You can have your cake and eat it. Wound up with three kids? Sell the Ferrari and buy an RS6 – you’ll get where you’re going quicker, probably, albeit in a whirlwind of vomit and screaming. As is often the case with these things, we’ve kind of come full circle. The idea of an estate has come around such that it isn’t the compromise you swap out the supercar for. If you can (kids or not), you turn the supercar into an estate, or shooting brake… That said, the idea isn’t new but it’s enjoying a period of particular reverence of late. If you’re unloading 50 coach-built specials for five times the price of the standard car, you can easily charge six times if it’s a shooting brake. So with that, as well as the fact that our love of estates and shooting brakes means we’ll take any excuse, here’s a list of our favourites.
Aston Martin Vanquish Zagato Shooting Brake
Right now this is one of the most desirable new cars in the world. A bold claim but we’re having no arguments. It is almost uncontrollably gorgeous and, by virtue of that body style, could render a “regular” Vanquish S invisible when side-by-side.
Reason it's one of the coolest: Just look at it!
Mercedes-Benz CLS Shooting Brake
On the other end of the scale is the CLS Shooting Brake. It’s an estate version of Merc’s highly-acclaimed four-door coupe that you could just walk into a dealership and buy! Seems obvious but in this company, that’s a fair achievement. Shooting Brakes are the automotive equivalent of a solid gold toilet and fish tanks for walls in your house – cool but realistically, not really a thing. Not so in the big Merc! On the other hand, weirdly, it’s something of a unicorn. It didn’t sell all that well and as such has been cancelled for the new-gen car.Cool rarity factor but no so scarce you can't have one. Win-win!
Reason it's one of the coolest: It's within reach!
Audi Shooting Brake Concept
When it comes to shooting brakes, there are the specials you desperately want but have no hope of affording and the prototypes and concepts that tease and never come to fruition. This Audi is very much the latter. Looking at it now, it absolutely is a fun and not-so-serious preview for the second generation TT. We just wish they’d taken it seriously!
Reason it's one of the coolest: We all love a bit of forbidden fruit.
Lamborghini 400GT flying star
This thing along with a fellow Italian further down the list epitomises the traditional notion of a beautifully-crafted coach-built special, built up from the bones of a supercar into a few-of-a-kind masterpiece. Touring’s vision for a 400GT shooting brake is a beautiful yet futuristic execution – the wagon portion blending with the exotic hipline seamlessly. Like the Vanquish, it best cultivates that intangible “I just want it” feeling.
Reason it's one of the coolest: A one-off Lamborghini that killed the coachbuilder that created it? Does it get any cooler?
Callaway Corvette AeroWagen
Dividing the Italians is one way you can get behind the wheel of a brand new bonafide sportscar shooting brake. The Callaway Aerowagen is a comparatively affordable way into one of the most stylish genres of motorcar – at $15,000 for a colour-matched estate hatch conversion. The reason for that good value? It’s nowhere near the comprehensive re-skinning that most shooting brake conversions are. Rather, a simple case of popping the standard hatch off and fitting an extended version. Does that reduce its appeal? In a broader sense, perhaps. Given its comparative accessibility, not really. Given it retains the distinctive Corvette pop-out roof, not at all...
Reason it's one of the coolest: The only pop-top shooting brake, for only $15,000! (plus the Corvette)
Ferrari 365 GTB/4 shooting brake
Back into a parallel universe of V12 GT estates that by all appearances are also capable of intergalactic travel. Such is the extent of the retro-futurism of this Ferrari 365 GTB/4 Shooting Brake that it looks like a prop from a Star Wars set. Still, not futuristic at the expense of elegance – like the Lamborghini, the 365 is a simplistic execution with a reliance on the silhouette for drama rather than gratuitous styling flourishes. The rear is purposeful and the exhausts menacing, yet still the standard car could be charged with being fussier looking. Impeccable.
Reason it's one of the coolest: Daytona + shooting brake. Do you even like cars if you don't think that's cool?
Are there cooler shooting brakes that we've missed? Let us know!