Fas­ci­na­tion casts spell

It’s the morph the mer­rier for the Benz boys, writes PAUL GOVER

Herald Sun - Motoring - - Prestige -

THE morph men have done it again in Ger­many. Af­ter suc­cess­fully com­bin­ing a four-door sedan with a curvy coupe to cre­ate the top-sell­ing CLS, the de­vel­op­ment team at Mercedes-Benz has now rammed a wagon into the back of a two-door coupe.

The re­sult is called the Con­cep­tFascination and it’s an odds-on bet for a new place in the Sil­ver Star fam­ily.

Of­fi­cially, the rad­i­cal two-door is only a ‘‘de­sign study’’ but it will be un­der the spot­light at the Paris Mo­tor Show in two weeks and will prob­a­bly be in show­rooms within three years.

Why? Be­cause Benz can and be­cause it should.

The Con­cep­tFascination — an­other morph— shows there is plenty of life in the old-fash­ioned Bri­tish ‘‘shoot­ing brake’’, orig­i­nally a lux­ury sedan mod­i­fied with a sta­tion wagon tail so the up­per classes could shoot small, feath­ered-and-furry crea­tures.

We’ve seen some­thing sim­i­lar with the Volvo C30, but the new Benz is much big­ger and much more el­e­gant.

It also comes at a time when Mercedes-Benz is about to change its name game — the next CLK will be called the E-Class coupe — in a move that clears the way for some­thing new.

‘‘The Con­cep­tFascination is a ve­hi­cle that’s pretty much unique,’’ Mercedes-Benz Aus­tralia spokesman David McCarthy says.

‘‘It is only a con­cept. But if it was to come to mar­ket it would prob­a­bly sell very well.

‘‘You only have to look at the CLS, which was to­tally new. Since its in­tro­duc­tion we’ve sold more than 150,000 world­wide.’’

The Con­cep­tFascination is about the same size as a CLK coupe, but sits much lower and has a dra­matic sweep from nose to tail.

Benz claims it is emo­tional, prac­ti­cal and el­e­gant. The Paris Show car has a com­bi­na­tion of wood, alu­minium and smoked glass, to give it an up­mar­ket look, and a gi­ant sun­roof.

But don’t ex­pect the fridge or ci­gar hu­mi­dor in the con­cept car to make it to show­rooms.

In­stead, the Con­cep­tFascination will com­bine a four-door coupe cabin with a truly use­ful lug­gage space be­neath its upright rear hatch.

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