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2013 Mercedes-Benz CLS & CLS63 AMG Shooting Brake Officially Uncovered 9
Posted by Malcolm Hogan in Automotive, CLS Shooting Brake, Mercedes Benz, Mercedes-Benz CLS, Mercedes-Benz CLS63 AMG, News, Shooting Brake, Sport Wagon, Station Wagons on 07 9th, 2012

Mercedes-Benz has officially uncovered there new CLS Shooting Brake, sporting a few different engine flavors from diesel to a 557 horsepower petrol engine. The new 2013 CLS Shooting Brake, or what you may recognize as a CLS wagon, will offer couple BlueEfficiency diesel options starting with a 204 hp 250 CDI variant and 265 hp 350 CDI version. The gasoline CLS Shooting Brake variations will get either a 3.5-liter 306 hp V6, 408 hp 4.6-liter biturbo V8 or the performance-injected CLS63’s twin turbo 525 hp V8  with a Special Edition 1 model option with as much as 557 hp.

Automotive consumers, especially in today’s economic conditions, have taken a liking to vehicles that serve many purposes. One particular vehicle that has received a new love is the wagon. Enthusiasts today rather not call shooting brake renditions of vehicles a ‘station wagon’ due to their association with old-school wood-on-the-side Clark Griswold-type vehicles. The new CLS will have no problem with shaking off that old notion especially when you factor in as much as 557 horsepower.

I am not sure how practical 557 horsepower is on a Benz CLS wagon, but I am sure it is a necessity for those who want to have their cake and eat it too. Reminds me of the practically of the Cadillac CTS-V wagon… absolutely necessary for enthusiasts!

The new 557 horsepower CLS63 AMG Shooting Brake, our obvious choice out of the lineup, will be good for a 0-60mph run in 4.3 seconds and electronically limited top speed of 155 mph. Both versions of the CLS AMG get the seven-speed AMG SPEEDSHIFT automatic transmission. You can even get a set of optional carbon ceramic brakes underneath lightweight 19-inch alloy wheels.

In typical Benz CLS fashion, the aluminum body construction keeps things light while an optional carbon fiber aero kit and rear axle differential lock pushes the envelope even further. Soccer moms or the grandparents need not apply.

The new 2012 Mercedes-Benz CLS Shooting Brake, including the CLS63 AMG Shooting Brake, will commence European sales in October while an official world debut takes place at the Paris Auto Show a month prior.


Chris Harris Versus Fast Grocery Getters: Video 21
Posted by Kurt Ernst in audi, Audi RS4 Avant, Automotive, Kurt, Station Wagons, video, Videos on 06 21st, 2012

Americans, we’re told, don’t buy station wagons. When we need family haulers, we’re inclined to buy bloated and driving-enjoyment-void SUVs, or even worse, their boiled-down-to-remove-capabilities descendants, crossover vehicles. Perhaps it’s the romantic notion of Westward Expansion; as Americans, we want the ability to jump into out contemporary covered wagons and head out to the Oregon Trail, even if we never actually do so.

Europeans aren’t saddled with this cultural baggage, and in exchange get rewarded with a plethora of fast and entertaining station wagons. Audi’s original RS4, launched in 2000 and built for just two years, asked the question, “why can’t family haulers serve up AWD traction and serious driving fun, too?”

As Chris Harris points out, the original B5 RS4 had a great engine, but was compromised by a harsh suspension, oversensitive brakes and numb steering; in short, it was a good car that just missed the mark on being a great car.

Enter the B7 version of the Audi RS4 wagon, launched in 2006 and built until 2008. Instead of the original’s biturbo V-6, the new version packed a normally aspirated V8 with a surprisingly high redline of 8,000 rpm. While the B7 featured a markedly improved suspension, steering and brakes, it’s engine lacked torque down low, forcing drivers to wind it out to make power.

This year, Audi is launching an all new RS4, available with a dizzying array of electro-gizmos. As Harris points out, none of these really help the driving dynamics of the car; while the B7 RS4 felt sorted, the new version feels overly complex, and still suffers from the same lack of torque as the previous version. It’s a step forward, but not necessarily a step in the right direction.

Alternatively, there’s the Mercedes-Benz C63 AMG Wagon, in Europe anyway. It lacks the traction-enhancing stability of AWD, but presents itself as a German-built muscle car. As Harris puts it, the C63 AMG is “dripping with magic,” even though you pay a premium price for it.

Frankly, we need more cars like that in the United States. Too many sold here are dripping with blandness, snapped up by buyers who see driving as a tedious chore and not something to be enjoyed.