The Mercedes-Benz E-Class long wheelbase has been revealed at the Beijing motor show.
Based on the standard E-Class, the China-only, long-wheelbase variant has been extended by 140mm and has been treated to interior enhancements to suit the Chinese market.
The extension of the wheelbase takes the length of the E-Class LWB to 5063mm; 183mm off that of the long-wheelbase Mercedes-Benz S-Class, and just shy of the standard S-Class’s 5116mm. Mercedes claims the LWB model has an extra 134mm of rear leg room.
Unlike the UK version, the Chinese E-Class is offered with a choice of two optional grilles to create two distinct sub-variants: the saloon and the sports saloon.
The sports saloon has a grille-mounted Mercedes badge, while the saloon has its badge on the front of the bonnet.
Mercedes could not comment on how many of Chinese E-Class sales would be in LWB format.
Sources at Mercedes could not specify the extra cost of the long-wheelbase E-Class over the standard model, or how many LWB cars it hopes to sell.
A Mercedes spokesperson did, however, point out that one of the cars would be badged E200, suggesting it will be powered by a four-cylinder, 1991cc petrol engine. The other is badged E320L 4Matic, suggesting a 3.5litre V6 powerplant and all-wheel drive.
The engins are coupled to Mercedes’ 9G-Tronic automatic gearbox. Like the standard E-Class, the LWB car features a host of autonomous and safety systems, including AEB and attention assist as standard, as well as optional remote parking and semi-autonomous driving at up to 130kph (80mph) with steering assistance.
The long-wheelbase E-Class will be produced in China, in co-operation with BAIC, Mercedes’ partner in the local market. Both companies operate together as the Beijing Benz Automotive Co. (BBAC).