Mercedes-Benz A-Class L saloon has broken cover at the ongoing Beijing Motor Show and is the latest addition to the German marque's compact-class family. The notchback A-Class L saloon is a 6 cm longer wheelbase (2789 instead of 2729 mm) and is a variant developed solely for the Chinese market. The A-Class Saloon will be launched in other markets tailored accordingly by the second half of the year. The China-spec Mercedes-Benz A-Class L saloon is being produced exclusively at Beijing Benz Automotive Co., Ltd (BBAC), a joint venture between Daimler and its Chinese partner BAIC Motor.
Mercedes-Benz A-Class L saloon will challenge the Audi A3 saloon and is the first time Mercedes has launched a saloon version of the A-Class. It has been aimed at young buyers. With Mercedes-Benz's design philosophy of Sensual Purity, the compact saloon has very short overhangs at front and rear.
The A-Class L will have driving assistance systems featuring S-Class functions and the MBUX (Mercedes-Benz User Experience) infotainment system. Another highlight is the intelligent voice control of the MBUX system with natural speech recognition: it is proficient in various Chinese dialects, including Sichuanese and Cantonese.
At the market launch, the Mercedes-Benz A-Class L Saloon will be available in China with an all-aluminium four-cylinder engine with a displacement of 1.33 litres with power output 160 hp; following later will be the 2-litre four-cylinder engine with CONICSHAPE trumpet honing and CAMTRONIC variable valve timing. In China, the latter engine has an output of 188 hp. The 7G-DCT dual clutch transmission comes as standard.
In related news, Mercedes-AMG is developing two performance versions of the A-Class. The A 45 and A 43 will deliver around 400 hp and 300 hp respectively, and the likelihood is that Mercedes will apply the AMG treatment to the saloon as well as to the hatch and upcoming GLA crossover.