Following in the footsteps of its rivals Audi and BMW, Mercedes-Benz is now set to launch an extended wheelbase version of the 2015 C-Class in the Chinese market. The sedan will be produced there itself and will not be exported to foreign markets. Internally called V205, the stretched version adds an extra wheelbase of 60mm, compared to the standard 2015 C-Class.
Speaking to Reuters, Prof. Dr. Thomas Weber said, "There will be a long-wheelbase version for the specific needs of Chinese clients. This car will be built in China, exclusively for that market."
In China, most businessmen’s cars are chauffeur-driven with the space and comfort for rear-seat passengers being a top priority for luxury sedans. Besides, a big car acts like a status-symbol and bringing them more psychological satisfaction than comfort. The A4 and 3 Series sedans are already available in long-wheel-base (LWB) variants, and have been eating into Mercedes’ share in the market. The Audi and the BMW offer a wheelbase of 2869mm and 2920mm respectively compared to the Mercedes’ 2900mm.
Set to be unveiled at the Detroit auto show in January, the 2015 C-Class is based on the new MRA (Mercedes Rear Wheel drive Architecture). Replacing the current version, which was launched in 2007, the luxury-sedan is around 100kgs lighter and 20 per cent more fuel efficient, owing to its hybrid aluminium construction. The C-Class will be offered with option of two four-pot petrol engines, a 1.6-litre and a 2.0-litre along with a 2.2-litre diesel (also a four-cylinder).
Later in March, at the Geneva Motor Show, Mercedes will unveil a wagon version of the car which will be sold mainly in Europe and will soon be followed by a coupe and probably an AMG version. We can expect the 2015 C-Class to hit our showrooms in late-2014, after its international launch.