Mercedes-Benz has just taken the wraps off of the long-wheelbase (LWB) variant of the new C-Class. With the ongoing 2021 Shanghai Auto Show, automakers from the world over have been battling it out to try and attract the limelight on some of their latest and greatest. Among the big names that have a massive presence in the People’s Republic of China is Mercedes-Benz. When the German auto giant launched the new-generation C-Class (W206), it only came in a standard wheelbase format. However, China loves long-wheelbase sedans more than the standard ones. Therefore, several automakers (including Audi, BMW and Mercedes-Benz) make a China-specific long-wheelbase variant of their sedans and SUVs.
Compared to the standard wheelbase C-Class that is on sale in India, this long-wheelbase (“C-Class L” as Mercedes calls it) model is noticeably larger. From nose to tail, the new C-Class LWB measures 4,882mm as opposed to the standard variant’s length of 4,751mm. This means that the C-Class LWB is longer by 131mm, and with a wheelbase of 2,954mm, it also has the distance between the axles stretched by 89mm. In terms of exterior differences with the standard model, the long-wheelbase C-Class features longer rear doors. It also gets the brand’s popular (but old-school) three-pointed hood ornament along with the traditional front grille design. These are design traits that Mercedes-Benz customers in China like and have come to expect of the brand.
Compared to the India-spec C-Class, the Chinese long-wheelbase iteration comes with different alloy-wheel designs that are a touch larger, too. Then there is the “L” badging that is prominently displayed on the C-pillar – a mark that this is no ordinary C-Class. At the back, much of the design has been carried over from the standard C-Class, though the China-spec LWB variant does get larger faux exhaust tips. While some might still prefer the more proportionate exterior of the standard C-Class, this LWB variant certainly looks quite stately. Of course, one of the main reasons anyone picks a long-wheelbase variant of any car is for a better rear-seat experience.
With 89mm more room at the back, the new C-Class LWB is for those who want to be chauffeur-driven. Moreover, Mercedes-Benz claims that it has added even more sound-deadening materials to further accentuate this sedan’s emphasis on its rear-seat passengers. Not only that, but engineers have also made changes to the suspension to make this sedan ride even better, whilst fitting larger and more comfortable rear seats. Also, the rear center armrest in the C-Class LWB is wider and gets more storage space than the standard model. The final icing on the cake here comes in the form of larger and cushier headrests. It is all about more comfort and convenience, especially if you are sat in the back of the C-Class LWB.
In China, Mercedes-Benz will sell the C-Class LWB in two guises – C200L and C260L. The C200L is powered by a 1.5-liter turbo-petrol engine that develops 168hp, while the C260L gets a 201hp variant of the same engine but with a mild-hybrid system. The new C-Class LWB comes with a 9-speed automatic transmission as standard along with rear-wheel drive.
As for the Indian market, there already are the BMW 3-Series Gran Limousine and the Mercedes-Benz A-Class Limousine. Moreover, Mercedes just launched the new E-Class, which is only available in its LWB avatar in India. It remains to be seen whether the company actually has any plans to bring the C-Class LWB to our market.
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