New Mercedes “Shooting Break” Concept Causes a Stir

Mercedes-Benz Shooting Break concept

First, they misspelled the name. Second, it’s not a shooting brake; it’s an estate wagon, or “estate,” or station wagon. Third, it’s a pretty slick-looking car—revolutionary, some might say.

Mercedes-Benz has never been shy about celebrating its “breakthroughs,” and this car is no exception. They made similar noises about the CLS “four-door coupe,” from which the Shooting Break is descended. The car is making its bow at Auto China 2010 in Beijing and, say the insiders, will most likely go into production.

Mercedes-Benz Shooting Break conceptBut the press release goes somewhat over the top, with stylistic verbiage nosing out technical details:

“The Shooting Break concept car is based on the great tradition of a stylish, cultivated sportiness which has always characterised the great Mercedes Coupés, and it takes this unique legacy an exciting step further”, explains Professor Gorden Wagener, chief designer at Mercedes-Benz.

Range Rover shooting brakeWe are thrilled to know that this tradition is alive and well. There are lengthy, glowing descriptions of the LED headlights, yet virtually nothing about the engine, except that it will be a 3.5-liter V6, direct injected, set at a 60° angle, and will produce 306 hp and 370 lb-ft of torque. Autoweek claims to have info on other engines, including a V8 and a turbodiesel.

Now, about the name. Autoweek’s copy editor has properly complained about the spelling. I think more important is the fact that the car doesn’t fit the name. The classic English shooting brake (a recent Range Rover shown above) was a custom-built two-door hatchback for “hunters and other sportsmen such as golfers, riders, and polo players requiring easy access to larger storage areas than offered by the typical automobile boot.”

Audi and BMW have both made modern shooting brakes. This new one from M-B is far too slick and pristine to carry that name. Can you imagine hunters tracking clods of mud into that interior, drinking booze, and stowing their shotguns and bleeding birds on that floor?

Aston Martin DB5 Superleggera Shooting BrakeEven David Brown’s 1965 Aston Martin DB5 (right) is much more of a working vehicle than this new Benz, which belongs in a country-club driveway, not a duck blind.

We think the new Benz, if built, will definitely find its niche for the riche and may well revive the “estate wagon.” What do you think?

—jgoods

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2 Comments

  1. You’re right, jgoods, that Benz aint no shooting brake! Pretty soon the Honda Crosstour, BMW 5 Series GT and Porsche Panamera will start being called “shooting breaks” too. What’s this world coming too?

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