Rumor: The Mercedes Benz B-Class Sports Tourer could be launched as early as July 2012
Mercedes Benz India has made no bones about the fact that it intends to capture back market share that it has lost to competitors and compatriots, Audi and BMW over the past couple of years or so, with a slew of product launches aiming to bring in big volumes. The first car in this new crop of Mercs will be the 2012 B-Class Sports Tourer, which could break cover as early as July 2012, according to a report carried by our friends over at Overdrive. The 2012 B-Class sport tourer will be Mercedes Benz India’s entry level product, competing in the same price range as that of the Audi Q3 and the BMW X1 crossovers.
However, while the Audi Q3 and the BMW X1 are dedicated crossovers, the B-Class is a new segment in itself, of that of being a grown up, oversized hatchback. Since the B-Class Sports Tourer is a one-of-its-kind car to be launched in the Indian market, it will be quite interesting to see how Mercedes Benz markets this product. That said, the B-Class, based on Mercedes’ new MFA platform, will be aimed at the younger set of car buyers that the brand hopes to attract towards its products spun out of the MFA platform. The car is expected to be available in both petrol and diesel engine versions.
However, the first crop of cars that are expected to be imported into the country through the completely built unit(CBU) route could be made available with only a petrol engine. Later, CKD assembly will commence at Chakan. The petrol engine is expected to be a 1.6 Liter, four cylinder turbo petrol unit, in two states of tune, delivering 120 Bhp and 155 Bhp respectively. The diesel engine will be a 1.8 Liter turbo diesel unit, also available in two states of tune, 108 Bhp and 135 Bhp. Both these engines are expected to be offered with a choice of a 6 speed manual gearbox and a 7 speed dual clutch automatic gearbox.
The 2012 B-Class, like all Mercedes Benz cars will be loaded to th gill with comfort as well as safety features. Now, the big question remains, if indeed Mercedes Benz has advanced the launch of the B-Class, why has it done so? One possible reason could be that the car maker would want to stay in the limelight and keep the buzz around the brand intact, especially at a time when rivals like Audi and BMW make big splashes with high profile product launches. Audi just launched the Q3 Crossover, to an overwhelming response in India earlier this month and BMW will launch the all new 2012 F30 3 Series sedan in July. So, the earlier than expected arrival of the 2012 Mercedes Benz B-Class could be mainly to keep the buzz surrounding the three pointed star intact.