Speaking with Auto Motor und Sport during October’s Tokyo Motor Show, Daimler boss Dieter Zetsche explained that Mercedes’ future does not lie in crossovers and SUVs but with its core market for premium segment saloons. This is because of increased demand in growing markets such as China and India, where demand for cars like the E and S-Class are already meeting supply.
There’s so much demand for the long-wheelbase S-Class in China that in the future it may only be offered in stretched form, Zetsche told reporters. To fill the void left by the short-wheelbase model, a second, more up-market version of the new E-Class could be offered.
Due in 2009, the new E-Class (//www.motorauthority.com/blog/1026796_preview-2010-mercedes-benz-e-class will offer significantly more room than the current model thanks to a longer wheelbase. The second, E-Class variant is rumored to stretch 20cm longer than the standard E-Class and be manufactured in China. The car is also tipped to feature Mercedes’ new parallel diesel-electric hybrid system. Final output will be about 240hp.
Other models in Mercedes’ lineup are also expected to spawn a greater number of variants. Both the next A and B-Class are rumored to be available with SUV and Cabrio options, while the next-gen S-Class could come as a four-door convertible as well as super-stretched limo. This extra long S-Class will also form the basis of the Maybach successor.