The Chinese market has always had a penchant for stretched-wheelbase versions of luxury sedans, adding a bit of wheelbase to everything from Buicks and Volvos to BMWs and Audis. The most recent vehicle to go on the rack is the 2010 Mercedes-Benz E-Class. Apparently the Benz is lagging a bit in the sales department, trailing even Audi, a company it usually bests handily.

For that reason, China Car Times is reporting that Mercedes is planning on giving the E-Class some "Chinese characteristics." Beijing-Benz is said to be readying a Chinese-built E300L, pictured here. Audi has had a lot of success in China with its recently introduced A4L and A6L, while BMW has already released a lengthened 5 Series and is said to be planning a similarly elongated 3 in the near future. Being chauffeur driven is a sign of wealth in China, so having a mini limo shows status, hence the longer-wheelbase versions of luxury sedans being so popular. But just like the A4L and stretched 5er, there's no chance that the E-Class L will make it to the States.

[Source: China Car Times]