2013 Shanghai Auto Show

Benz Stretches the E-Class for China

Extended-wheelbase E-Class aimed specifically at wealthy Chinese buyers who like to be driven around town.

Automotive status symbols vary in different markets. In China, it all comes down to being chauffeured around in a long-wheelbase luxury sedan. That’s why Jaguar is reportedly looking at a more spacious XJ for China, why Porsche has revealed a new stretched Panamera, and why Mercedes-Benz came to Shanghai this year with a long-wheelbase version of its popular E-Class sedan. The extension of 14 cm (about 5.5" for those unschooled in the metric system) translates directly to that much extra legroom in the back of the luxury saloon.

Rear-seat passengers will also be able to move the front passenger seat forward by electric control to make for even more space on the right side. Outside, the elongated form is further emphasized by a specific character line that runs down the flank. The E-Class L will be built in China for the Chinese market, where it will be offered with the classic or sports grilles, a host of interior options and three engines: a 204-horsepower direct-injection four (E 260 L), a 245hp six (E 300 L) and a 333hp six (E 400 L).

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