Beijing’s Internet Info Agency has recently reported the agreement between BAIC Motor Group and its long running partner Daimler for the development of a midsize sedan that uses the older platform of the Mercedes-Benz E Class.
The report isn’t stating which particular architecture of the German executive sedan is being used, but most likely it won’t be any older than the previous-gen E-Class (W212) because it would then negate any utility points. The exact model to be underpinned via this collaboration hasn’t been established yet as well – but the Chinese customers could see the next generation Senova D80 using some German-flared parts. Power is expected to be unleashed from a turbocharged 1.8-liter gasoline engine and a naturally-aspirated 3.0-liter six-cylinder. There’s just one transmission available – a comfortable six speed automatic and both the engines and the gearbox would be locally commissioned in China thanks to the ongoing joint venture between the two automakers.
After the midsize sedan’s introduction in 2018 the Chinese company will also develop a Senova sport utility vehicle again using the old E Class architecture as the basis. BAIC also wants to deliver an MPV on the platform but this one will eschew the Senova denomination in favor of the Weiwang badge. State-owned BAIC has been claiming the ranks recently –with a 43 percent jump in sales since the start of the year on the local market, the world’s largest.