Boom in hot station wagons and shooting brakes

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There are a number of hot station wagons, like the Mercedes-Benz C63 AMG (pictured), in the past few years. Photo Credit: Thomas Doerfer/Wikimedia Commons/CC-BY-SA

In the past few years, an older and somewhat curious form of the automobile has experienced something of a resurgence, namely the “hot” station wagon. A two-door version, called the “shooting brake,” is also getting popular.

Hauling the family as well as something else in a hot station wagon

Station wagons are normally thought of as something only boring people buy, because they are married and have a bunch of kids and stuff to haul around. However, there has been a concerted effort from car makers to inject some fun into the station wagon, by releasing hot station wagons. A wagon isn’t hard to pull off, as it’s just adding a box to the rear of a sedan. Add it to a sport sedan and presto, a sport wagon.

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There aren’t many models available. Some of the best-known examples are the Mercedes-Benz C63 AMG and E63 AMG as well as the Cadillac CTS-V Wagon, which shoots from 0 to 60 miles per hour in 4 seconds.

The return of the shooting brake

There are also a number of companies releasing a “shooting brake,” which according to the New York Times is not quite the same as a station wagon. Some companies are marketing hot wagons as shooting brakes, but a shooting brake is technically a coupe that’s been given a wagon’s box on the end. The tradition stems from adding a station wagon’s bits to a sports car for men to take guns and dogs hunting in a sports car, hence “shooting” brake.

A recent example would be the Ferrari FF, a hatchback supercar, which according to Forbes comes with all-wheel-drive, has plenty of room in the back for gear and passenger, and a 651 horsepower V-12 which can shoot the car to 208 miles per hour. No hatch is hotter. Granted, it also costs $300,000.

Some upcoming models

Mercedes, according to InsideLine, has debuted the 2013 CLS 63 AMG, which the company calls a shooting brake despite four passenger doors, with a twin-turbo 5.5-liter V-8, producing 525 horsepower. Jaguar, according to Car and Driver, is working in an XF Sportbrake, essentially the British answer to the 3 series wagon. A “hot” variant hasn’t been announced yet, but power train options range from a 2.2-liter diesel engine to a 271 horsepower twin-turbo V-6.

Porsche, according to AutoGuide, is also working on an “estate” version of the Panamera sedan, or rather a wagon, since “estate” is the word the English use for “station wagon.” It’s going to debut as a concept in September at the Paris Auto Show, to gauge reactions. However, just like the CLS63 AMG, it isn’t going to be sold in the United States if it’s put into production, as Yankees tend to buy crossovers instead.


New York Times


Inside Line

Car and Driver:


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