Select Mercedes-Benz dealers have already started accepting bookings for the E-Class L, which is due for launch in March 2017
German luxury carmaker, Mercedes-Benz, will spring up a surprise soon! The luxury car manufacturer will launch the tenth-gen E-Class in India in March 2017, customer bookings for which are already underway. A top-source in the company confirms us that it'll be the long-wheelbase V213 E-Class coming to India instead of the regular W213 model that was globally unveiled last year.
The V213 is the E-Class L of China that measures a whopping 5065mm in length. The wheelbase measurement is crazy as it even outstrips the S-Class wheelbase, not by a fraction, but by a whole 44mm. Compared to the standard tenth-gen E-Class, which received a 65mm extension of the wheelbase over the fourth-gen, the E-Class L's wheelbase is, hold your breath, 140mm longer.
Mercedes-Benz will develop the long wheelbase E-Class exclusively for India and will ditch its regular wheelbase variant altogether to avoid cannibalisation. Engine options are still under cover. However, there's a new 2.0-litre turbodiesel engine that powers the tenth-gen E-Class, which may come to India later. Mercedes-Benz already has a 3.0-litre V6 diesel engine in its current E-Class portfolio that may continue to power the upcoming E-Class L. Besides the diesel engines; there is a good chance that a petrol engine will make it to the E-Class L portfolio keeping in mind the anti-diesel sentiment in the country.
Besides the increased real estate that the E-Class L will occupy, it'll also get a bagful of tech to allure buyers. To start with, the most outstanding of all, touch sensitive steering controls! Yes, you may now officially call the steering mounted controls passé, because a touch sensitive screen will soon do the work. Other than that, the stretched E-Class is bound to get two 12.3-inch high-res displays housing the virtual instrument cluster and infotainment display, along with a touchpad controller that features handwriting recognition. For the rear passengers enjoying the vast expanse of space, a split seatback will transform into an armrest with a touchscreen tablet holder. The tablet will register your commands for the infotainment, climate control and interior lighting functions.
The current E-Class range in India starts from Rs 50 lakh and goes in the high 60s. In the mid-size luxury segment, it competes with the BMW 5 Series, Audi A6 and Volvo S90. With the launch of the E-Class L, Mercedes-Benz may no longer remain cost competitive, but the stretched E-Class will promise unparallel rear seat comfort, which holds priority for majority buyers in that space.
If prices go up by about Rs 10-15 lakh over the current prices, we can expect the E-Class L to start from Rs 65 lakh and go up to Rs 80 lakh. It'll be interesting to see how this segment shapes up. Mercedes-Benz will be making the E-Class L in India and it'll be tough for competitors to elongate their cars to give the LWB E-Class a fight for the best rear seat in business. For Mercedes-Benz, it'll be a big gamble itself as the E-Class is one of its most popular nameplates and has even been the brand's top-seller until the current C-Class took over.
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