At this year's 2013 Shanghai auto show, Mercedes-Benz rolled out the long-wheelbase version of its E-Class, a model that will only be available to customers in China. The Chinese have a thing for long-wheelbase cars, which give them more room to work when they're being chauffeured about town through massive traffic jams. The operative number here is 5.5 inches. The lengthened E-Class is 5.5-inches longer overall, with a 5.5-inch longer wheelbase. And you guessed it, rear-seat passengers are treated to 5.5-inches more leg room.
The LWB E-Class will be offered in two variants, the base Sedan and the Sport Sedan (E 260 L, E 300 L, E 400 L also featuring AMG front and rear apron, new AMG side skirts and AMG wheels on the Sport Sedan). Unlike the E-Class sedans marketed in the rest of the world, the LWB model has limited engine options -- a four-cylinder direct injection BlueEfficiency with 204 hp (E 260 L), and two six-cylinder engines with 245 hp (E 300 L) and 333 hp (E 400 L). Down the line a hybrid variant will be offered for the E 400 L. All engine configurations feature Benz's seven-speed automatic transmission as standard equipment.
Unique to the exterior of the Chinese-market E-Class long wheelbase is a structural line that runs below the feature line from the rear door to the tail light. This new line not only lends to the longer wheelbase but also the side-trim which is lower on this model. At the rear are a newly updated bumper and tail lights. The LED lights feature a two-tone look, which helps emphasize the wider rear-end.
The big change inside is a feature that allows rear passengers to operate the power front seat. Why anyone would need or want this feature is unclear, but it's available. The rest of the vehicle is essentially the same as E-Class models sold in the rest of the world, featuring a wide array of standard and available comfort, convenience, and safety features that Benz has become known for.