Under the microscope: new car segments: Conceptional creativity

Mar 5, 2015
With the CLA Shooting Brake, Mercedes-Benz is bringing to the executive segment a concept which was invented within the company and celebrated its launch in 2012 with the CLS Shooting Brake.
Both Shooting Brake models are an expression of conceptional creativity and thus underline the leading role played by Mercedes-Benz when it comes to design: where their proportions are concerned they are clearly a coupé, yet with five doors and the roof continuing back to the tail end they offer considerable new possibilities. This is how the idea of a four-door coupé is innovatively followed through. It celebrated its world premiere with the first CLS in 2004 and in 2013 it was successfully included in the compact medium-size category in the form of the CLA. In the meantime other manufacturers have also taken up the concept of the four-door coupé.
This gives us reason to believe that the five-door Shooting Brake will also attract imitators and that the sporty space concept will also mature into its very own market category. It places the Shooting Brake in the impressive series of market-shaping new vehicle concepts which were developed at Mercedes-Benz.
Earlier examples are the SLK, which in 1996 was the first roadster with a lowerable steel roof and shaped an entire category, and the M-Class of 1998 as the first premium SUV. Based on this, the ML 55 AMG from 2001 was an exemplary first SUV sports car. Another first of its kind was the premium estate of the 123 model series (1977) - today an integral part in the model range of virtually all premium manufacturers.
About the term: this is how the name Shooting Brake arose
Break or Brake used to be the name given to carts which were fitted with light, often variable attachments for carrying everything that was needed when hunting. This type of car, which was used to go shooting, was called a Shooting Brake or Shooting Break. In particular in the 60s and 70s there were experiments with motorised Shooting Brakes, especially in Great Britain – exclusive two-door sports cars, which blended the luxury and style of a coupé with more room for luggage and a large tailgate.