Mercedes-Benz is showing some love for the automotive customers in China by unveiling the long-wheelbase version of the A-Class at Auto China 2018, also known as the Beijing Motor Show. The very first A-Class L will be exclusively produced in China, with sales to commence in the country and in other parts of the world in the second half of the year.
While the fourth generation of the A-Class bound for Western Europe next month is the hatchback, the A-Class unveiled at Beijing is a notchback, and Mercedes-Benz is officially calling this compact car the A-Class L Sedan, with the “L” suffix referring to its long-wheelbase character.
This is because the wheelbase of the A-Class L Sedan (at 2,789 mm) is around 60 mm longer than that of the A-Class hatchback (at 2,729 mm), offering more knee room for rear passengers. In terms of dimensions, the new A-Class L Sedan measures 4,609 in length, 1,796 mm in width and 1,460 mm in height. It offers up to 420 liters of boot space.
The new A-Class hatchback and the A-Class L Sedan (or Saloon) models are the first two products of the new generation of Mercedes’ compact-class generation. After selling more than 620,000 compact vehicles around the in 2017, Mercedes is now expanding its new compact-car family to eight members.
The A-Class L Sedan is Mercedes’ acknowledgement of the fact that China is its largest market. In 2017 alone, the Mercedes and smart brands sold 610,000 vehicles in Mainland China. The A-Class L Sedan – available in Sedan and Sport Sedan versions -- is in reality a compact model that Mercedes developed just for the Chinese market. As noted by Hubertus Troska, Member of the Board of Management of Daimler AG, responsible for Greater China, the A-Class L Sedan offers extra space and rear compartment dedicated to meeting preferences of domestic customers.
Just like the A-Class hatchback, the new A-Class L Sedan employs Mercedes’ latest design language marked by clear structures and sensual surfaces. Featuring very short front and rear overhangs, the new A-Class L Sedan is marked by a diamond radiator grille with single louver, chrome pins, and central star.
This grille is bordered above by the low, drawn-out bonnet, and on the flanks by flat headlamps with chrome elements as well as torch-like daytime driving lights. The Sport Sedan version features powerdomes on the bonnet. The A-Class L Sedan rides on wheels with sizes ranging from 16 inches to 19 inches.
The new A-Class L Sedan is laden with innovative driving assistance systems from the S-Class and comes with the MBUX (Mercedes-Benz User Experience) infotainment system that offers natural speech recognition for several Chinese dialects like Sichuanese and Cantonese.
As for its production, the new A-Class L Sedan is being assembled exclusively at Beijing Benz Automotive Co., Ltd (BBAC), a joint venture between Daimler and Chinese partner BAIC Motor. Mercedes is also set to produce a version of A-Class L Sedan that is tailored to the needs and preferences of customers outside China.