BMW 6 Series won’t spawn a Mercedes CLS Shooting Brake-fighting wagon

BMW is certainly no stranger to niche vehicles, but the Munich-based automaker has confirmed that it will not take on the Mercedes-Benz CLS-Class Shooting Brake with a family-focused variant of the 6 Series.

Late last year, rumors indicated that engineers were busily developing a roomy station wagon variant of the 6 Series. Tentatively called 6 Series Gran Tourer, the wagon was tipped to get a gently-sloping roofline and a rakish hatch, styling cues that would have put it in line with its sleek-looking Mercedes-badged rival.

Speaking with Dutch newspaper De Telegraaf, a BMW executive explained that the existing coupe, convertible and sedan versions of the 6 sell well so there is currently no need for the company to add a fourth body style to the lineup. Additionally, it is difficult for BMW to make a favorable business case for a high-zoot, low-volume model whose main market would undoubtedly be Europe.

While BMW has made it clear that it will not follow the path blazed by Mercedes, rival Audi previewed what a CLS Shooting Brake-fighting model could look like with the diesel-electric prologue avant concept that was presented earlier this month at the Geneva Motor Show. Although it was well received by the public and the press alike, the wagon has not been given the green light for production yet and it could be a simple design study.

What’s next?
The next-generation 6 Series will be introduced before the end of the decade. Earlier reports indicate that BMW’s next big coupe will be sportier and much more nimble to drive than today’s somewhat bulky model thanks in part to a smaller footprint. The next 6 will be lighter, too, and sources close to BMW have hinted that it could shed nearly 500 pounds by switching to a new aluminum-intensive modular platform that will be inaugurated this fall by next 7 Series.