by Adrian-Liviu Dorofte

REPORT: Mercedes-Benz currently developing a 7-seat version of the B-Class

In a world where moving from A to B as much people as possible is a stringent need, Mercedes-Benz needs to stay up-to-date and constantly improve the lineup of vehicles that can meet the requirement for a comfortable cruising along the highway. Known for their capacity of transporting more people than a normal sedan would do, the multi-purpose vehicles (MPV) or vans have suffered major transformations in the last few years, becoming bigger, safer and more relaxing to drive. The B-Class, the only real van in the Mercedes-Benz passenger vehicles' range, though compact-sized, offers still unexplored possibilities that can come true in the near future, if we are to believe the latest reports.

To put it straight, Mercedes-Benz is secretly working hard to develop an all-new van based on the current W 246 B-Class. The new people carrier will be able to gather in its cabin not five, but seven passengers. Part of the same lineup, this van will have a modified wheelbase and thus a different size compared to the standard model. In total, the overall length should increase by a significant 15-20 centimeters. Other than the number of seats, the new B-Class "XL" will be identical to the normal B-Class. Same exterior design, same MFA platform, same engines, same equipment and the similarities could continue. Official debut is slated for 2013, with the car expected to be priced above the 26,000 euros tag in Germany. There is clearly no information about the countries where it will be available, but we think this new Merc will go on sale in Europe, China, Japan and maybe USA, if it has the potential to attract the picky Stateside clients.

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