At the Beijing Motor Show, Mercedes-Benz pulled the cover on this: the A-Class L. First things first, it’s not a CLA, and neither is it exactly the A-Class Sedan that we’ve been expecting to be sold internationally. Since it’s been given the L suffix, it’s likely a China-specific model with an extended wheelbase that’s 60mm longer than the hatch.
Use your imagination to shorten the length between the B and C pillar, though, and you’ll have an immediate and fairly accurate mental picture of what we can expect to see when Benz decides to reveal the four-door version of their new second-generation A-Class hatch.
This is because, quite plainly, they’ve not done much else besides increasing the car’s length to offer more rear legroom. Nearly everything in the frontal half of the car matches up with the hatch, from the narrower headlights and low-set grille.
At the rear, though, the car indeed follows some cues from the previous generation CLA, namely its swoop roofline, and the Concept A sedan from last year’s Shanghai Motor Show. However, in our opinion, it handles its belt-line curve much more gracefully, tapering to an overall shape that’s a more appealing three-boxer.
There’s still some whiffs of four-door coupe about it from the rear too, but overall it’s been given a sleek and minimal rear face, replete with (possibly fake) chrome exhaust exists integrated into the bumper. No doubt this particular unit has been given the AMG-Line treatment.
The A-Class L’s interior, again, is a dead ringer for the W177 hatch. We have the same layout and a fairly identical mix of materials and finishes. There’s the new MBUX infotainment suite and impressive dual digital screens that make up an ultra-wide gauge cluster.
Naturally, the A-Class L is front-driven, with power sourced from a range of engines that we can only assume (albeit safely) to closely mirror that of the A-Class hatch, translating to a variety of small capacity turbocharged petrol and diesel engines.
Higher grade variants will feature higher outputs, of course, and perhaps even all-wheel drive to complement it, which should carry over into the standard wheelbase styles of the forthcoming A-Class sedan.