Mercedes-Benz showed off two very different new production cars at the Shanghai Motor Show. On one end of the size and sensibility spectrum is the long wheelbase version of the 2014 E-Class sedan. At the complete opposite end is a version of the wacky Smart forjermey that is destined for limited production.
Wealthy Chinese drivers often prefer to be chauffeured than to drive themselves, so extended wheelbase models that offer more rear legroom are quite popular there. The 2014 E-Class long-wheelbase is 5.5 inches longer overall and has a 5.5-inch greater wheelbase than a standard sedan. That affords an extra 5.5 inches of legroom for rear-seat passengers. Other tweaks include a revised character crease on the longer rear doors, a function that allows for rear passengers to operate the power front-passenger seat, and unique taillights. The new model goes on sale in China as the 2014 Mercedes-Benz E260L (204 hp), E300L (245 hp), E400L (333 hp), and the E400L Hybrid.
In addition, Mercedes revealed that the bizarre Smart forjeremy will go into "extremely limited" production. Shown last fall at the Los Angeles auto show, the car is a version of the Smart ForTwo tweaked by fashion designer Jeremy Scott. Scott's work has apparently been worn by the likes of Kanye West, Rihanna, Lady Gaga, and Madonna. The most prominent design touch is a pair of wings on the back of the car. The wheels and paint are gleaming white, as are the upholstery and leather stitching. The black floor mats have white "Jeremy Scott" autographs.
"I wanted to design something out of the ordinary," Scott said in a statement. "I see myself driving this car and can well imagine my friends and cool people all over the world loving the unique design of this Smart."
Production begins this month, with prices in Europe starting from €33,333 (about $43,501). A Mercedes spokeswoman confirmed the special-edition will be sold in the U.S., but she said the company doesn't yet know how many will be sold here, when it will arrive, or how much the forjeremy will cost.