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Audi Allroad Shooting Brake Defies Easier Categorization

Is it crossover, wagon…or something new?

by on Jan.12, 2014

Audi's Allroad Shoot Brake concept may have observers wondering what it is: crossover, sport utility or station wagon?

Automakers seem to take delight in delivering new designs that don’t fall into any handy category. The idea is to find new “white space” that the competition hasn’t thought up yet. And that seems to be what Audi has in mind with the Allroad shooting brake it will formally unveil this week at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit.

The luxury maker alternately refers to the concept vehicle as a “crossover” and a “shooting brake,” a British term that usually translates into “wagon.” We can understand Audi’s reluctance to use that term, particularly in the U.S., where station wagons are anathema to most buyers. But call it what you will, the Allroad shooting brake concept picks up on the more sporty, wagon-esque stance that is quite popular in Europe and many other parts of the world. And it just might be handsome enough to click with American buyers, as well.

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It better. Audi’s tech director, Dr. Ulrich Hackenberg, suggests the show car is “offering very concrete glimpses of the near future.” In other words, expect to see it in production in the very near future. (more…)

First Look: Coupe-Like Mercedes-Benz Shooting Brake Concept

A wagon version of the next CLS?

by on Apr.20, 2010

The 2011 Mercedes-Benz Shooting Brake concept shows the influence of both the CLS sedan and SLS sports car.

Few recent designs have had more of an impact on industry styling than the coupe-like Mercedes-Benz CLS.  The sweeping shape, blending elegant form with functionality, has strongly influenced any number of competitive offerings, from BMW to Volkswagen, as well as a variety of U.S. and Asian makers.

And it’s inspiring some creative efforts right inside Mercedes German design studios, as these images of the CLS-like Shooting Brake concept wagon suggest.  From a side view, the influence of Mercedes’ Coupe-Like-Sedan is immediately apparent, though there’s also a touch of the new, gullwinged SLS roadster in the nose of the new concept vehicle – which will make its debut at the upcoming Beijing Motor Show.

With the grand proliferation we’ve seen in the luxury market, in recent years, it’s increasingly common to see one maker life another’s design.  That happened with the swooping form of the original CLS sedan.  Here, however, Mercedes seems to be responding to arch-rival BMW’s new 5-Series Grand Turismo line – but rather than echoing the heavy and angular Bavarian shape, Mercedes has repurposed the sleek likes of the CLS.

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This is clearly not the sort of wagon Baby Boomers grew up with, and with more and more manufacturers looking to revive the moribund segment in the U.S. market, this CLS Shooting Brake could shatter long-standing opposition to the wagon.  In other parts of the world, like Europe, this Shooting Brake concept could stretch already strong demand for two-box models even further.