The Mercedes-Benz CLA Shooting Brake, the fifth member of the Stuttgart brand’s growing family of front- and all-wheel-drive small cars, has broken cover.
As the name suggests, the CLA Shooting Brake is a conceptual shoot-off from the CLS Shooting Brake and a sleek wagon version of the already familiar CLA four-door sedan. (On a side note, some insist that 'shooting brake' denotes a two-door wagon body style, but such is Mercedes-Benz nomenclature).
This model, known internally as X117 for anoraks out there, joins the brand’s MFA-based (meaning the MFA architecture it utilises) family alongside the CLA sedan, A-Class and B-Class hatchbacks, and GLA crossover.
This MFA family is becoming increasingly vital to the brand, appealing as it is to younger aspirational buyers looking to get into something with a premium badge. Mercedes-Benz sold 375,000 units from the family during the first 10 months of 2014 alone.
The Shooting Brake essentially shares the CLA sedan’s footprint (4630mm long, 1777mm wide and 1435mm high), but offers better practicality and 40mm more rear headroom.
You can store 495 litres of cargo with the seats up and 1354L with them folded, which is on par with a compact SUV. Seats up, it’s about line-ball with the larger C-Class wagon too.
There are also clever touches such as a magnetic ski-catch on the load-through port and an electric tailgate. And while its shape means it doesn’t emulate the CLA sedan’s record 0.22Cd aero rating, its 0.26Cd figure is slippery for a load-lugger.
The design inside is largely familiar, though as mentioned it is friendlier to taller rear occupants. While nominally a five-seater, Mercedes admits the emphasis is firmly on the outer seats. The floating 17.8cm screen, five round air vents and switchgear is pure CLA sedan.
Launch models globally are familiar, encompassing the 1.6-litre CLA180 (90kW/200Nm) and CLA200 (115kW/250Nm), and 2.0-litre CLA250 (155kW/350Nm) petrol variants, and 2.1-litre CLA200 (110kW/300Nm) and CLA220 (130kW/350Nm) CDI diesel variants.
Front- or 4MATIC all-wheel-drive can be had depending on spec. All will come with a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic gearbox.
Naturally, a 265kW/450Nm CLA45 AMG derivative will also be offered, with a claimed 0-100km/h sprint time of 4.7 seconds, or 0.1s slower than the sedan. The fiery, hand-built by AMG twin-scroll engine remains the word’s most potent production 2.0-litre unit.
The arrival of both the Shooting Brake and the all-new C63 AMG and GT coupe promises another busy year for the Affalterbach tuning haus in Australia, which this year has already posted a sales record.
Expect the Australian range — which will launch between April and June 2015 — to largely mirror the CLA sedan range, meaning the CLA200 petrol and CDI, CLA250 4MATIC and CLA45 AMG.
Pricing is unknown, but you’d expect a small premium over the $49,900-$86,900 sedan line-up.
Given the global launches of these variants will occur from early 2015, out to March for the CLA45 AMG, the fact Mercedes-Benz can get all versions of the car to Australia just a few months after is welcome indeed.
The CLA Shooting Brake, like the sedan, is assembled in Kecskemet, Hungary.
See full CLA Shooting Brake gallery in the Photos tab above.