Mercedes-Benz all set to enthral Indian audience this September with its B-Class
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German luxury carmaker Mercedes-Benz has announced that the company is gearing up to launch its B-Class hatchback in September this year in the Indian auto market. With the launch of this car, the Indian market will get its first premium sports tourer. Post launch, B-Class will be the new entry-level model of Mercedes-Benz in the country. Though the company has not yet disclosed the price of this compact sports tourer, it is anticipated that the car will be offered with a tag ranging from Rs. 23 to 29 lacs.
After a host of concept versions of the B-Class, the company introduced the final production model at the 11th IAA Frankfurt Motor Show, which was organised in September 2011. According to Mercedes-Benz Development Chief Dr. Thomas Weber, “No model change in the history of Mercedes has seen so many new developments introduced in one fell swoop.”
Though there are no updates from the company’s stand regarding the technical specifications of the car, it is expected that the car will be offered in both diesel as well as petrol versions. The diesel variant of B-Class will hold a 1.6 litre powertrain, whereas its petrol version will boast of a 1.8 litre petrol motor. It is anticipated that the engines will be mated to a new 7G-DCT (seven speed dual clutch transmission) dual-clutch gearbox as well as a new manual transmission system.
Engines of the upcoming B-Class will be integrated with advanced technologies for maximum efficiency, smooth running and high tractive power even from low revs. Sustainability in the context of adhering to upcoming emissions standards and low weight will also be the defining features of the model. As far as safety features of B-Class are concerned, it is believed that the Indian version of the model will feature Lane Assist and Blind Spot, among others. With a drag-coefficient of 0.26, the B-Class claims to be the most aerodynamically efficient family car.
The B-Class offered by India's third largest luxury car manufacturer is quite similar to the C-Class in terms of length and offers ample space in its first and the second rows. As far as the basic looks are concerned, the car actually looks like a combination of a compact Multi Purpose Vehicle (MPV) and a large hatchback car, thus it is going to start a new segment altogether in the Indian car market. The boot of B-Class has loads of space, which will enable as many as five passengers to carry sufficient luggage on a weekend trip.
Though the Mercedes B-class is touted more as a grand tourer rather than a compact Sports Utility Vehicle (SUV), it will go head to head against the Audi Q3 and BMW X1, which are compact SUVs priced below Rs. 25 lacs in India. Mercedes-Benz will use Completely Knock Down (CKD) kits as an easy way to route the car in the Indian auto market, helping the automaker to maintain its competitive price. Besides, the expansion of company’s manufacturing unit is also about to finish, which will enable the assembly of 20,000 units yearly. By the end of July 2012, the paint booth facility of Mercedes-Benz will be also ready to initiate its operations, thereby empowering the manufacturer to paint the model on its site.
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