First Look: 2010 Mercedes-Benz Shooting Break Concept

English tradition typically classifies a four-door station wagon as a “break,” while a two-door wagon – often resembling a sports coupe with a hatch grafted on for practicality – is usually deemed a “shooting brake.” Perplexed? Mercedes-Benz is ready to further your stupor, as the concept you see above – a crossover between those two worlds – is deemed a Shooting Break.

Regardless of what you decide to call it, there's little doubt that this concept leaves the stuffy ‘old world’ shooting brake neatly in the dust, replacing it with what is essentially a sneak peek of what a wagon version of the next CLS sedan could look like. Of course many of the oft-emulated CLS “four-door coupe” elements are there – the slippery arched profile; the swooping character line that runs seamlessly from front to rear; the long, taut body lines. But Mercedes has borrowed plenty of new elements to keep things fresh.

Those wide DTM-inspired rear fender haunches are pulled off the new E-Class sedan and coupe, and were also visible on the 2009 ConceptFASCINATION that debuted in Paris. That concept also lends its wagon rear to the Shooting Brake – though curiously, no mention of that term was made two years ago. The nose incorporates the pronounced ‘classic style’ grille design of the new SLS AMG supercar, also seen in Mercedes’ F800 Style concept from the 2010 Geneva Motor Show – a car also said to give an advanced look at the next-generation CLS.

More elements from that concept also carry over, but in a more production-friendly way. The LED headlamps retain their sharp profile, but are made slightly larger; the aggressive lower front fascia is carried over nearly intact, with gaping air intakes flanking the center grille. Even the scalloped sides aft of the front wheel wells are present. Recessed door handles are said to emerge at the touch of a hand, yet sadly, the reverse-hinged rear passenger doors have been dropped from the package. Twenty-inch wheels fill out the Shooting Brake’s fender arches.

Unlike the F800 Style concept, there is no fuel cell or hybrid technology lurking under the Shooting Brake concept’s hood. Instead, there sits what is said to be a forerunner to the next-generation of V-configuration Mercedes engines. Featuring spray-guided direct-injection, piezo-electric injection valves, and start-stop technology, Mercedes says its next 60-degree-angle 3.5-liter V-6 will produce 306 horsepower with 273 pound-feet of torque. The only sign of the new engine tech visible from the exterior are the twin exhaust tips integrated into the rear bumper.

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