Mercedes-Benz E 63 AMG Launch On July 26
Following on from the launch of the refreshed E-Class exactly a month ago, on June 25, Mercedes-Benz India is gearing up to launch the performance version, the fire-breathing E63 AMG, on July 26. The launch will take place at the Buddh International Circuit near New Delhi.
Available in two versions - the E63 AMG and E63 AMG S - it remains to be seen which version comes to India. While the 'regular' E63 AMG puts out 560 PS and 720 Nm from its 5.5-litre V8 biturbo engine, the S-Model has 593 PS and 800 Nm of torque! That's a crazy amount of power from what is an everyday easy-to-drive luxury sedan otherwise. Mercedes claims the S-Model can get to 100 km/h in a mere 3.6 seconds, making it the fastest-accelerating production sedan the company has ever produced!
In principle, the E63 AMG will go up against the recently-launched Audi S6, which has 'only' 420 PS and 550 nm of torque, although a hairier RS6 model is also in the pipeline. There's also the M5, which also has a turbocharged V8 engine. We expect prices for the E63 AMG to breach the Rs 1 crore mark, however all details will only be revealed closer to the launch.
WHEN: End - 2013
HOW MUCH: Rs 55 - 60 lakh
ENGINES: 2.2-litre diesel, 3.0-litre diesel, 2.0-litre turbo-petrol
Mercedes-Benz has taken the wraps of the refreshed E-Class, which is expected to go on sale in Europe in the first quarter of 2013, but will only make it to our shores towards the end of the year.
The new E-Class is still very much the W212 under the skin; instead, it is a series of revisions, both to the exterior and the interior, which help to differentiate the new 2013 model year vehicle. Mercedes’ model cycle is approximately 6 to 7 years between all-new model launches, so in this avatar expect the E-Class to soldier on for another 3 years or so, before an all-new model comes to market in end-2015 or early in 2016.
But let’s focus on the refreshed E-Class. So, what’s new?
What’s immediately evident is the new front end. Single lenses make their return to the E-Class, although the interior elements still persevere with the double-barrel "four-eyes" look that Mercedes pioneered with the W210 back in 1995. Part-LED headlamps (with a full LED light package as a cost option option) are also available with the car. A new ridge line runs the length of the car, subtly defining the sides and helping it look fresh. Mercedes wants the E-Class to have an “elongated and elegant” look, which is what this class of customer expects.
Three trim levels – Base, Elegance and Avantgarde are on offer. While the Base and Elegance variants continue with the classical Mercedes three-louvered grille and three-pointed star on the bonnet, in the Avantgarde version, the Mercedes logo is positioned in the centre of the grille, a feature which was offered with the present C-Class at launch.
The interiors of the new E-Class have been completely redone with a new instrument binnacle, touch-screen infotainment system with Bluetooth and USB connectivity, a new square-shaped analogue clock, revised centre console etc. Further, customers can also specify the COMAND Plus infotainment system, which in addition to everything we listed earlier, also has internet connectivity and pre-loaded Mercedes and Google applications, including local search, weather and navigation info.
Uniquely, on the new E-Class, Mercedes will offer customers the option of specifying their own appointments, no matter what trim level they select, allowing for a high degree of customisation.
Customers can specify the trim appointments within the cabin, no matter which variant is selected.
As with other mid-cycle refreshes, the new E-Class debuts two new petrol engines as well, boasting what Mercedes calls BlueDIRECT technology. BlueDIRECT is a combination of technologies, viz. direct petrol injection, turbocharging, variable camshaft timing and exhaust gas charging which provides excellent fuel economy and driving involvement. Mercedes engineers have tuned the systems to produce little or no lag, to ensure great throttle responses at any rpm. BlueDIRECT is available in 1,991-cc form in two power outputs of 185 PS / 300 Nm and 215 PS / 350 Nm, designated E200 and E250 respectively. There’s also a new 2,996 cc V6 bi-turbo petrol, with 340 PS and 480 Nm.
The diesel engines carry on in the familiar 2,143 cc (E200 CDI, E220 CDI, E250 CDI) and 2,987 cc (E300 CDI, E350 CDI) that we’ve seen in the E-Class family of late. 7G-TRONIC Plus automatic transmission is standard on all models, while for the base versions in the European market there is the option of a six-speed manual as well.
The two part theme is further emphasised; customers can choose between wood and aluminium trims.
Suspension systems have been slightly modified as well, for what Mercedes calls an even more refined ride. In any case, the E-Class has always been a fine riding car, and we can only assume that it’s gotten better still. Customers who opt for the powerful V8-powered E500 version get Airmatic suspension as standard. Further, for the Avantgarde trim versions of the new E-Class, Mercedes has lowered the ride height by 15 mm and fitted stiffer springs.
It is also important to note that all versions of the new Mercedes E-Class will get electromechanical power steering with a variable-ratio steering rack as standard.
Mercedes will also preview a whole host of new and improved safety features, which will also be seen in the new S-Class when it is revealed later in the year. These include Collision Prevention Assist, Park Assist, Attention Assist, Pre-Safe and Pre-Safe Plus, which can also detect a potential rear-end collision and flash the brake lights with increasing frequency to warn the car behind. A 360-degree camera with surround view is also offered.
E-Class Avantgarde variant sits 15 mm lower to the ground. Note the star is on the grille and not on the bonnet.
According to Dr Joachim Schmidt, Board Member of Mercedes-Benz Cars, responsible for Sales and Marketing: ‘With the new E-Class we are setting down clear markers in the areas of safety, design and efficiency. It brings lots of technical innovations to the road and is without doubt the best E-Class ever. This is also reflected in its design and lovingly revised interior. As a result it brings a breath of fresh air to the luxury class. The ‘E’ therefore continues to stand for the leading position in this demanding segment.”
The E-Class is a very significant model for Mercedes-Benz, and while the smaller C-Class sells in larger numbers, it is arguably the E-Class around which the range pivots. With the host of improvements the company has lined up for this car, it should comfortably cement its place as one of the world’s pre-eminent luxury cars.
Mercede-Benz India should begin assembly of the new E-Class towards the end of the year. Fort the Indian market, expect only the Elegance and Avantgarde variants to be offered. Two diesel engines (E200 CDI and E350 CDI)and a single petrol engine (E250) are likely to be the only powertrains offered. A price increase is also likely, given the range of extra equipment and features packed in.
The new E-Class has the Hands-Free Access convenience feature. Simply place your foot under the rear bumper, and the boot will pop open!
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