A flexible and thunderous beast
Recently released as an adjunct to the elegant CLS range, the sexy Shooting Brake version now gets the performancer treatment, writes Dave Moore
With the current trend towards SUVs and Crossovers, we tend to forget about station wagons, estate cars or shooting brakes these days but Mercedes-Benz hasn’t.
Following on from its gorgeous new CLSbased Shooting Brake last month, the company’s AMG performance arm has announced what may be one of the most unforgettable load carriers in recent years.
Like its sedan siblings, the new CLS 63 AMG Shooting Brake is powered by a 5.5-litre V8 twinturbocharged engine that makes 386kW at 5250 rpm and 700Nm from 1750 to 5250 rpm, which will make it a flexible and thunderous beast. The car’s acceleration means you can go from zero to sorry officer in just 4.4 seconds – performance that until very recently was purely the domain of Ferrari and Lomborghini.
If that’s not enough, the CLS 63 AMG Shooting Brake is offered with more power and even better performance, with a limited availability Edition- One version that packs another 24kW and an additional 100Nm, which seems an awful lot of extra grunt for what adds up to a one tenth of a second quicker zero-to-100kmh time.
The standard and Edition One versions of the Shooting Brake are electronically limited to a top speed of 250kmh, which is irrelevant in New Zealand anyway. They both manage 10.1L/ 100km and are rated at a remarkably low CO2 output of 235 g/km CO2.
Unlike most large Mercedes-Benz models in Europe, the AMG Shooting Brakes will only have rear wheel drive. The car’s drivetrain is managed by what AMG calls its Speedshift MCT 7- speed sports trans- mission, which features four modes: Controlled Efficiency, Sport, Sport Plus and Manual.
AMG also fits the car with its Ride Control sports suspension with steel suspension struts up front and air struts at the rear, as well as automatic right-height levelling and an electronically controlled dampers which can be selected manually in Comfort, Sport and Sport Plus modes.
AMG has also refettled the CLS Shooting Brake’s electromechanical steering, fitting it with more direct gearing and variable power assistance.
The car stops as well as it goes, with four 360 mm vented, perforated discs with an optional ceramic highperformance composite set-up with even larger brake rotors for those who really need it.
The AMG version of Benz’s new load-carrier is visually quite restrained. The big discs, slightly reprofiled bumpers front and rear and the car’s wider front track with corresponding wheelarch flairs, are all you’ll note from the front and side, though at the rear, the AMG’s quad pipes do tend to give the performance game away.
flat- bottomed steering wheel, soft nappa leather, piano black detailed trim, and unique AMG instrument treatment complete the picture.
The Edition One version of the car has special grey paint, called designo magno allanite, white pearl leather seating, velour mats faux carbon fibre cabin trim and a black roof lining.
We’d stick with the standard car, truth be known, but either way, neither model will be priced until closer to its October launch, which takes place just after its first viewing at the Paris Motor Show.
Shooting brake: Well you could hardly call anything this lovely a wagon, could you?