2016 Beijing Auto Show

China Gets A Whole Bunch Of Long Wheelbase Models That We Yearn For At Beijing

Some of these long wheelbase models are simply amazing!

The Chinese car market is a lot different than it is elsewhere in the world. In China, cars are taxed based on engine displacement, so big V8 German sedans like the S-Class and A8L are just too expensive for most people. This is where the long wheelbase variant comes into play. In China, you can buy long wheelbase versions of smaller cars like the Audi A4 and Mercedes C-Class. These models retain the smaller engines of the compact models but add that coveted rear legroom.

At this year's Beijing Auto Show there were several new long wheelbase models that were unveiled. These models include the Mercedes-Benz E-Class L, Audi A4 L, Jaguar XFL and the BMW X1 Long Wheelbase. All of these cars take the normal models that we all know and stretch the wheelbase to add various levels of additional legroom. Our favorite among these new releases is the eloquently equipped E-Class L. The long wheelbase E-Class gains 140 millimeters (5.5 inches) in length and is available as either a saloon or sports saloon. The saloon features the classic Mercedes hood ornament, while the sport saloon features the three pointed start mounted in the grille. The differences don't stop there.

The E-Class L features many rear seat amenities such as extended ambient LED lighting and an optional rear center arm rest with an illuminated storage compartment, USB port, touchscreen, wireless charging pad, temperature controlled cup holder, and heating pad. These long wheelbase models are extremely cool but don't really make sense outside of the Chinese market. If Audi sold a long wheelbase version of the A4 in the US, for example, it would eat into A6 sales. Unfortunately these models will remain forbidden fruit, but maybe when they are 25-years-old they will be cool cars to import.

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