Lost in Translation: Did Mercedes mean to use the term “Brake”?

Michael C. May 20, 2010

Just last month, Mercedes-Benz announced the Shooting Break Concept at the Beijing Motor Show, touting it as the next-gen CLS Wagon. Everyone, including us, was wondering if Mercedes used the wrong term to describe their new concept, but report after report, press release after press release, the term Shooting Break was the official name. We even wrote an article clarifying why they used the term “Break” instead of the traditional “Brake”. Mercedes-Benz officials explained that Shooting Breaks “were popular in Great Britain, exclusive crossover vehicles which combined the luxuriousness of a coupe with the luggage space of an estate”

Could Mercedes-Benz have meant to call it the “Shooting Brake”, but mistakenly used Break and once they noticed the mistake, they just ran with it, saying that they mean to use it. That actually might be true, since according to a Mercedes-Benz USA Spokesperson,Mercedes intended to call the station wagon concept version of the next-generation CLS a Brake. Was this really a case of “Lost in Translation”, we might never find out, since once the concept becomes a production vehicle, it will lose the concept title.

Comments (3)

  1. Pingback: Lost in Translation: Did Mercedes mean to use the term “Brake … | Auto Move

  2. I believe the terms “Brake” and “Break” can be used interchangeably. From Wiki..

    In French-speaking countries estate-bodied cars (including those with four doors) are often referred to as “break” models (note the different spelling), short for “break de chasse”, or “hunting break”.

    I guess mercedes wanted to reference it as a 4 door break de chasse instead of the 2 door variant and to make us all think whether or not it was intentional or simply a mistake.

  3. Hey Matt, I totally agree. The translation theory is pretty ridicules when you consider that Mercedes-Benz spends so much time and money building these concept vehicles. The attention to detail is phenomenal. If this was anyone besides Mercedes-Benz I could believe that a translation error occurred, but not with Benz.

    The sad part is that the MB USA Spokesperson thought it was a mistake and that Mercedes actually meant Brake.

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