Beijing - Mercedes-Benz has pulled the covers off the all-new A-Class L Sedan ahead of its Beijing show debut on Wednesday.

This, however, is not exactly the same four-door that the rest of the world will be getting.

As its name implies, the L Sedan is a long-wheelbase (as in 6cm+) version of the A, and it will be sold exclusively in China through a joint venture with Chinese partner BAIC. 

The rest of the world will also get an A-Class sedan, likely with a shorter wheelbase, and this will be launched in the second half of this year, Mercedes promises. The new four-door is not expected to replace the CLA, and the latter is likely to evolve into something more radical.

The new A-Class L Sedan closely follows the design language of its hatch sibling and the same goes for the cabin decor and gadgets, where it also sports the revolutionary new MBUX infotainment system which completely does away with the traditional instrument cowl.

As previously reported, the MBUX system uses artificial intelligence to adapt to the driver’s preferences. Other highlights include maximum-resolution 3D graphics, a navigation display with augmented reality technology and an advanced new voice control system, featuring natural speed recognition and activated with the code phrase “Hey Mercedes”.

In the L Sedan’s case however, the system is said to be perfectly fluent in Chinese dialects such as Sichuanese and Cantonese.

The A-Class L Sedan will initially be available (in China) with a 1.33-litre four-cylinder turbopetrol engine in 100kW and 120kW guises, and a 140kW 2-litre engine will follow at a later stage. All models are fitted with a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission. 

Outside of China, the engines are more likely to mirror the European hatch, which is offered with 120kW 1.4T and 165kW 2.0T petrol motors and an 85kW 1.5 turbodiesel.

IOL Motoring