Mercedes Benz to launch the B-Class Sports Tourer in India on the 18th of September, 2012
Mercedes Benz will launch its first entry level product based on the MFA platform, in India, on the 18th of September, 2012, in the form of the B-Class sports tourer. This car, which is known as compact MPV in the Mercedes Benz range in international markets will be positioned as a sports tourer in the Indian luxury car space. The crucial bit that is the key to the B-Class’ success in India, its pricing, will be declared during the launch. Expectations of the price center around the INR 25 lakh mark, as Mercedes Bnz India has hinted that the B-Class would be positioned against the likes of the BMW X1 and the Audi Q3 crossovers.
At the time of the launch though, the Mercedes Benz B-Class is expected to be available only in petrol guise, with the 1.6 Liter, four cylinder turbo petrol engine in two states of tune, 122 Bhp and 156 Bhp, with peak torque at 200 and 250 Nm respectively. It remains to be seen which state of tune Mercedes Benz India launches the B-Class with. Early next year, Mercedes Benz is also expected to launch a turbo diesel engined version of the B-Class, which will be the main volumes puller for the brand. Like the petrol engine, the diesel engine is also available in two states of tune, 109 Bhp-250 Nm and 136 Bhp-300 Nm.
Transmission options could include a 6 speed manual gearbox and the 7 speed dual clutch automatic transmission. The B-Class comes with capacious interiors, which are flexible enough to allow for carrying five adults and enough luggage to last a week or two given that this car is a sports tourer. The car is expected to be fully loaded in terms of creature comforts and safety features, as is every Mercedes Benz car. Though positioned as an entry level model, the B-Class will epitomize Mercedes Benz’s latest “affordable luxury” philosophy and is therefore expected to offer “more for less”.
Currently, Mercedes Benz India imports the B-Class through the completely built unit(CBU) route and this will continue until the assembly plant at Chakan, off Pune, is ready for CKD assembly. The commencement of CKD assembly is also when the diesel engined model is expected to be launched in India. The coming years will see Mercedes Benz India launching a wide range of entry level products based on the MFA platform. The B-Class will be followed by the A-Class sports hatchback, sometime in 2013. The MFA sedan and a BLK crossover are the other two entry level cars that have been lined up for a launch in the Indian market in the next couple of years.