Mercedes-Benz India’s ever-growing range of sedans is likely to include a long wheelbase version of the E-Class when the next generation model (code name: W 213) goes on sale in 2017. Speaking to Autocar India, Till Conrad, chairman, Mercedes-Benz India confirmed such a model is being studied for India. “The LWB E-Class is an interesting product and we are evaluating possibilities for these kinds of products for India” he said.
The E-Class L as it is likely to be called will be aimed at those who want all the comfort and space of an S-Class but for significantly less money. Such a model would also better plug the gap between the E-Class and S-Class lines. While in terms of price, the Mercedes CLS does currently slot in between the two, its sportier shape actually makes it a car meant for a different buyer set.
Mercedes currently manufactures and sells a long wheelbase version of the E-Class in China. The car is 14cm longer than the standard version and correspondingly offers a whole lot more legroom for rear seat occupants. But being a left hand drive-only car, the current-gen model is not eligible for sale in right-hand drive markets such as Japan, India and South East Asia. The fact that that many, if not most, luxury car buyers in these countries are chauffeur-driven makes the case for Mercedes to build a right-hand drive E-Class L very strong.
While it’s still too early to comment on what engines such a model could come with and what it would cost, what’s certain is that the E-Class L will help Mercedes carve a nice little niche for itself in the luxury sedan segment.