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Thursday, September 11, 2008

Mercedes-Benz ConceptFASCINATION

STUTTGART, Germany — Mercedes-Benz calls the look of its ConceptFASCINATION showcar "sense and sensuousness," and with good reason. The elegant wagon concept will debut at the 2008 Paris Auto Show next month.

Powered by Mercedes' latest four-cylinder diesel engine, Mercedes says this "design study" is intended to show that a coupe can have "fast, thrilling lines" and practicality at the same time. ConceptFASCINATION combines a refrigerated luggage compartment, lots of load space — and a humidor for cigar aficionados — with wood, aluminum and smoked glass interior trim.

The exterior design is intended to convey "forward-flowing energy" thanks to its frameless side window line, sculpted wheel arches and wedge-shaped profile. There's also a central ridge in the hood to continue the V-shape theme and a chrome strip running around the lower body into which the front LED foglamps are set.

Inside, luxurious materials "from the world of equestrianism" include woven fabrics and saddle-style leather on the aluminum center console, top of the dashboard and door armrests. Walnut and chrome trim are also plentiful inside, and the V theme is continued with the "dynamic wing" styling of the dashboard.

Mercedes-Benz says the ConceptFASCINATION is its 21st-century version of the classic shooting brake. No further plans for the design study were announced.

What this means to you: This concept might be a wagon, but expect to see much of the styling carry over to the next-generation E-Class.