Mercedes caters to China with this mini Maybach

Mercedes-Benz is appealing to the growing market of luxury sedans in the Chinese market with this stretched version of the E-Class. The car, called the E-Class L, is built in China and is exclusively sold there, meaning no other markets see this E-Class limousine.

The car shares the same basic design and structure of the standard E-Class, but is lengthened by 5.5 inches for a wheelbase that measures 121.2 inches – 1.7 inches longer than the standard S-Class. This directly adds 5.3 inches of extra legroom for the rear seats, basically making the E-Class L a miniature Maybach.

The Benz also comes with a slew of luxury amenities and comforts, including a folding center armrest for the rear seats that offers wireless phone charging, heated leather, a USB port, and an integrated touch screen controller. Comforts are not lost on front seat occupants either. The driver has use of the dual 12.3-inch display screens, new touch-sensitive controls on the steering wheel, and the infotainment system controller on the center console that recognizes handwriting and characters.

Mercedes has only confirmed a single powertrain for the Chinese E-Class L – the 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder. This means the car’s designation will be the E200 L.

Continue reading to learn more about the Mercedes-Benz E-Class L.

  • 2017 Mercedes-Benz E-Class L
  • Year:
    2017
  • Make:
  • Model:
  • Engine:
    inline-4
  • Transmission:
    nine-speed automatic
  • Horsepower @ RPM:
    181
  • Torque @ RPM:
    221
  • Energy:
    turbocharged
  • Displacement:
    2.0 L
  • 0-60 time:
    8.5 sec. (Est.)
  • Top Speed:
    140 mph (Est.)
  • Layout:
    Front Engine; RWD, AWD
  • Price:
    70000 (Est.)
  • Price:
  • car segment:
  • size:
  • Purpose:
  • body style:
  • Overall:
    7.8/10

Exterior

2017 Mercedes-Benz E-Class L High Resolution Exterior Wallpaper quality
- image 673785

The E-Class L is unmistakably an E-Class, but it does boast some distinctive styling characteristics that make it stand out. First, the C-pillar gets Mercedes’ triangular window treatment seen on other sedans like the S-Class. The roofline also slopes at a lesser angle than the standard E-Class, giving rear passengers more headroom and an easier entry into the car. Of course, the rear doors are longer by more than five inches, adding to both the visual and actual length of the car. There’s also a unique chrome emblem on the D-pillar.

The roofline also slopes at a lesser angle than the standard E-Class, giving rear passengers more headroom and an easier entry into the car.

The car carries all the design cues and features as the standard (yet recently updated) 2017 E-Class like the “double eyebrow” design see in the LED daytime running lights. Likewise, the tow versions of LED highlights are available: the standard LED set and the Multibeam LED headlights with 84 individually activated high-performance LEDs.

The front fascia retains the E-Class’ four main openings: the upper grille, the lower center grille, and the two side intakes. A double-bar design on both the upper grille and the two side grilles help give the car extra visual width. Out back, LED taillights are present regardless of which headlight package is ordered. The lower rear fascia is brightened by a lengthy chrome strip that runs between the chrome-tipped exhaust outlets. The horizontal bar is mimicked further up, with a long chrome accent piece running above the license plate.

Mercedes didn’t specify what wheel options are offered, but expect to see several varieties of 20- to 22-inch wheel options.

Interior

2017 Mercedes-Benz E-Class L High Resolution Interior
- image 673787
2017 Mercedes-Benz E-Class L High Resolution Interior
- image 673790
2017 Mercedes-Benz E-Class L High Resolution Interior
- image 673790

The accommodations inside the E-Class L are well appointed with leather coating nearly everything, while wood and metal act as accents. Up front, the dashboard is all E-Class. Despite the added length, the front seats and their surroundings don’t change. This means the driver still has the dual 12.3-inch screens that display both vehicle information and entertainment selections

The wide dashboard features plenty of high-end materials and excellent build quality that continues onto the center console. A myriad of buttons and knobs are complemented by the rotary dial and scribble pad for controlling soft keys within the infotainment system. The car certainly carries a high-tech feel that well-to-do Chinese customers love.

A myriad of buttons and knobs are complemented by the rotary dial and scribble pad for controlling soft keys within the infotainment system.

In back, rear seat passengers now enjoy an extra 5.3 inches of additional legroom. There is room for three, but most E-Class L sedans will likely chauffeur two adults back here. The center armrest folds down, making the bench feel more like two executive recliners. Customers can opt for adding a heating element under the armrest’s leather. There’s also an optional wireless cell phone charger and touch screen controller.

The rear seats are also power-operated, giving outboard passengers the ability to recline. Unlike the S-Class Maybach, however, there is no footrest offered here. Likewise, you’ll have to upgrade to the Maybach if you’d like the built-in wine cooler found in the Maybach. Thankfully there’s still Maybach touches within the cabin, including the LED accent lighting with 64 different color options.

The E-Class L is definitely a welcomed middle ground between the standard E-Class and the more opulent S-Class and outrageous S-Class Maybach. It’s too bad Mercedes is restricting the car to the Chinese market.

Drivetrain

2017 Mercedes-Benz E-Class L High Resolution Exterior
- image 673791

Mercedes has yet to divulge much information on the powertrain options within the E-Class L. We do know, however, the car will be available with the 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder and the nine-speed 9G-Tronic automatic transmission. In Europe, the four-cylinder is said to produce 181 horsepower and 221 pound-feet of torque. While it’s no AMG, the engine should move the E-Class decently well around the crowded streets of China’s city centers.

While Mercedes has only confirmed the E200, the photos here clearly show an E320 badge on the trunk. That will likely bring a V-6 with upgraded power. Expect the same nine-speed transmission across the board. Also found on the trunk lid is a 4Matic badge, meaning the E-Class L is available with all-wheel drive.

Safety

2017 Mercedes-Benz E-Class L High Resolution Exterior
- image 673784

The 2017 E-Class L comes with all the modern driver assistance features imaginable. They include Active Brake Assist, Attention Assist, and Crosswind Assist. Optionally, the E-Class can be had with Mercedes’ Driving Assistance Package that includes Drive Pilot, the radar-based cruise control with steering assist that operates from 130 mph down to a stop. This is basically a modest version of an autopilot system, which only requires minimal driver input when on long highway commutes. There’s also Remote Parking Pilot, which allows the car to be moved into and out of a parking space remotely with a smartphone app.

Prices

Mercedes has yet to release prices for the E-Class L, but expect there to be a wide range between the entry-level model and the most opulent of examples. We expect prices to start around $70,000 and break well into the $100,000 category with all the options selected.

We’ll bring you more information when Mercedes makes prices known.

Competition

Audi A6L

2016 - 2018 Audi A6 High Resolution Exterior
- image 577164
Audi is already moving to the 2016 model year, as it will unveil the slightly revised 2016 A6 at the 2015 LA Auto Show.

Audi is only one of the premium brands invading China these days, but its A6L provides a solid competitor to the new Mercedes E-Class L. The A6L comes with a longer wheelbase than the standard A6 and offers more room for rear seat passengers. Upgraded refinements for rear passengers also ensure the utmost comfort.

The car comes powered by a 1.8-liter TFSI turbocharged four-cylinder mated to a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission and Audi’s quattro AWD system. The A6L might not come with all the whiz-bang tech that the new E-Class boasts, but it does offer Audi’s Pre Sense package. The feature alerts the driver of emergency situations and will automatically brake if need be. Added to this is an automatic cruise control system with full stop and go technology. Audi offers no less than eight trim levels for the A6L in China, giving buyers plenty of range to choose from.

Read our full review on the Audi A6 here.

Conclusion

2017 Mercedes-Benz E-Class L High Resolution Exterior
- image 673783

China’s demand for luxury sedans is growing at an exponential rate, giving automakers plenty of reason to cater to the newfound business. Mercedes is certainly not the only one fighting for sales, but its all-new E-Class – coupled with this new E-Class L – will surely attract a large portion of attention. The car’s updated looks, longer wheelbase, (suspected) range of engine options, and long list of high-tech features make for an easy sell.

Sadly the Chinese will be the only people to experience the E-Class L. Not even the Germans will have the chance to buy one, let alone us Americans. Still, we have to trust that Mercedes knows what it’s doing in offering this limo version to a single market.

  • Leave it
    • Only available in China
    • Limited info on drivetrain choices

Press Release

At "Auto China 2016" in Beijing, Mercedes-Benz is presenting the long-wheelbase version of the E-Class, measuring an extra 140 millimetres in length. Passengers in the rear of the saloon, which has been purpose-developed for China, enjoy the benefit of a considerably larger footwell area and seats with a host of comfort functions. The interior of the saloon is a picture of contemporary luxury, which has been stylishly reinterpreted for the Chinese market using high-class materials. Its striking, dynamic design exudes sensual purity and effortless superiority. The standard-fit nine-stage automatic transmission 9G-TRONIC delivers dynamic performance with high ride comfort.

2017 Mercedes-Benz E-Class L High Resolution Exterior
- image 673783

The long-wheelbase version of the new E-Class Saloon built in China for China brings with it the numerous technical innovations of the most intelligent executive saloon, and also offers an even more spacious rear compartment with a first-class character. It exceeds the first E-Class Saloon sold in the world where both the wheelbase (3079 millimetres) and the length (5063 millimetres) are concerned by 140 millimetres. The rear compartment of the five-seater offers its occupants an extra 134 millimetres of legroom. The larger entrance clearance at foot level furthermore facilitates passenger entry and exit.

The long-wheelbase version will be available on the Chinese market with two distinct design characters – as a saloon and as a sports saloon. The saloon bears the classic saloon radiator grille with the Mercedes star on the bonnet. The sports saloon is identifiable by the radiator grille with its central star.

Design featuring modern aesthetics and sensual purity

The longer wheelbase manifests itself in the triangular windows additionally integrated into the C-pillar and a stretched roof line. This lends the long-wheelbase version an autonomous side profile with harmonious proportions that give it a dynamic and at the same time elegant appearance. The favourable ratio of overhangs to wheelbase also contributes to this effect.

The elongated bonnet coupled with a long, coupé-esque roof flowing into a sensual, broad-shouldered tail end creates an exciting silhouette. The powerfully extended vehicle body is characterised by short overhangs, a long wheelbase, large wheels and taut well-defined flanks displaying a fresh, stylish and dynamic interpretation of the feature line.

The intelligence of the long-wheelbase version of the new E-Class is also reflected in the headlamps. A characteristic element is the double eyebrow of the reinterpreted daytime running lamps. The face of the vehicle is shaped by distinctive headlamps with a clear-lens design. LED High Performance headlamps are on board. High-resolution MULTIBEAM LED headlamps are available as an option. These headlamps, each with 84 individually activated high-performance LEDs, automatically illuminate the road surface with a hitherto unsurpassed, precision-controlled distribution of exceptionally bright light – without dazzling other road users.

2017 Mercedes-Benz E-Class L High Resolution Exterior
- image 673784

That’s because this grid allows the light distribution of the left and right headlamps to be controlled separately and adapted to the changing situation on the road quickly and dynamically. All the functions in the low- and main-beam mode of the MULTIBEAM LED headlamps can also be purely digitally displayed and without mechanical actuators for the first time, also including the active light function.
At the tail end, broad shoulders above the rear wheel arches lend the saloon its unmistakably powerful character. Single-piece tail lights featuring a two-bar design framed by the vehicle body clearly identify it as a new member of the Mercedes saloon family. The rear lamp and brake lamp in the tail lights feature LED technology with all headlamp versions.

High-class interior with fine details

The high-quality appointments of the interior ensure a prestigious and pleasant atmosphere. From the E 200 L model it is characterised by two wide high-resolution and bright displays each with a next-generation 12.3-inch screen diagonal. The two displays blend into a wide-screen cockpit beneath a joint glass cover. As the instrument cluster, this wide-screen cockpit contains a large display with virtual instruments in the direct field of vision of the driver as well as a central display above the centre console. The driver can choose between three different styles to select their preferred look for the wide-screen instrument cluster: "Classic", "Sport" and "Progressive".

Also on board are new touch-sensitive controls in the steering wheel. Like a smartphone interface, they respond precisely to horizontal and vertical swiping movements, allowing the driver to control the entire infotainment system using finger swipes without having to take their hands off the steering wheel. In keeping with the motto "hands on the wheel, eyes on the road", this allows minimum driver distraction to be achieved.

Further controls for the infotainment system are provided in the form of a touchpad with Controller in the centre console, which can also recognise handwriting and characters, plus the LINGUATRONIC voice control system. There are also direct-access buttons for controlling functions such as the air-conditioning system or – in another first – for convenient activation and deactivation of certain driving assistance systems.

High-quality materials define the interior style. They include a selection of fine woods. The dashboard and beltlines feature fine ARTICO. Another Mercedes hallmark clearly in evidence is the high-quality look and feel created through meticulous attention to detail and craftsmanship.

Lighting atmosphere with 64 colours

The interior lighting makes exclusive use of durable, energy-saving LED technology. The same applies to the extended ambient lighting. With 64 colours, it offers a host of possibilities for personalisation. It adds touches of light, for example, to the trim, central display, front stowage facility on the centre console, handle recesses, door pockets, front and rear footwells, overhead console, and tweeters (if the vehicle is equipped with the Burmester® high-end 3D surround sound system available on request).

Centre armrest with lots of features

All rear seat variants have a folding centre armrest in common. Their comfort attributes include:

2017 Mercedes-Benz E-Class L High Resolution Exterior Wallpaper quality
- image 673785

An illuminated stowage compartment
A USB port
An integral touchscreen (optional extra)
Wireless charging of the mobile phone (optional extra)
Heated pad (optional extra)
As an extended centre console a cup holder with temperature control on request

In addition to this the rear compartment meets requirements for use as a workspace and relaxation area. For instance, the occupants can, on request, control certain car and COMAND functions from the rear – either via a touchscreen display permanently integrated into the centre armrest or with a corresponding app via tablet or smartphone.

Next-generation driving assistance systems

Mercedes-Benz’s new assistance and safety systems enhance safety, comfort and driver assistance to new levels. Active Brake Assist is fitted as standard on board the long-wheelbase version of the E-Class. If it detects the risk of a collision with a vehicle in front, it warns the driver visually and acoustically and if there is no reaction from the driver it can brake autonomously at speeds up to 200 km/h. Up to 60 km/h it also reacts to stationary vehicles and crossing pedestrians.
Also included as standard are ATTENTION ASSIST, which can warn the driver of inattentiveness and drowsiness, and Crosswind Assist, which can assist the driver by substantially reducing the effects of strong crosswinds to prevent the vehicle from drifting too far off track.

The optional Driving Assistance package familiar from the E-Class is also available. Its highlights include:

DRIVE PILOT – can automatically keep the correct distance to vehicles in front and follow them in a speed range up to 210 km/h, whilst being able to provide considerable support to the driver with steering – even on moderate bends. Up to 130 km/h the DRIVE PILOT can also actively steer with the driver when the lane marking is unclear or missing.

Remote Parking Pilot – for the first time allows the vehicle to be moved into and out of garages and parking spaces remotely using a smartphone app, enabling the occupants to get into and out of the car easily, even if space is very tight.

2017 Mercedes-Benz E-Class L High Resolution Exterior Wallpaper quality
- image 673786

Built in China for China
The long-wheelbase version of the E-Class is produced at Beijing Benz Automotive Co., Ltd. (BBAC) in Beijing for the Chinese market. BBAC is a joint venture between Daimler and the strategic partner BAIC.

View the full press release Hide press release
Press release
What do you think?
Show Comments
Car Finder: