Mercedes-Benz is on a roll in India. The carmaker launched 13 products in 2016 and managed to retain the top spot in overall sales in the luxury segment. It now plans to start 2017 with the launch of the new E-Class in India that competes with the BMW 5 Series and Audi A6 in the mid-size luxury sedan segment.
Top-sources close to the carmaker have confirmed us that the new E-Class will be here in March 2017. Mercedes-Benz dealerships in New Delhi have already started to accept bookings for the car at Rs 2 lakh.
Codenamed as the W213, the new E-Class made its first official appearance at the Detroit Motor Show last year. It is bigger and more feature laden than the generation it replaces. The new E-Class will build up to its reputation of an executive saloon targeted at the chauffeur-driven elite class with the wheelbase now being longer by 65mm which translates into more space for the rear passengers.
Rumours suggest that Mercedes-Benz will surprise one and all with the launch of the long wheelbase E-Class in India. It measures over 5m in length and offers an additional 140mm of legroom for the rear passengers that will make all the difference.
If that happens, India will become the second market after China to get the E-Class L. However, for that, Mercedes-Benz will have to make the E-Class in India from day one as the E-Class L sold in the Chinese market is left-hand-drive. Also, if that happens, Mercedes-Benz will not bring the regular E-Class to India which will result in the E-Class range being priced considerably higher than its competitors.
The E-Class will continue to draw power from the existing engine line-up, and we believe Mercedes-Benz will come out with a petrol and a diesel engine to start with, adding another diesel engine to the line-up later. So, the E 200 petrol and E 350 d diesel might begin the proceedings for the new E in India followed by the E 250 d. All the engines are expected to get Merc’s 9-speed automatic gearbox.
The new E-Class will certainly be more feature laden than before, and we expect Mercedes-Benz to pack in touch-sensitive steering controls, virtual instrument cluster, 23-speaker Burmester 3D sound system and more.
If the E-Class L comes to India, we can expect the asking price to go a bit higher than the current E-Class range and may even touch Rs 70 lakh mark. If Mercedes-Benz continues with the regular E-Class, expect prices to go up by a few lakh rupees and settle in the high 50s.