The battle for supremacy in China among premium SUVs with long wheelbases will soon hot as Mercedes-Benz reveals the long-wheelbase version of the GLC. The new Mercedes-Benz GLC L will only be sold in the Chinese market and will compete against the long-wheelbase variant of the Audi Q5 crossover (Q5 L). Mercedes-Benz is expected to unveil the new GCL L to the public at the Guangzhou International Automobile Exhibition in November 2018.
When compared, the new Mercedes-Benz GLC L basically looks like the regular wheelbase version – just like any extended model being sold in the Chinese market. However, the long wheelbase variant of the GCL does appear extended on the side because of its now stretched length. This is evident beyond the B-pillars of the new GLC L, where the roofline looks to have grown longer. This is also evident when looking at its rear doors, which now appear to be longer than those in the regular wheelbase version of the GLC SUV.
For its exact dimensions, the new Mercedes GCL L measures around 4.76 meters (187.6 inches) in overall length as well as 1.89 meters (74.7 inches) in overall width. Its wheelbase – the main focus of this version – has grown by around 100 mm (3.93 inches). An extended wheelbase typically results to larger space in the rear cabin, given rear passengers more room to operate, especially with their legs. Since many people in China tend to be chauffeured off than to drive, vehicles with long wheelbases are a hit in this part of the world. Nonetheless, Mercedes will offer both versions of the GLC – regular model and the L variant – in China.
In terms of weight, vehicles with long wheelbases usually weight more than their regular counterparts because of the added metal to compensate for the expansion. This should hold true for the Mercedes GCL L as well, which means it should be a bit heavier than the regular version.
As for the power behind the Mercedes GLC L, the expanded SUV will share the same powertrain as the regular version. It means that customers in China can choose from three of the available versions of the 2.0-liter turbo gas engine. Power output available for the GCL are: 184 hp (137 kW), 211 hp (157 kW), and 245 hp (183 kW). All GLC L models have power sent to all four wheels as standard, as distributed by a nine-speed automatic transmission.
The new Mercedes GLC L will be built by the Beijing-Benz Motor Company (BBAC), a joint venture between Daimler and BAIC. Both the GLC and the GCL L will be assembled on the same line, although the extended version will cost around $1,450 more than the regular model.