Photo: Mercedes-Benz

What do you call a bite-sized Maybach? The all-new 2019 Mercedes-Benz A-Class L Sedan, that’s what. It just debuted at the Beijing Auto Show. It is marvelous. It is excellent.

Everywhere else, the A-Class is Mercedes’ compact sedan/hatch econobox offering, perfect for owners who don’t have many things or people to cart around. But because this car is aimed for the Chinese market, where buyers want luxury and generous rear-legroom, Mercedes took the A-class wheelbase and stretched it by 60 mm (2.4 inches).

Mercedes left the engine alone, so the car will still be launched with a 1.3-liter four-cylinder engine. The 2.0-liter will come later. A seven-speed dual-clutch transmission is standard. Buyers can also get it in sedan and Sport sedan versions.

The A-Class L Sedan will also come with the new, wide-screen display that we’ve seen earlier as part of its new UX system. The speech reconigition system is also trained in various Chinese dialects, like Sichuanese and Cantonese.

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No pricing was announced, but Mercedes said that the L Sedan’s Chinese market launch is scheduled for the later half of 2018 and that “a version of the sedan tailored to the needs of customers outside China will likewise launch in the second half of the year.”

Does it mean that there will be a LWB A-Class coming stateside? One can only hope.

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