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Mercedes-Benz will introduce the all-new E-class sedan in India on February 28, 2017. Not only is the model all new, it will also be the first time that the carmaker is bringing the E-class in its long-wheelbase avatar to India.
What’s interesting is that Mercedes-Benz won’t be introducing the regular E-class. This is to prevent the shorter car from cannibalising into the long-wheelbase (LWB) E-class’ sales, which will be the focus model for the carmaker.
The LWB model is a whole 140mm (5.5 inches) longer than the standard car. The extra space liberated with the longer wheelbase has all gone into the rear passenger compartment, which makes it better suited for chauffeur-driven duties. Besides the extra space to stretch out at the back, the E-class also comes with an optional touchscreen tablet controller for all its in-car controls, much like in the new BMW 7-series. This screen can be used to operate infotainment, climate control and interior lighting functions.
While the model comes with a host of electronic driver aids and semi-autonomous tech internationally, the Indian car is unlikely to receive most of these features. What the Indian E-class will carry over from the international models is beautifully crafted, S-class-like dashboard with dual 12.3-inch screens for infotainment and instrumentation which get the latest version of Merc’s COMAND Online infotainment system.
The car will be available with the option of a 184hp 2.0-litre turbocharged petrol engine and a 258hp 3.0-litre V6 that powers the current range of ‘350d’ models from Mercedes. While the smaller 2.1-litre diesel motor won’t be offered on the new model, the carmaker is also likely to bring in new 2.0-litre four-cylinder and 3.0-litre straight-six diesel engines at a later stage.
With an expected price tag of ₹55-70 lakh, the LWB E-class will be nearly ₹10 lakh costlier than the current model, and will slot between the regular E-class and the bigger S-class, which as it is, is offered in India only in long-wheelbase form. Not only will it appeal to car buyers who want a little more rear-seat space from their luxury sedan, it’s also likely to pull in buyers from a segment above, which has cars like the S-class, the BMW 7-series, and the Audi A8.