Mercedes-Benz India ended 2014 on a high with the launch of the much-awaited C-Class and will now open the innings for 2015 with the CLA sedan. We were in Goa driving the CLA and during the proceedings, Mercedes-Benz confirmed that they have at least 15 cars lined up for India this year. Since they are keeping mum about any further details, we have put together a speculative list of what can be expected from the German carmaker this year.
Mercedes-Benz had already given us an insight into the CLA-Class with the launch of the CLA 45 AMG last year. This sober version will have a more forgiving suspension set-up, a calmer engine and enough kit to rival the Audi A3. The car is slated for a launch on January 22, 2015 and we expect the pricing to start at a little under Rs 30 lakh. Read our first drive review of the CLA-Class here.
After giving it the boot a couple of year back, Mercedes-Benz is bringing back the Maybach moniker as a range-topping trim of the S-Class and as you would expect, it will add more luxury elements and creature comforts to the already plush S. Though it may not enjoy the same stature as a Rolls Royce or a Bentley now, the Maybach variant of India's most favourite limousine could still make enough noise at the dealerships.
Mercedes-Benz take great pride in offering bullet-proof vehicles in India and its Guard line has been received rather well for the kind of money it commands and its high level of protection. The S-Class Guard, based on the previous S, attracted quite a bit of attention at the 2012 Auto Expo, and with the W222 here now, we expect the S 600 Guard to be launched in India sometime soon.
Also on the cards for the W222 S-Class is the S 500 Plug-in Hybrid. The vehicle uses a 3.5-litre V6 petrol mated to a lithium-ion battery pack and claims a combined fuel economy of 35.71kmpl. If launched, the S 500 PH will rival the 7 Series ActiveHybrid.
Mercedes-Benz brought the updated E-Class to India back in 2013, but were were tight-lipped about the cabrio and coup versions of the E. Word is out though that the cabriolet is ready for its India launch and the coup should follow soon. Both the cars wear a shaplier and sportier design than their saloon counterpart.
Out of the three entry-level compact luxury cars from Mercedes-Benz, the B-Class is the understated one. The B-Class was recently given an update which included a mild redesigning of the bodywork and retuning of the mechanicals. We drove the car in Spain last year and it's headed to our shores in a few weeks from now.
Just like the new B-, the A-Class too is ready for an update. We expect to A-Class facelift to be unveiled globally around the upcoming Geneva Motor Show and considering it's one of the most popular compact luxury cars around, Mercedes-Benz will waste no time in bringing it to India. Expect some nips and tucks to the exterior design, a new version of the COMAND infotainment and changes to the steering wheel and switchgear design.
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Mercedes-Benz's controversialX6rival is coming to India by late 2015 or early 2016. The coup-crossover will join the ML- and GL-Class range of SUVs from Merc and the AMG version is expected to come along as well. The GLE 350 d 4Matic and the GLE 450 AMG are the ones we are likely to see in 2015.
The baby-SLS, or the AMG GT is coming to India in March. Powered by a new 4.0-litre V8 biturbo engine, the GT and GT S versions produce between 460 to 510PS of power. Upon launch, the AMG GT will be the flagship sportscar for the brand and is expected to be priced around Rs 2 crore. Stay tuned for our first drive review.
The CLS-Class was recently given an update with the S-Class derived adaptive LED lights and a few updates to its overall design. The four-door coup is one of the best lookers in its segment and was sold in the CLS 350 guise in India.
C 250 CDI
The new C-Class was launched in India in November 2014 and is currently made available only in the C 200 petrol variant. While the initial cars are being imported as CBUs, the local assembly is expected to get underway later this year. With it will come with C 250 CDI - the much-awaited diesel variant of the W205.
Also joining the new C-Class range will be the new C 63 AMG. It now uses a 4.0-litre V8 biturbo engine that is good for 475 to 510PS of power and is capable of sprinting from naught to 100kmph in 4.0 seconds. The engine is derived from the AMG GT's power plant and replaces the lovely 6.3-litre V8 from the outgoing C 63.