Remember the Mercedes CLS Shooting Brake? A lovely car, be in no doubt, yet one seemingly beset by conflicts - even by the standards of Mercedes' insatiable niche busting. The CLS was a more stylish, four-door coupe version of the E-Class (boiling things down to basics). Inherently therefore it was less commodious than the base vehicle, a point that continued to the Shooting Brake. Which, really, should be the practical version. And while it was more usable than the coupe, those after a hardy, durable E-Class based wagon could buy... an E-Class wagon. Up to and including an AMG version. The typically tough life an estate can lead, even the expensive ones, surely didn't sit all that well with the exquisite materials of the CLS. The estate body, handsome though it was, did perhaps dilute the CLS coupe message a tad.
It seems unlikely that something like the first (and only) CLS AMG Shooting Brake will happen again, unless Mercedes really wants to create a Panamera Sport Turismo Turbo rival by putting a wagon boot on the AMG GT 4-door. The E63 estate is better than it's ever been, after all, and it would appear the automotive niches left to fill are now solely of the SUV variety.
Thanks goodness, then, that Mercedes could once see the commercial sense in a near-600hp, rear-wheel drive sort-of coupe estate thing. Because just a few years later it's arguably looking more desirable than ever, such is the bizarre way in which car covetability tends to work. It's rarer than an RS6, more stylish than any E-Class, still wickedly fast and just about half the price of the aforementioned Panamera.
Don't think it's not up to being used and abused, either. Chris Harris ran a long-termer way back when, praising it for the speed, comfort, and ability to carry all manner of video equipment. While also returning better fuel economy, and feeling of higher quality, than an RS6. So there.
The CLS (and its E63 equivalent) of this era also now assume special significance as the last of the big, bad AMG wagons that were rear-wheel drive only. Again, it's another conflict, because four-wheel drive would make the performance even more explosive (as we're now seeing), but there remains something immensely naughty, and really rather cool, about so much power and two-wheel drive.
All things considered, then, this particular '63 Shooting Brake - the only petrol powered SB in the classifieds - has an awful lot to recommend it. As an 'S' car it benefits from the full 585hp, and was also treated to a host of other options that made it a £93,000 car new. Now, just 5,000 miles and little over 24 months later, it's for sale at £30k less than that. It happens with all cars of this ilk, yes, and there's no doubt the CLS will continue to depreciate, though that still represents a hefty chunk off the list price.
That it's being sold by a knowledgeable owner is another encouraging sign. Running two tonnes of Affalterbach V8 wagon is never going to be cheap, whether new, two years old or another decade down the line, so best be prepared - surely, though, here is where the experience is commensurate with the expense. So while £60k will most certainly buy a lovely RS6, or a very nearly new C63, don't forget about the CLS - odd idea it may have seemed, and will probably always remain, but what a car it turned out to be.
SPECIFICATION - MERCEDES-BENZ CLS63 S AMG SHOOTING BRAKE
Engine: 5,461cc, twin-turbo V8
Transmission: 7-speed automatic, rear-wheel drive
Power (hp): 585@5,500rpm
Torque (lb ft): 590@1,750-5,250rpm
MPG: 28.3 (NEDC combined)
CO2: 234 (standard car)
First registered: 2017
Recorded mileage: 5,000
Price new: £83,030 (before options)
Yours for: £63,495