Design: Sharp contours and sensuous surfaces

Mar 5, 2015
Three years ago Mercedes-Benz realised a sports car in a new shape in the form of the CLS Shooting Brake – with five seats and a large tailgate. The founders of this vehicle concept are now following it up with a second Shooting Brake model exuding stylish sporty flair and modern luxury, with lines that are the essence of sensual purity.
Many of the detailed elements of the CLA Shooting Brake, such as its frameless side windows, appear to define it as a coupé, yet at the same time it offers the variability and practicality of an estate car. And with its long bonnet, sleek window profile with integral rear quarter window and the gentle downward slope of its roof as it flows to the rear, it demonstrates the same crouching posture as the CLS Shooting Brake. The long sweep of the roof right to the rear of the car means that it offers more headroom in the back than the four-door CLA coupé model, as well as being easier to get into.
The interplay between sharply defined lines and large surface expanses gives rise to some exciting and characteristic light effects, resulting in a unique look that sets the CLA Shooting Brake quite apart from other vehicles in related segments.
The sporty design of its front section gives the CLA its typical look. Among the striking features that contribute to this characteristic dynamic look are the powerdomes on the bonnet that are such a hallmark of Mercedes coupés, and the diamond radiator grille with a central Mercedes star. The way the bonnet is embedded into the front end makes it appear longer and, in conjunction with the upright radiator grille and the prominent V-shape of the front end, gives the car its crouching posture. The arrangement of the light modules and LEDs behind the headlamp lenses gives rise to the characteristic "eyebrow" effect for the daytime running lamps and indicators.
The sleek greenhouse, the elongated roof contour line, the high beltline with low side windows and an additional quarter window, plus the D-pillar that tapers towards the rear, are the particular styling elements of the CLA Shooting Brake seen in profile. Two character lines define this profile: the new, modern interpretation of the "dropping line", together with a further separate swell to the flank above the "dropping line". This supports the D-pillar, which in its turn continues the line round to the tailgate. The precise lines and three-dimensional effect of the side design create a sinewy, animated play of light and shadow.
The broad emphasis of the rear end conveys a sense of power, in an interplay of tense, muscular volume and sharply defined edges. The sloping roof line, the pronounced curve of the rear window and tailgate and the distinctive look of the rear end as a whole give the CLA Shooting Brake an unmistakable flair of its own. The narrowing of the car at the D-pillars, in conjunction with the broad shoulder muscle over the rear wheel arch, adds up to a strikingly athletic look, particularly when seen from the rear.
The elegant arrowhead design of the rear light clusters carries the harmonious flow of the shoulders round from the side to the rear end, the horizontal orientation serving to emphasise the powerful width of the vehicle. The single-piece rear light units are set neatly into the body and reflect the relationship of the CLA Shooting Brake to both the four-door Coupé model CLA and to the larger CLS Shooting Brake. The light functions are presented in an arrowhead arrangement. Aerials are integrated into the sporty roof spoiler.
Interior: high-quality materials and integral seats
The exterior's progressive, sporty appearance is continued inside the vehicle. The interior additionally derives a very special quality feel from the design idiom of sensual purity, as well as the selection and combinations of the materials chosen. Special equipment packages include colour-contrasted stitching.
The twin-tube instrument cluster comprises two large round dials, each with a small round dial set inside it. When at rest the needles are in the 6 o'clock position. The silver-coloured needles are inlaid in red, while the dial faces feature a silver-grey textured surface. Another highlight is the new generation of 3-spoke steering wheels in different variants, including a multifunction sports steering wheel with flattened bottom section and red or black topstitching.
The instrument panel incorporates five round vents. The outer rings of the round vents on all models have a high-quality silver chrome galvanised finish. The airflow direction is governed by a galvanised insert that reveals a meticulous attention to detail. The CLA Shooting Brake features the latest generation of telematics systems. The free-standing display screen features a large screen diagonal of 17.8 cm (7 inches), together with a high-gloss piano-black front panel, a flush-fitting frame in Silvershadow and a fully glazed screen. In combination with COMAND Online the screen is even larger (screen diagonal 20.3 cm/8 inches); optionally this display is also available for the Audio 20.
The functions shown on the display combine intuitive operation with attractive images and graphics, thus ensuring a positive user experience that adds to the exceptional design appeal of the interior as a whole.
To underline the sporty character, the CLA Shooting Brake boasts integral seats at the front and rear. Luxury seats with a separate head restraint are available on request in the Urban design and equipment line. The rear bench seat emphasises the outer seats (2+1-seater). Colour-coordinated contrasting topstitching is available based on the chosen equipment. The ambient lighting system encompasses a total of 13 light sources in the interior, among them a light in the opening between the head restraint and the backrest. The ambient lighting system is available as an option with different colours: any of twelve colour schemes can be selected to suit taste and mood, helping to conjure up an individual atmosphere in the interior.
The CLA Shooting Brake - like all the models in the compact model series - also bears the quality seal of the European Centre for Allergy Research Foundation (ECARF) for a scientifically tested high level of allergy-friendliness. Mercedes-Benz is the only automotive manufacturer to earn the ECARF seal.
Mercedes-Benz CLA Shooting Brake, design
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Mercedes-Benz CLA Shooting Brake, design
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Mercedes-Benz CLA Shooting Brake, design
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Mercedes-Benz CLA Shooting Brake, design
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Mercedes-Benz CLA Shooting Brake, design
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Mercedes-Benz CLA 250 4MATIC Shooting Brake, studio, OrangeArt, mountain grey
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Mercedes-Benz CLA 250 4MATIC Shooting Brake, studio, OrangeArt, mountain grey
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Mercedes-Benz CLA Shooting Brake, jupiter red, studio
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Mercedes-Benz CLA Shooting Brake, jupiter red, studio
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Mercedes-Benz CLA Shooting Brake, jupiter red, studio
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Mercedes-Benz CLA Shooting Brake, jupiter red, studio
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Mercedes-Benz CLA Shooting Brake, jupiter red, studio
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