What Makes the CLA Shooting Brake a Beautiful and Practical Solution
Breathtakingly sporty proportions and a powerfully dynamic design idiom with sensuously shaped surfaces lend the CLA Shooting Brake an unmistakable appearance
by Jim Davis | 05 March 2015
Breathtakingly sporty proportions and a powerfully dynamic design idiom with sensuously shaped surfaces lend the CLA Shooting Brake an unmistakable appearance. The elongated coupé-style roof contour line, the low greenhouse and the sweep of the high beltline are the key design features of its distinctive profile, as is the gentle downward slope of the roof line, which makes for significantly more headroom than in the four-door coupé.
The CLA Shooting Brake (length/width/height: 4630/1777/1435 mm) will initially be available with a choice of two diesel and four petrol engines as well as with 4MATIC all-wheel drive. The first models will go to customers towards the end of March 2015.
“With the CLA Shooting Brake our compact-car family has grown to five models. The huge breadth of the range, which also includes all-wheel drive and AMG versions, is a fundamental reason for the impressive success story that is the new compact generation – way over a million cars have already been delivered to customers”, said Dr Dieter Zetsche, Chairman of the Board of Management of Daimler AG and Head of Mercedes-Benz Cars.
The range, which now includes five models, covers an extremely wide spectrum: with the spacious B-Class Sports Tourer, the youthfully dynamic A-Class, the avant-garde CLA-Class Coupé and the compact GLA-Class SUV, we cater for a host of different customer requirements in this segment,” adds Ola Källenius, Member of the Board of Management of Daimler AG, responsible for Mercedes-Benz Cars Marketing & Sales. “The CLA Shooting Brake is aimed at active customers who want a car outside the mainstream, with a unique design, which impresses with a high utility value.”
“The highlights include exemplary aerodynamics, state-of-the-art engines, innovative assistance systems and informative telematics services as well as allergy-friendliness”, emphasises Prof Dr Thomas Weber, Member of the Daimler Board of Management responsible for Group Research and Head of Mercedes-Benz Cars Development. “Like all the models in the compact model series the CLA Shooting Brake also bears the quality seal of the European Centre for Allergy Research Foundation (ECARF) for a scientifically tested high level of allergy-friendliness.”
The guiding principle behind the designers’ work was that of sensual purity as an expression of modern luxury. “The new CLA Shooting Brake offers a contemporary interpretation of sensual purity and represents the perfect synthesis between the emotionality of a coupé and the intelligence of a shooting brake”, explains Gorden Wagener, Head of Design at Daimler AG. “The styling of our CLA Shooting Brake is extremely progressive as well as unmistakable. Once again, we have created a whole new class of vehicle.”
The thrilling design details of the limited-edition OrangeArt Edition special model ensure that it brings an exciting note to the market launch. Orange highlight rings around the bi-xenon headlamps ensure that they stand out in spectacular style. The rim flanges of the AMG light-alloy wheels are painted in orange on the OrangeArt Edition. Orange/black sports seats and orange contrasting topstitching help to define the interior.
As spacious as they come: Beauty in its most practical guise
The elegantly long drawn-out Shooting Brake tail end, in conjunction with the variability that this offers, guarantees exceptional recreational value without compromising on the CLA’s aspiration to represent design at its best. At the same time, at 94.7 cm, the effective headroom in the rear is 4 cm higher than it is in the four-door CLA. Access to the second row of seats is also even easier due to the larger door cut-outs.
Spaciousness is one of the strengths of the Shooting Brake. The load compartment offers a capacity that ranges from 495 to 1354 litres (when loaded up to the upper edge of the rear seat backrests or loaded to the roof with the rear bench seat folded down, respectively). If the rear seats are moved into the more steeply raked “cargo” position, the load capacity increases to 595 litres while still leaving space for five occupants. The width of the luggage compartment, at up to 1328 mm, is leading in this segment.
Clever little details, including the magnetic catch on the through-loading flap in the rear-seat backrest for long items, such as skis, are further typical examples of this carefully thought-out concept. Options such as the electrically operated EASY-PACK tailgate or the Load Compartment package help to enhance convenience and variability when using the load compartment.
The CLA Shooting Brake impresses with superb aerodynamics and with a cd value of 0.26 it is top of its segment. The drag area of Cd x A, a decisive factor when it comes to wind resistance, is 0.57 m2 on the CLA Shooting Brake.
The engine range available with the CLA Shooting Brake is extensive right from the start of sales, comprising two diesel and four petrol units. All engines impress with their agile performance, low noise levels and low emissions. The CLA 200 CDI, with an output of 100 kW (136 hp), is particularly efficient: it has a top speed of 215 km/h and a combined consumption figure of just 3.9 l/100 km, with emissions of 101 g CO2/km.
All versions are equipped as standard with the ECO start/stop function and are Euro 6-compliant. All-wheel drive is likewise available straight from the market launch, initially in the CLA 250 4MATIC and CLA 250 Sport 4MATIC (features include: dynamic styling, sporty tuning of engine, accelerator and transmission as well as sporty engine sound) and it is of course available in the CLA 45 AMG. Diesel variants in the guise of the CLA 200 CDI 4MATIC and CLA 220 CDI 4MATIC will follow in September 2015.
Design: Sharp contours and sensuous surfaces
Many of the detailed elements of the CLA Shooting Brake, too, such as its frameless side windows, appear to define it as a coupé, yet at the same time it offers the variability and practicality of an estate car. And with its long bonnet, sleek window profile with integral rear quarter window and the gentle downward slope of its roof as it flows to the rear, it demonstrates the same crouching posture as the CLS Shooting Brake. The long sweep of the roof right to the rear of the car means that it offers more headroom in the back than the four-door CLA coupé model, as well as being easier to get into.
The interplay between sharply defined lines and large surface expanses gives rise to some exciting and characteristic light effects, resulting in a unique look that sets the CLA Shooting Brake quite apart from other vehicles in related segments.
The sporty design of its front section gives the CLA its typical look. Among the striking features that contribute to this characteristic dynamic look are the powerdomes on the bonnet that are such a hallmark of Mercedes coupés, and the diamond radiator grille with a central Mercedes star. The way the bonnet is embedded into the front end makes it appear longer and, in conjunction with the upright radiator grille and the prominent V-shape of the front end, gives the car its crouching posture. The arrangement of the light modules and LEDs behind the headlamp lenses gives rise to the characteristic “eyebrow” effect for the daytime running lamps and indicators.
The sleek greenhouse, the elongated roof contour line, the high beltline with low side windows and an additional quarter window, plus the D-pillar that tapers towards the rear, are the particular styling elements of the CLA Shooting Brake seen in profile. Two character lines define this profile: the new, modern interpretation of the “dropping line”, together with a further separate swell to the flank above the “dropping line”. This supports the D-pillar, which in turn continues the line round to the tailgate. The precise lines and three-dimensional effect of the side design create a sinewy, animated play of light and shadow.
The broad emphasis of the rear end conveys a sense of power, in an interplay of tense, muscular volume and sharply defined edges. The sloping roof line, the pronounced curve of the rear window and tailgate and the distinctive look of the rear end as a whole give the CLA Shooting Brake an unmistakable flair of its own. The narrowing of the car at the D-pillars, in conjunction with the broad shoulder muscle over the rear wheel arch, adds up to a strikingly athletic look, particularly when seen from the rear.
The elegant arrowhead design of the rear light clusters carries the harmonious flow of the shoulders round from the side to the rear end, the horizontal orientation serving to emphasise the powerful width of the vehicle. The single-piece rear light units are set neatly into the body. The light functions are presented in an arrowhead arrangement. Aerials are integrated into the sporty roof spoiler.
Interior: high-quality materials and integral seats
The exterior’s progressive, sporty appearance is continued inside the vehicle. The interior additionally derives a very special quality feel from the design idiom of sensual purity, as well as the selection and combinations of the materials chosen. Special equipment packages include colour-contrasted stitching.
The twin-tube instrument cluster comprises two large round dials, each with a small round dial set inside it. When at rest the needles are in the 6 o’clock position. The silver-coloured needles are inlaid in red, while the dial faces feature a silver-grey textured surface.
The CLA Shooting Brake features the latest generation of telematics systems. The free-standing display screen features a large screen diagonal of 17.8 cm (7 inches), together with a high-gloss piano-black front panel, a flush-fitting frame in Silvershadow and a fully glazed screen. Upon request in conjunction with COMAND Online, or as an option for the Audio 20 system, the display is available with an even larger screen diagonal of 20.3 cm (8 inches).
The functions shown on the display combine intuitive operation with attractive images and graphics, thus ensuring a positive user experience that adds to the exceptional design appeal of the interior as a whole.
To underline the sporty character, the CLA Shooting Brake boasts integral seats at the front and rear. Luxury seats with a separate head restraint are available on request in the Urban design and equipment line. The rear bench seat emphasises the outer seats (2+1-seater). Colour-coordinated contrasting topstitching is available based on the chosen equipment. The ambient lighting system encompasses a total of 13 light sources in the interior, among them a light in the opening between the head restraint and the backrest. The ambient lighting system is available as an option with different colours: any of twelve colour schemes can be selected to suit taste and mood, helping to conjure up an individual atmosphere in the interior.
The optional panoramic sliding sunroof with its large glazed area provides for an especially bright and friendly ambience in the interior. It comprises an electrically operated glass sliding roof for individual ventilation of the interior, together with a mesh wind deflector. This reduces both draughts and wind noise when the roof is open.
Safety: autonomous braking if a risk of collision is detected
The CLA Shooting Brake features COLLISION PREVENTION ASSIST PLUS as standard. This assistance system extends the functionality of COLLISION PREVENTION ASSIST by the addition of autonomous braking to reduce the risk of rear-end collisions. If the driver fails to act when a risk of collision is detected, despite the warning lamp in the instrument cluster and the intermittent acoustic alert, the system will automatically trigger braking. The vehicle speed is thus already significantly reduced. Depending on the relative speed, this intervention may be enough to avoid a rear-end collision with vehicles that are driving more slowly, stopping or stationary, or significantly mitigate its severity.
Also fitted as standard is the drowsiness detection system ATTENTION ASSIST. Operating within an extended speed range (60 to 200 km/h), it uses a five-stage bar display to visualise the driver’s current attention level.
“Mercedes connect me”: Accident Recovery, Maintenance Management and Breakdown Management
“Mercedes connect me” connects the CLA Shooting Brake with the world around it. The communications module that is available as standard in certain European countries makes it possible to use the Mercedes connect me range of Standard Services.
Available services include, for example, Accident Recovery, Maintenance Management and Breakdown Management. In an accident, the Mercedes-Benz emergency call system automatically connects the occupants with the Mercedes-Benz Emergency Call Centre and sends the position and condition of the vehicle to the rescue operations centre. A rescue vehicle can then be dispatched immediately. The system works automatically, but can also be triggered manually.
The optionally available Remote Online facility allows the customer to connect to their vehicle from anywhere and at any time via “connect.mercedes.me” and, for example, to use their smartphone to find out how full the tank is.
Success story: the compact car family from Mercedes-Benz
The new CLA Shooting Brake is the fifth member to join the Mercedes-Benz compact car family. And what a successful family it is: in 2014 some 463,152 A- and B-Class as well as CLA and GLA cars were sold, which is more than ever before. The biggest markets for the compact models are Germany, the UK and the USA.
The introduction of the new compact car models has seen the Mercedes-Benz brand become palpably younger in appeal – around the world, the average age of its customers has fallen. Globally, over a million cars of the new generation of compact models are now in customer hands, including over 150,000 CLA models. The conquest sales rate for the CLA worldwide stands at around 50 percent. Like the CLA, the CLA Shooting Brake is built at the company’s plant in Kecskémet, Hungary.