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Forbidden fruit: Mercedes CLA gets Shooting Brake variant

Mercedes-Benz has introduced the CLA-Class Shooting Brake. Designed exclusively for the European market, the CLA Shooting Brake is the fifth and final member  of Mercedes’ front-wheel drive lineup.

As expected, the family-friendly CLA is identical to its four-door counterpart from the tip of the front bumper to the B-pillar. Beyond that, it features a gently sloping roofline, a rakish hatch and a third side window. Overall, the wagon intentionally borrows a noticeable amount of styling cues from the larger CLS Shooting Brake, Mercedes’ other family-focused forbidden fruit.

The more practical body style allows the CLA Shooting Brake to offer 1.5 inches of additional headroom and a total of 17.5 cubic feet of trunk space behind the rear seats, nearly a full cubic foot more than the sedan. Cargo capacity increases to a generous 47.8 cubic feet when the rear seats are folded flat.

Related: 2015 S-Class Coupe driven

The Shooting Brake is offered with the same engines as the standard Euro-spec CLA. Buyers in the United Kingdom can choose from two diesel-burning four-cylinders rated at 136 and 177 horsepower, respectively, and three gasoline-powered four-bangers whose outputs range from 122 to 211 horsepower. The 211-horsepower unit can be ordered with Mercedes’ 4Matic four-wheel drive system at an extra cost.

The range-topping CLA 45 AMG Shooting Brake (pictured in white) packs a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine tuned to produce 360 horsepower at 6,000 rpms and 331 pound-feet of torque between 2,250 and 5,000 rpms. Linked to a fast-shifting seven-speed dual-clutch transmission, the turbo four sends the CLA from zero to 62 mph in a brisk 4.7 seconds and on to an electronically limited top speed of 155 mph.

The Mercedes-Benz CLA-Class Shooting Brake is scheduled to go on sale across Europe in January of next year, and the first deliveries are scheduled to take place in March. Pricing information will be published in the weeks leading up to its on-sale date.

Unfortunately for wagon fans, at the time of writing Mercedes is not planning on selling the sleek wagon on this side of the pond.