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Thursday 20th September 2012

Chris Harris Video: Merc CLS 63 AMG Shooting Brake

Looks like the Harris family mutts may have something to look forward to



For a company grappling with the public’s perception of its brand, Mercedes Benz achieved something quite special with the 2004 CLS. As the world’s press was whinging about poor build quality, inferior dynamics and Jurgen Schremp’s attempt to conquer America, Mercedes gave us a car that, looking back, was universally liked.

Imagine poor old Fido in the back
Imagine poor old Fido in the back
This was niche placement conducted with searing accuracy and delivered with clinical precision. One day a 5-Series or an E-Class felt like the right thing: the next we were all crowing about a spiritual successor to the Jag XJ6.

Regardless, these things are normally best judged by the level of imitation that follows their release - and it’s no surprise to see everyone still trying to get in on the act.

So Mercedes needed a new niche, and the CLS Shooting Brake is the chosen route. Judged by my day with this AMG version, many people will soon find themselves hankering after a swooping almost-estate car, even though they never had any interest in one before now.

557hp 'option' is actually 'standard'
557hp 'option' is actually 'standard'
I know the 250 CDi will be the volume player, but needs must, and AMG rolled-out this rather splendid white 63 version, so we had to shoot it for the video.

What does Shooting Brake mean? For us lot, an extra 60kg over the rear axle and 590 litres of space with the seats up, or 1550 litres with them flat. Like you, I can glean nothing from those last values, but I will say this: the boot is surprisingly big. The aperture isn’t as narrow as I’d expected, and two small woofers would be quite happy in there.

An electric tailgate is standard, as are three seats across the rear bench, as opposed to the saloon’s (coupe’s?) two. To me, the SB makes a pretty compelling case like this: over and above the car on which it is based, it will seat an extra human, and carry dogs.

White leather and matt paint add £4.3k
White leather and matt paint add £4.3k
There does appear to be some confusion on the engine specification for the 63 AMG. The press materials talk of the same output options as the other E/CLS versions with 525hp standard and 557hp optional (adding another 74lb ft), but a Mercedes chap told me that they were initially only offering the car with the higher output. When asked if that was because people always ticked the ‘fast’ box, he just smiled. I’ll dig and find out more.

Otherwise, it’s a CLS, which is mostly excellent news. There’s something strange about the steering’s self-centring at certain speeds, and on this AirMatic suspension car, you can park it and wonder why it rides so high. Then, like a Labrador that’s snaffled the Sunday joint, it will emit a great pffftt of air and settle down onto its haunches. Even so, it would look even better if it rode a little lower.

1550 litres: that's a lot of Tyskie
1550 litres: that's a lot of Tyskie
The middle seat in the rear is most certainly for the naughtiest child, and the removable section which allows the seatback to fold is an afterthought, but otherwise, this is a beautifully finished car.

It’s expensive though. A basic 250CDi is a whopping £49,360; this car was £83,030, and that didn’t include £4,370 worth of matt white paint and white leather.

But if this car deserves to succeed, it does so for one main reason. Mercedes referenced the Lynx Eventer in the press materials. That says it all. Enjoy the video.


Chris Harris
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Author Discussion

Hellbound

Original Poster:

2,254 posts

63 months

[news] 
Wednesday 19th September 2012 quote quote all
Another great video, and what an odd beast of a car!

MIP1983

136 posts

92 months

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Wednesday 19th September 2012 quote quote all
Why would you have a panamera over this? Not my kind of car, but it's really nice.

British Beef

730 posts

52 months

[news] 
Wednesday 19th September 2012 quote quote all
Good video, stunning car and a very nice noise!!

I agree and think it looks better than the CLS, certainly better looking than Panamera. I wonder how it compares as a drivers car?

Phil Dicky

4,336 posts

150 months

[news] 
Wednesday 19th September 2012 quote quote all
Massive want

enioldjoe

1,062 posts

98 months

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Wednesday 19th September 2012 quote quote all
C'mon, lets be having that footage of the 911 Chase. Don't tease us like that.


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davepoth

23,452 posts

86 months

[news] 
Wednesday 19th September 2012 quote quote all
I like how slow motion powersliding sounds like a TIE Fighter from Star Wars.

topless_mx5

2,274 posts

105 months

[news] 
Wednesday 19th September 2012 quote quote all
Great video and what a noise.

I know Chris said the Auto box doesn't bother him so much, but the up shift at 3 mins 49 seconds seems to take an age by modern standards. I know that would do my nut in given the performance of the rest of the car.

On to bigger issues though, please can we have some more footage of the 997 chase smile

em177

1,730 posts

51 months

[news] 
Wednesday 19th September 2012 quote quote all
enioldjoe said:
C'mon, lets be having that footage of the 911 Chase. Don't tease us like that.
thumbup

logos

6 posts

31 months

[news] 
Wednesday 19th September 2012 quote quote all
Great vid as ever!
Mr Harris, just one question: CLS 350 CDI SB or Panamera diesel?

splitpin

2,568 posts

85 months

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Wednesday 19th September 2012 quote quote all
Phil Dicky said:
Massive want
Why do I always think 'Titty Mummy' when I read a post comprising of the W word with a one word prefix or suffix. scratchchin

Anyway, it's sort of OK-ish sort of, but sort of OK-ish sort of isn't anywhere good enough to extract £83K out of this particular tight wad; and as for another £4K plus for a grotesque matt white exterior and equally grotesque white leather interior, yeah, pull the other one; only if the option includes two little Lion Cut White Poodles wink

edar

435 posts

78 months

[news] 
Wednesday 19th September 2012 quote quote all
Is it me, or does the background music in the vid sound like a tacky porn movie?laugh Not that I know about these things, of course whistle

Top review again, Chris and the teamthumbup

405dogvan

4,328 posts

152 months

[news] 
Wednesday 19th September 2012 quote quote all
Interesting option - I've always fancied myself an E63 wagon but seeing one (probably not an actual E63 but badged/wheeled/kitted as one) it was - to be truthful - fking enormous - like really, really, really VAST and uncomfortably so...

Not that CLSes are exactly compact - maybe a C63 Wagon if there's such a thing then? smile

keemaklan

228 posts

37 months

[news] 
Wednesday 19th September 2012 quote quote all
What a gorgeous car! Ludicrously expensive but that only makes me love it more.

I'd much rather have the old N/A 63 though...the complexity of the 5.5 twin turbo units scare me. Intercoolers, turbos, etc. Have had enough hassle with boost pipes to last me a lifetime.



405dogvan

4,328 posts

152 months

[news] 
Wednesday 19th September 2012 quote quote all
logos said:
Great vid as ever!
Mr Harris, just one question: CLS 350 CDI SB or Panamera diesel?
1 massive difference - a 5th seat...

seawise

961 posts

93 months

[news] 
Wednesday 19th September 2012 quote quote all
405dogvan said:
1 massive difference - a 5th seat...
Yeap, which is one reason why I drive an E63 estate and not a Panamera. If you think a E Klasse estate is vast check out the girth on a Pana - far too fat to negotiate our lanes with confidence.

CLS looks interesting, but the extra space will keep me in an E Klasse.

M666 EVO

888 posts

49 months

[news] 
Wednesday 19th September 2012 quote quote all
Do not like these cars at all

Either I am clinging onto being childless and enjoying life with no need for estates or it is actually a tacky, horrid and expensive thing

Latter me thinks

Japsteeze

54 posts

30 months

[news] 
Wednesday 19th September 2012 quote quote all
Why tease with that 1 second shot of the porsche chase! Need to see more of that

NGK210

680 posts

32 months

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Wednesday 19th September 2012 quote quote all
Nice vid, ta.

Useful load space, but is the rear suspension self-levelling?

Blacked-out rear and side windows are also useful - the 'Brake could be used as a part-time hearse or ambulance.

dufctubs

166 posts

39 months

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Wednesday 19th September 2012 quote quote all
Great car, great driving , great sounds !!!

irf

734 posts

112 months

[news] 
Wednesday 19th September 2012 quote quote all
good vid, was this shot anywhere near the ring?

more of that chase with the porsche please!
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