one of them, despite its name. So, I’d cling to my point without being able to contradict you.

    1. Great reference. Thanks for that. While some details on the Stagea are a bit rough, overall I like it. I suppose some people might be concerned by the fact it looks like a sports-hearse. I’m not. I don’t see it that way.
      The Japanese market has thrown up some really odd cars by our standards. Do we have anything they consider as interesting?
      It’s still not a shooting brake.

    2. Quite right, it isn’t a shooting brake although as you say neither is the CLS. The Accord Aerodeck from the ’80s was more in line with a Reliant Scimitar/Lancia HPE/Volvo p1800ES style of car.

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