Mercedes-Benz is going to launch the 2014 S-Class S 350 CDI tomorrow. Mercedes-Benz dealers had started accepting bookings of the diesel variant of the S-Class a few weeks ago, for a token of Rs 5 lakh. The S 350 CDI is the diesel-powered variant of the W222 S-Class luxury sedan, which was launched in India with a lone petrol variant, the S 500, earlier this year.
The S 350 CDI will be powered by a 3.0-litre V6 diesel engine which sends power to the rear wheels through 7G-Tronic Plus automatic gearbox. Except for the engine, the S 350 CDI will be mechanically identical to the S 500. Though the car rides on the same core chassis, it is 100kg lighter than the previous car, has better torsion stiffness and boasts of lower NVH levels. The car also features an enhanced AIRMATIC suspension with Magic Body Control for a better ride.
The S 350 CDI will be very extravagantly equipped with creature comforts, though Mercedes-Benz has skimped on some features. While the Burmester sound system has been retained, it will lose out on the 3D surround system. The heated/cooled cupholders won’t be offered and the two individual seats in the rear will be replaced with a bench seat, making room for an extra passenger.
The 360-degree reversing camera will be replaced with a regular unit while the night-vision camera has also been ditched. On the safety front, the S 350 CDI will be equipped with eight airbags, Dynamic cornering control system, Adaptive Brake with HOLD Function and ASR among others. Rest of the features are expected to be retained for the S 350 CDI, or at least be offered as an optional extra.
The S 500 was launched in January this year and was the first W222 S-Class variant to make it to our shores. Despite the high price, the petrol-powered car was sold out in just 16 days after its launch. This response encouraged the German manufacturer to start local assembly of the luxury sedan, which also resulted in a price cut. With the S 350 CDI though, Mercedes-Benz has done its homework and this car will be locally assembled at the company’s facility in Chakan, Pune from the beginning itself. This will help the company save on import taxes and price it competitively against its rivals- the Audi A8L 3.0 TDI Quattro, BMW 730Ld and the Jaguar XJ 3.0 V6.