Our spy photographers have now confirmed earlier reports that Mercedes-Benz plans to launch a shooting brake version of the CLA-Class sedan, possibly by 2015. Our European correspondent Georg Kacher first reported on the CLA Shooting Brake in May, and other reports this fall corroborated his prediction.
As these spy photos show, the Mercedes CLA-Class Shooting Brake will essentially look like a scaled-down version of Europe's CLS-Class Shooting Brake. Aft of the car's C-pillar, the roofline is extended before meeting an angled liftgate that ends in a narrow tab between taillights that are cribbed directly from the CLA-Class sedan. In fact, most of this prototype car looks like a standard Mercedes CLA-Class sedan. The nose has the same large black grille with concentric circles and swept-back headlights, the doors exhibit the same types of creases as on the sedan, and even the rear fascia looks like it was simply stolen from the back of a CLA-Class sedan.
Our source says that the Shooting Brake will use the same powertrains as the standard 2014 Mercedes-Benz CLA-Class sedan. If the car were sold in the U.S., that would mean the Shooting Brake could use a 2.0-liter turbo-four engine good for 208 hp. Mercedes could also build an AMG version based on the CLA45 AMG sedan, which would adopt that car's 355-hp engine and sportier chassis tuning.
As for whether Mercedes will sell the CLA-Class Shooting Brake in the U.S., it seems unlikely. Mercedes already decided against selling hatchbacks based on the same platform as the CLA-Class sedan -- the European A- and B-Class -- in the States, betting that sedans would be a more popular configuration with American buyers.
Update: Having previously spotted it in Germany, our spy photographer later caught the Mercedes-Benz CLA-Class Shooting Brake testing in Sweden. Those pictures are available below.