By on September 28, 2012

Economies of scale are the driving force behind everything happening in the industry right now; it’s why Alfa and Mazda are collaborating on an MX-5 and why Volkswagen is building nearly everything on one platform. Does that lead to increased homogeneity on the product side? Absolutely. But it also makes cars like the CLS63 AMG Shooting Brake possible. Mercedes has all the components needed to make this car, and it barely costs them anything to produce it. The halo effect alone makes it worthwhile. Cadillac needed to sell just 5 CTS-V wagons to break even on the car, and it’s likely no different for Mercedes. Look for a brown one to show up in press fleets at some point.

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13 Comments on “Mercedes CLS63 AMG Shooting Brake – How To Take Advantage Of Economies Of Scale: Paris 2012 Live Shots...”

  • avatar
    Watch Carefully

    Stunning rear view. If my budget included $100k to buy an estate car, I’d choose this one. Maybe a smaller non-AMG version with a 3-litre motor is possible?

    I’ll be interested to see what Kleemann devises to gussy up this CSL63.

  • avatar

    This is the advantage of the platform/kit strategy: cars that otherwise would never have financial justification now do. As an example, Audi’s MLB gave rise to the A5 Sportback and the A7.

    Kit strategies give manufacturers the ability to fill smaller niches and to take greater risks with the niche cars because they don’t need to gamble big on their bread and butter. Find the A8 too stodgy? Well, we’ve got a swoopy A7 for you. Think the A4 is boring but the sexy A5 too limiting as a coupe? Shazaam, we have an A5 Sportback to cover that need.

    So long as the manufacturer avoids badge-engineering in the ’80s GM sense there should be no harm. Audi has already publicly stated that they recognize the need to better differentiate its next generation models from each other, after being recently criticized that its models are all too similar (same sausage-different length school).

  • avatar
    Spanish Inquisition

    So now all we need is a 5 or 6 speed that’ll bolt up to the engine, replace all the carbon fiber trim with aluminium, and make everything brown.

    • 0 avatar

      While I am one of the biggest fans of manual transmissions, and only buy manual trans cars, the “63” 156 engine would be unusable with a manual. It has so much constant torque, that the gears would just have to be ridiculously high. If you ever drove one of these cars, you would have a different opinion. I thought the same thing until I had the opportunity to drive a C63 “sportingly”.

      I’ve only driven an S63 with the new 5.5L twin turbo “63” 157 so I can’t state whether that engine would be more usable with a manual since that car is so heavy, but I don’t think so. I couldn’t sense very much turbo lag, and it pulls the large barge even stronger the the older 156.

  • avatar

    If this can only seat four than it is just a load of rubbish.
    If this can seat five that it is God’s gift to man.

    • 0 avatar

      For 5 what’s wrong with the E wagon.

      Reading “shooting brake”, I was hoping for a 3 door, with long, coupe front doors and a slightly tighter wheelbase than the E. As it stands, I’d rather have the E.

  • avatar

    Dumb question but is that 5 model break even point true for the CTS wagon? anyone know how many sales they’ve actually gotten? I know Mercedes has offered the AMG E class wagons for sale the last couple of generations even if they were by special order only.

    • 0 avatar

      I’m curious about this too, as from looking at GM’s website it doesn’t sticker for any more than it’s sedan counterpart.

      From what I’ve read in the past, these were the worst types of cars for companies to build — too small volume to make it worth modifying/devoting any normal production capacity to, but not profitable enough to have hand assembled by groups of employees.

      Not debating the number, just curious what’s changed over time to allow this.

  • avatar

    It’s a really dumb idea if you think about it, but at the same time its so awesome that I cant help myself from liking it. The CLS is basically a sporty, less practical sedan, and the whole point of wagons are to be practical. but at the same time…. look at it.

    Honestly luxury cars are all about showing your money and good taste, and this excels at both while still being marginally practical. It screams “my owner is smart and eurocentric.”

    Mission accomplished?

  • avatar

    I’m with tjh8402, that is not a dumb question. The constant contradiction between “we break even if we sell 5” versus “we can’t make money on wagons in the U.S.” is tiresome. Is there anyone here who can give an honest, valid explanation of how certain models make it to the States (or to the assembly line at all) and some do not?

    The cost of certifying under crash standards is thrown around all the time as a barrier to entry, but what does that actually cost, and does the platform sharing noted in this article have any direct impact on those costs? Another commenter notes the “special-order” status of E-Class AMG Wagons, but does that really mean anything besides dealers don’t stock them?

    Isn’t this a perfect topic for TTAC to tackle, to lay out how it really works for once? Perhaps it has already been done – links are appreciated.

  • avatar

    the original CLS wasn’t intended to be sold massively but I know some cases where buyers changed their minds from E-Class sedans and BMW E60s towards it. then MB released a “muscly” 2nd generation that doesn’t look as gorgeous or had the same impact. I like it, except when I remember of its predecessor.

    then this shooting brake was said to be released and I thought, “function tops form in all station wagons, so this coupebreakwhatever is kind of an oxymoron”. pics came and it was gorgeous. it tops its “coupe” counterpart.

    MB has just announced it will sell the CLS shooting brake here in Brazil from 2013. since they don’t sell the E-Class wagon here anymore, I guess a MY2014 CLS shooting brake will be my next car.

    in 2020, of course. and just as long as I find one with a bench in the rear (MB is gonna offer both a bench and two separate seats).

  • avatar

    I believe that Dodge Magnum was first in this segment – a wagon with useless cargo area due to the sloping roof.

  • avatar

    Why the hell would anyone need a 500+ HP wagon???


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