Body-styles in Mercedes' staple E-Class range have been taken on a heck of a roller coaster these past few years. The original included sedan, wagon, coupe and convertible variants. Then the latter two were split off as the CLK, but after introducing the CLS as essentially a four-door coupe version of the E-Class, Mercedes opted to bring the two-door variants back into the fold for the current generation. Recent rumors have suggested that Mercedes could delay the wagon and cabrio versions, and even re-introduce the CLK alongside the E-Class Coupe, but with neither of those conjectures looking very likely, the latest report from the rumormongers at Auto Express suggest that Mercedes could be planning yet another body-style for the E-Class range: a three-door shooting brake.
For the uninitiated, a shooting brake is an old-school body-style that melds a station wagon with a coupe, traditionally, such load-lugging solutions have been arrived at by hiring a coachbuilder to turn a sedan or a coupe into a wagon. Think Chevrolet Nomad and you're not far off. And with the German auto industry playing an increasingly intricate game of one-upmanship with segment-busting body-styles, Mercedes apparently looks poised to take things one step further with a fifth E-Class form. The prospect looks even more likely when you consider that the current E-Class' design was previewed in the first place by a shooting brake show car called the Concept Fascination at last year's Paris show. If Daimler decides to give the three-door E the green light, it'd likely carry over the mechanicals and engine options from its two-door counterpart, including four, six and eight-cylinder gasoline and clean diesel powerplants. Whether an AMG version like the sedan is offered or nixed like the coupe's remains to be seen, however, but we could get a look at a production prototype as early as the Frankfurt Motor Show in September, so stay tuned.