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Beijing show: Long-wheelbase models a hit again
China-only specials, long-wheelbase variants abound at Beijing auto show
27 Apr 2018
ANOTHER year of Auto China is behind us, meaning another year of manufacturers revealing long-wheelbase versions of existing models, produced exclusively for the Chinese market.
Audi’s first long-wheelbase SUV, the Q5L, broke cover at Beijing, with a wheelbase increase of 88mm, resulting in 110mm of extra knee room for rear passengers.
Customers can choose from five equipment lines and the 2.0-litre TFSI petrol engine in two states of tune – 140kW and 185kW. The Q5L joins existing China-market sedans including the A4L, A6L and A8L.
Mercedes-Benz revealed a new version of its long-wheelbase C-Class sedan, which has been on sale in China since 2014.
Benz has stretched the wheelbase by 80mm, while the four-cylinder powertrains will be supported by a 48-volt mild-hybrid electric battery system. Upgrades include LED headlights as standard and a digital instrument cluster with a larger infotainment system.
As reported, the German car-maker also revealed the A-Class L sedan, which previews the A-Class sedan that will be offered in Australia, possibly before the end of the year.
Volkswagen unveiled a new model called the Lavida, a sedan exclusively for the Chinese market that is built on VW’s MQB architecture. It also revealed the version of the Arteon that is manufactured in China, called the Passat CC, like the Arteon’s predecessor in Australia.
Hyundai revealed a China-only sedan called the Lafesta that translates to ‘Festival’ in Italian. It uses a 1.6-litre turbocharged engine and seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission.
Honda launched a China-only electric car brand called Everus, which is being previewed by an electric SUV concept that will eventually evolve into a production model that will be available for private purchase or use through ride-sharing platform Reachstar, which Honda invests in.
Toyota announced plans to bring PHEV versions of its Corolla and Levin sedans in 2019, as well as a fully electric version of the C-HR by 2020, as part of its plan to introduce 10 electrified vehicles to China by 2020.
As expected, Volvo announced a plug-in hybrid version of its upcoming XC40 small SUV that will team a 1.5-litre turbocharged three-cylinder engine to an electric motor, with outputs yet to be revealed.
Parent company Geely also revealed a hybrid version of its Bo Gui sedan, called the GE, which will employ the same hybrid set-up as the XC40 T5 Twin Engine.
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