WHEN: April 2012
HOW MUCH: Rs 65 lakh - Rs 80 lakh, ex-showroom
ENGINES: 2.2-litre 205 PS diesel, 3.0-litre 250 PS V6 diesel, 3.5-litre 295 PS V6 petrol
COMPETITION: BMW X5, Audi Q7, Porsche Cayenne, Land Rover Discovery
The M-Class SUV heralded a whole new era for Mercedes-Benz, proving hugely popular and bringing more cusotmers into the three-pointed star's fold. Now, the third-generation M-Class has just been launched in Europe, and is scheduled to make its way to India in early 2012.
The new Mercedes-Benz M-Class is an all-new platform, and one which will eventually be used for the next second-generation GL as well. But first, let's see what's new with the ML. For starters, Mercedes will be offering the new M-Class with three engine options; a 2.2-litre four-cylinder diesel, a 3.0-litre V6 diesel and a 3.5-litre V6 petrol engine. All three engines will come with permanent four-wheel drive and Mercedes' excellent 7G-Tronic gearbox. This range of engines is exactly the same as we find in the current E-Class family, and form the mainstay of Mercedes' range for the next couple of years, when its new family of direct injection petrol motors and fourth generation common-rail diesels will make an appearance. Later, an ML500 and AMG version should be avilable as well.
The chassis is of a monocoque design, but is extremely rigid too, endowing the ML with adecent off-road ability. Of course, most owners are unlikely to ever use their MLs for any serious mud-plugging (The G-wagen is for that), but Mercedes' is proud to point out that the ML comes blessed with great ground clearance, substanital suspension travel and huge wheel articulation. The third generation ML utilises a double-wishbone front suspension and multi-link rear axle, which ensure it will be able to handle the stresses of off-road use and yet retain sure-footed handling at speed on the highway.
The interiors of the new ML have been reworked as well, with sharper lines and a more angular theme overall, replacing the slightly rounded interior theme. The new hexagonal steering wheel boss lends a very dynamic character to the driver controls. Bits of chrome and brushed aluminium accents add to the brightwork on the insides.
The new M-Class comes with Mercedes' 4MATIC all-wheel drive system, along with a full suite of driver aids, including traction control, anti-lock brakes with brake assist function, electronic stability programme and hill descent control. Despite all the luxury and features the new ML offers, it still weighs in at a respectable 2150 kgs for the 2.2-litre diesel, rising to 2180 kgs for the 3.0-litre V6 diesel. This should ensure good economy and low emissions, and also ensure that the handling remains dynamic enough. If we had a grouse with the earlier generation ML and GL, it was the slightly floaty ride characterisitc which tended to cause passengers to feel a little queasy. We hope the new ML should have this issue sorted.
Production of right-hand drive models is slated to begin early next year, after which Mercedes will introduce the new M-Class to India. It will be brought in as a fully-built car, or CBU, so taxes will be high. Still we expect Mercedes will price it competitvely, and we expect prices to start at around Rs 65 lakh. Mercedes may gamble on offering the 2.2-litre diesel in India as well, although we suspect the ML350 CDI will be the mainstay of the range in India.
Mercedes-Benz Upcoming Cars
Mercedes-Benz is launching the new G 63 AMG in India on February 19, 2013. Often referred to as the ‘strong man’ in the AMG model range, the design has been reworked, so that, for the first time in the 33-year history of the G-Class, AMG customers can enjoy a raft of future-oriented systems like spray-controlled petrol direct injection, the ECO start/stop function and generator management. Read More...
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. Read More...
Mercedes-Benz will introduce the all-new S-Class luxury saloon in 2013, autojunction.in can reveal. The all-new Mercedes-Benz S-Class, codenamed W222, is a significant model, and will span numerous iterations. It will compete with a vast range of luxury automobiles from numerous brands, including Audi, BMW, Jaguar and Bentley. Read More...
The all-new Mercedes-Benz A-class is set to hit the Indian shore by the second half of next year. The new Mercedes-Benz A-Class will be the second member of the NGCC (new generation compact car) family, after the Mercedes-Benz B-Class. Read More...
The new Mercedes GL-Class was unveiled at the New York Motor Show this April. Based on the same architecture as the new M-Class, which was revealed at the New Delhi Auto Expo in January, the new GL is set to go into production at Mercedes’ Chakan facility early next year. Read More...
The new B-Class, introduced in Europe at the end of 2011, is an all-new model catering to the premium car market, and will be launched in India at the end of 2012. Further, Mercedes will assemble the new B-Class at its Chakan facility near Pune in Maharashtra, ensuring that the vehicle will be very competitively priced. Read More...
- upcoming cars
- Audi India
- Chevrolet India
- India launch
- Land Rover
- Land Rover India
- Tata Motors
- 1.0 TSI
- Ashok Leyland
- A3 launch
- 8-speed Steptronic
- 508 India
- 3 Series
- 2013 Renault Fluence
- 2013 Mercedes-Benz A-Class
- 2013 launch
- 2012 India launch
- 2.0 TFSI
- 2.0 TDI
- 1.5 dCi diesel