by Tim Beissmann

The Mercedes-Benz CLS Shooting Brake has been captured in its most revealing guise yet ahead of its unveiling and international launch later this year.

Today’s images expose the taillight and rear hatch design, which closely mirrors that of the CLS Shooting Brake concept that first appeared at the 2010 Beijing motor show.

Mercedes continues to guard the shape of the rear pillar and is attempting to throw us off the scent with some dramatically angled white tape, but the production model should feature a more conventional window line that stretches close to the taillights.

Mercedes-Benz Australia’s David McCarthy today confirmed the local CLS Shooting Brake line-up would mirror the existing four-model CLS four-door ‘coupe’ range, which includes the CLS350, CLS350 CDI diesel, CLS500 and the CLS63 AMG.

McCarthy said exact timing was yet to be finalised but insisted the local brand was still trying to get the car into Australian showrooms before the end of the year.

He said the CLS Shooting Brake variants would be equipped like their sedan counterparts and confirmed there would be a price premium for the larger wagon body style. Mercedes is yet to reveal exact pricing, although the premium for the CLS Shooting Brake models is likely to be in the same region as that for the Estate versions of the E-Class, which are roughly around $5000 more than the sedans.

The Mercedes-Benz CLS Shooting Brake will go head to head with the BMW 5-Series GT. BMW has sold 27 5-Series GTs in Australia so far this year, almost double its effort in the first four months of 2011. Meanwhile, Mercedes-Benz has sold 96 CLS sedans, exactly double the number of Audi A7 Sportbacks delivered by its other German rival.




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