Beijing Benz to Launch Long-Wheelbase Mercedes-Benz C-Class

Trying to catch up with BMW and Audi, the passenger car joint venture of BAIC (Beiqi) and Mercedes-Benz prepares to release a China-only next generation C-Class which will have an extended wheelbase. Internally called V205 (while the standard fifth gen is called W205), the stretched version is to have a wheelbase of about 2900mm, compared with 2760mm on the current models.

This move of Beijing Benz has been long expected, as both BMW and Audi have launched long-wheelbase compact executive sedans to please Chinese consumers, who tend to favor grander-looking cars. After FAW-VW stretched the wheelbase of Audi A4 to 2869mm, Brilliance BMW distanced the axles of the new 3 series to 2920mm. And bigger size seemed to have translated into better sales, as the Audi A4L outsold the C-Class by almost 3:1 in 2011.

Dimensions of the current C-Class in comparison with Audi A4L and BMW 3 Li
Mercedes-Benz C-Class
Audi A4L
BMW 3 Li
Length (mm)
4591
4761
4734
Width (mm)
1770
1826
1811
Height (mm)
1444
1439
1455
Wheelbase (mm)
2760
2869
2920

The fifth generation C-Class is reportedly to arrive in late 2014. Besides changes in dimensions, it will get new features like M270/M274 engines, panoramic sunroof, engine stop/start system, and upgraded COMAND infotainment system.