Mercedes-Benz India has started accepting bookings of the S350 CDI and the GLA. The S350 CDI is a diesel version of the 2014 S-Class saloon, which was launched here, in January, earlier this year in the petrol-powered S500 guise (featured in the video below). The GLA 220 CDI on the other hand, will mark the German manufacturer’s entry into the compact SUV segment.
Unlike the S500 which was initially imported as a CBU, the S 350 CDI will be assembled at the company’s facility Chakan, Pune right from the start. The S350 CDI will be powered by a 3.0-litre V6 engine producing 306bhp and 370Nm of torque. Other than the powertrain, the S350 CDI is identical to the S500 in most other aspects, though it will ditch some creature comforts. The car will get plain leather upholstery and the rear seats will be a bench, in place of the two individual seats in the S500. The car will also skimp on the night-vision cameras and chilling/heating cup holders for the rear.
The Mercedes-Benz GLA is a beefed up, crossover version of the A-Class and is based on the company’s Modular Front Architecture (MFA) platform. Even though the looks have been toned down from the concept, the skid plates and the styling give the car a butch appearance. Like all MFA-based cars, the GLA uses a number of fuel-saving features like automatic stop-start and radiator grille shutters.
Currently, dealers are accepting booking only for the diesel variant of the GLA, the GLA 220 CDI which indicated that Mercedes-Benz will initially offer the SUV only as a diesel. The variant will be powered by the 2.2-litre diesel, which will be tuned to produce 167 bhp and will be mated to a seven-speed dual-clutch gearbox.
The GLA 220 CDI can be booked for an amount of Rs 1 lakh and the car is expected to be launched around the festive season. It will go up against the other similarly sized German compact SUVs, the Audi Q3 and the BMW X1 with the prices pegged to be around the Rs 30 lakh mark. The S350 CDI , being a premium saloon, demands a premium of Rs 5 lakh as a token amount, with deliveries expected to be begin around June end. Despite being locally assembled, the S 350 CDI will be more expensive than its diesel rivals – the Audi A8L 3.0 TDI Quattro, BMW 730Ld and the Jaguar XJ 3.0 V6.