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Mercedes-Benz unveiled the A-Class L sedan at the at the Beijing Auto Show this week, giving us the first real look at the body style that will eventually make it to North America. Of course, despite the U.S. and Canada having a population that’s three inches taller, on average, Mercedes will probably keep the long wheelbase version in the East. But that has to do more with the Chinese appreciation for imported luxury than an indispensable need for legroom.

It’s a luxury that’s sometimes difficult to understand.

Mercedes-Maybach recently showcased a three-box SUV concept we couldn’t quite wrap our heads around, and is now launching into a new aesthetic intended to appeal to Chinese customers that we’re also having difficulty coming to terms with. However, let’s save that visual train wreck for another post, and figure out how much the Chinese A-Class L sedan has in common with the model destined for North America. 

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By and large, this is the car we will be getting. Low-quality images of the standard sedan were leaked on Tuesday, and have shown it to be identical in every respect but one. The long-wheelbase version stretches an additional 2.4 inches over the hatchback that premiered in Europe and… that’s about it. Engine offerings are roughly the same, albeit a bit down on power.

Europe’s A-Class comes with a 160 horsepower 1.4-liter turbo four or a 221 horsepower 2.0-liter turbo, both of which could make it to America. But China’s L Sedan comes with a “1.33-liter” turbo with 134 ponies as standard. An upgraded 161-horsepower version will also be available. Eventually, Mercedes says it will offer a 2.0-liter unit with 188 hp, as well. Power is routed through a seven-speed dual clutch transmission, regardless of engine choice. Trims include the standard long-wheelbase sedan as well as a Sport Sedan variant, with the latter featuring powerdomes on the hood.

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The interior is identical to what we’ve seen already and the same can be said for the exterior from the A-pillar forward. Still, the rest of the car attempts to maintain some of the hatch’s swept-back styling by keeping the trunk lid angled in a downward direction. The overall style of the rear bumper is also very similar, however, the sedan’s taillights are of a unique design.

Expect a lot of the same in your market, but with larger wheel options and beefier engines. Thus far, Mercedes says it will limit the 2019 A-Class L Sedan to China. We don’t envision that changing anytime soon.

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[Images: Daimler AG]

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