Mercedes-Benz E-Class Long Wheelbase Debuts in Beijing, Is Not the Maybach

Mercedes-Benz E-Class LWB 1 photo
Photo: Mercedes-Benz
The Chinese market is well-known for its individually-created long wheelbase versions of different international models, and the new Mercedes-Benz E-Class could not have escaped this transformation.
As you would expect, adding more millimeters to the wheelbase of an executive sedan can have only one effect: making the car even more luxurious and also curbing its sporty tendencies at the same time. Not that Mercedes-Benz would ever admit to the latter, while strongly emphasizing the former.

The Mercedes-Benz E-Class long-wheelbase (LWB) is a model restricted to the Chinese market, but if you're the type that enjoys a trip in the backseat and possesses a pair of longer-than-usual legs, don't despair: the rest of the world is very likely to get the rumored Mercedes-Maybach E-Class that has been spotted testing so often. If that turns out to be true, not only will we have at least the same amount of space in the rear but also more luxurious materials and finishes. Of course, all for a much spicier price tag.

But until that happens, the Chinese E-Class LWB is the longest E-Class any sum of money can buy. It has grown by 140 millimeters, all of them placed in the wheelbase, so the overhangs remain the same. The overall length of the LWB version is 5,063 mm compared to the 4,923 mm of the standard car, while the new wheelbase now measures 3,079 mm. Just so you get an idea, the regular S-Class has a 3,035 mm wheelbase.

There'll be plenty of room, then, but the extra space means easier access to the rear seats as well. On the outside, the proportions alone don't give it away, so the simplest way to spot an LWB version is to look for the triangular window on the C-pillar that, unlike on the regular version, sits outside of the door's frame here. The new model will have two different design characters focusing on either elegance or sportiness. A classic radiator grille with the Mercedes star on the hood will signal the owner is more interested in style, while one with just two blades and significantly less chrome indicates the sports version was chosen.

Naturally, the emphasis was put on the rear seats, where a host of features are available for those riding there. From a heated armrest (optional) to wireless smartphone charging (also optional) or the possibility to control certain car and COMAND functions, those occupying the rear seats will definitely feel like the most important people in the vehicle.

The driver's relevance is further diluted by the presence of the latest Mercedes-Benz safety systems, which are one step away from transforming the E-Class into an autonomous vehicle. There is also an optional Driving Assistance package that contains the DRIVE PILOT function (adaptive cruise control coupled with lane keeping assist) and the Remote Parking Pilot feature (as the name suggests, the car can be operated from outside using a smartphone app.

The cars will be built in China by Beijing Benz Automotive Co. (BBAC) - a joint venture between Daimler and strategic partner BAIC and will be available exclusively on the Chinese market.
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About the author: Vlad Mitrache
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"Boy meets car, boy loves car, boy gets journalism degree and starts job writing and editing at a car magazine" - 5/5. (Vlad Mitrache if he was a movie)
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