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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.

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In a move sure to make shoulders slump and people ask "Why is this happening?", Mercedes will not produce a CLK63 AMG -- which would actually be an E Class Coupe AMG. The axing is due to the CLK moving from the C Class platform to the E Class, and Mercedes' view that a hotted up E Coupe with the 6.3-liter would be too close to the CLS 63 AMG "both in positioning and price."

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If this is what the next E-Class is really going to look like, we think we prefer the lightly camo'ed prototype better. Still not exactly a beautiful proposition, it could just be that the car looks better in silver and black than it does in purple. If that's the final grille, it loses a crossbar from the current E-Class. And frankly, we wouldn't mind seeing it with that whopping emblem on the new C-Class front and center for some aggression. This could be a car where wheel choice -- and AMG pac

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Click above for high-res gallery of the new E Class from Automotive Traveler.

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