The new Mercedes A-Class Saloon has debuted at the Beijing Motor Show in long wheelbase guise, ahead of an arrival in the United Kingdom in standard wheelbase.
The sixth member of Mercedes-Benz's compact vehicle line-up, which goes under the internal codename Z177, draws heavily on the earlier Concept A saloon unveiled at last year's Shanghai motor show with an appearance that combines the distinctive front-end styling of the recently introduced fourth-generation A-Class hatchback with a rear-end reminiscent of the latest third-generation CLS.
"They're the same model but in different lengths". The version shown, known as the A-Class L, has been developed specifically for the Chinese market.
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The new Mercedes-Benz model is aimed squarely at the Audi A3 Saloon.
Instead of 2,729 mm, the A-Class L's wheelbase stands at 2,789 mm (that's a 60 mm increase over the hatchback).
This, however, is not exactly the same four-door that the rest of the world will be getting.
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The new A-Class L Sedan closely follows the design language of its hatch sibling and the same goes for the cabin decor and gadgets, where it also sports the revolutionary new MBUX infotainment system which completely does away with the traditional instrument cowl.
In saloon form, the A-Class has a boot 50 litres bigger than the hatchback's, making it a more practical proposition. Both engines are mated to a 7-speed dual clutch transmission. The long wheelbase (L) model is being produced at Beijing Benz Automotive Co, a joint venture between Daimler and its Chinese partner BAIC Motor. That means customers will get the choice of SE, Sport and AMG Line specifications, and three engine options - a 1.5-litre diesel and two petrol units in the shape of a 1.4-litre and a 2.0-litre.
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