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Live: Mercedes-Benz Fascination Concept

by Nick Aziz

Last month, Mercedes-Benz released official photos of its Fascination show car. Today, the car went on public display at the Paris Motor Show. The shooting brake previews the upcoming CLK-Class models -- even though it has been morphed into a sporty wagon. Closely related to the new E-Class, the next-generation CLK might be renamed E-Class Coupe, or a new name, like CLE, might be used.

For those of you not familiar with European car jargon, a shooting brake is generally thought of as a sporty wagon, distinguished from a hatchback by its greater size and low-slung look.

Rumors about the car first broke in April, though it's still unclear if this particular body style is actually intended for production. One thing is certain, however: the Fascination provides a good preview of the overall styling of the new 2010 CLK coupe and convertible, minus hatchback the roofline.

The Fascination study is rather interesting as it underscores a closer relationship between the CLK-Class and the E-Class. The CLK and the next-generation E-Class will share the same quad-headlight treatment -- now squared off instead of the current car's rounded look -- and a similar bold front grille.

The CLK has long been positioned as a sort of E-Class coupe, despite always been built on the C-Class platform. Though not confirmed, rumors indicate the new CLK will use the E-Class platform and could begin sharing the same powertrains, including the upcoming Bluetech hybrid system planned for 2010.

There is also some speculation the CLK might see a name change to CLE, in order to better align it with the E-Class. We're not sure Mercedes would dump a well established nameplate like CLK, but we wouldn't rule it out, either. The automaker recently obtained a trademark for the name CLE, so it's a distinct possibility.

Live images from Paris Motor Show