German carmaker Mercedes-Benz India on Thursday launched the second generation of its premium sports utility vehicle (SUV) GL-Class,reiterating its aggressive product portfolio for the Indian luxury car market. The off-roader will be available at Rs 77.50 lakhs (ex-showroom Delhi).
In order to connect better with the Indian customers,the company has roped in former tennis star and its global brand ambassador Boris Becker to promote its range of products.
Initially,the company will sell only 130 units of the imported Launch Editions in the country. The automaker will then start production of the off-roader locally at its Chakan plant near Pune from September this year,making India the second market after the United States to locally produce the GL-Class.
2013 is the Year of Offensive for Mercedes-Benz India. We have already succeeded with the new M-Class and now the introduction of the new GL-Class will further strengthen our dominance in the luxury large SUV segment. The GL-Class with its proven off-roading prowess is ideal to suit the taste of the growing number of off-roading aficionados in India, said Eberhard Kern,Managing Director and CEO,Mercedes-Benz India.
The GL-Class is one among the slew of products,including the upcoming hatchback A-class,that the company plans to launch in India,he added.
When asked if the company is chasing the number one position in the Indian luxury car market after being overtaken by German rival BMW and Audi,he said: “We are not in the numbers game. We are for profitable sustainability but with more products like the A-Class coming in,we should be able to strengthen our position in India.”
Expressing his pleasure in launching vehicle in India,Becker,a Mercedes-Benz aficionado,said: The GL-Class is a true blue SUV and the ultimate machine for off-roading I enjoy going for off-roading with my family I believe that the vehicle is a perfect companion on those tracks.
Commenting on his association with Mercedes,Becker said: “I have been associated with the company for the last 17 years and I have three car dealerships in Germany. India is a large market and as a global brand ambassador of the company,I want the brand to be successful here.”
The new SUV is powered by a 2987cc engine,V6 diesel engine which produces 619Nm of torque @ 1600-2400 and a power 190/258 @ 3600rpm. The robust engine coupled with 7G-Tronic Plus automatic transmission offers high level of responsiveness wherein the car can reach 0-100kph in 7.9 seconds,with the top speed at 220 km/hr. The vehicle also comes with a full 360 degree surround camera,a first from the Mercedes portfolio.
The SUV also comes with nine airbags for tumultuous off-roading,city and highway rides. Theres an attention assist,which helps the driver as soon as it detects signs of drowsiness on longer trips by continuously monitoring over 72 different parameters of driving behavior while there is an additional crosswind assist as further assistance to driver support.
The new GL-Class will take of Audi’s top end SUV model Q7 in teh Indian market.
This limited edition variant ,which will be only 130 units,will be offered as fully imported car and will have additional features like AMG body styling.
Other specialties of the Launch Edition will be Designo Exclusive Package,which includes AMG sports seats and rear seats featuring upholstery in designo leather,upper and lower dashboard sections and door belt lines in design leather,heated front seats,design headlining in Dinimica black. The Launch Edition will also have heated seats,and temperature controlled cup holders.