I love German station wagons. They are all the rage in Europe. Not so much here in the US of A. The "station wagon stigma" is an unfortunate holdover from the baby boomer era and it has made the station wagon an endangered species here. Voting with their wallets, Americans routinely buy SUV's and ignore station wagons...or "estate wagons" as they are called in Europe.
I am perplexed by this phenomenon. A station wagon gives you all of the cargo-toting capabilities of a SUV, the handling capabilities of a car and much better gas mileage. Yet people opt for SUV's with their high ground clearance, which gives the vehicle a much higher center of gravity, compromised handling and a higher propensity for rollovers. And we Americans keep buying them by the millions.
Audi has withdrawn their A4 and A6 wagons from our shores. The only thing to satisfy the wagon urge for Audi fanboys is the stunning A4 Allroad. BMW withdrew the 5 series wagon and replaced it with the ugliest car of all-time, the 5 series GT. What in the hell were BMW's designers thinking when they penned that monstrosity? Perhaps they were giving Pontiac Aztek owners something to aspire to? On the bright side, BMW just announced that they will be bringing their new 3 series wagon stateside.
Mercedes has fought the tide by continuing to offer their gorgeous E-series wagon. And then they shocked the automotive world by creating the drop-dead beautiful CLS Shooting Brake you see pictured above. This is a wagon variation based on their popular CLS sedan (which is inexplicably marketed as a "four door coupe"). It goes on sale later this fall (price TBD) and will be available in both rear and all-wheel drive.
If you are in a hurry, you can opt for the CLS 63 AMG Shooting Brake. The monster, twin-turbocharged V-8 puts out 550 horsepower and will rocket the car from 0-60 in just 3.8 mind-warping seconds. Those kind of numbers give me thigh sweats. Just as I was getting all worked up for this beauty, Mercedes announced that the CLS Shooting Brake will only be available in Europe.