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April 20, 2010

SHANGHAI PREVIEW: Mercedes to show ‘shooting break’ concept

Mercedes-Benz is to give a world premier to a 'Shooting Break' (essentially a luxury sport wagon) at the upcoming Shanghai "Auto China 2010" Show.

Mercedes-Benz is to give a world premier to a ‘Shooting Break’ (essentially a luxury sport wagon) at the upcoming Shanghai “Auto China 2010” Show.

Mercedes says that the car explores the possible future development of the Coupé concept that follows its ‘Fascination’ concept car of 2008, which followed the CLS Coupé in 2004.

Mercedes says that the car carries over some of the sporting lines of the CLS, although the design of the front is completely new ‘but makes use of elements which are mindful of the SLS AMG super sports car: the radiator grille, with the large star and eye-catching, bionic slats, is not integrated into the bonnet but has been designed separately in the form of a “soft nose”‘.

The interior is dominated by natural wood and leather materials. One eye-catching feature is the large full-length centre console that highlights the four-seat layout as well as the high levels of comfort afforded by the Shooting Break concept car. The wooden floor of the luggage compartment contrasts against inlaid aluminium protective loading strips.

The Shooting Break concept car is driven by the forerunner to the forthcoming new V-engine generation from Mercedes-Benz. The V6 benefits from a 60° cylinder angle and a displacement of 3.5 litres, and is characterised by direct injection featuring a control system which enables lean-burn operation.

“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.

“At the same time it points the way towards the future design idiom of Mercedes-Benz.”

NOTE: the origins of the name “Shooting Break”

Break, or the homonym Brake, was the name once given to carriages used to “break” in wild horses and also to restrict (or “brake”) their urge to move, so that they could be put to use as work horses. Since the carts could easily be broken as part of this process, people tended not to use ones which they may have urgently needed for other purposes. Where necessary, “Brakes” were often fitted out with variable bodies, which were only really used to carry along anything that may have been necessary for the hunt, for example. Any such vehicle which was used when going out shooting was called a Shooting Brake or Shooting Break. In the 1960s and 1970s motorised Shooting Breaks were popular in Great Britain – exclusive cross-over vehicles, which combined the luxuriousness of a coupé with the luggage space of an estate.

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