Mercedes-Benz will launch the new M-Class on May 15, 2012. The new M-Class is expected to be priced in the range of Rs. 70 and will take on luxury SUVs such as the Porsche Cayenne, BMW X5, Ranger Rover Evoque and the Audi Q7 which are priced in the Rs. 50 lakh – Rs. 70 lakh price range. The new M-Class has grown up a bit and also comes with a new engine. Let’s check out the upcoming M-Class in detail.
Looks, space and comfort
The new M-Class looks clean and more elegant than the old model. But we feel it has lost some of its original sportiness. The rear of the new M-Class looks attractive; thanks to a beautifully sculpted tail lamp cluster that accentuates the width of the SUV. The rear bumper is refurbished and gets a pair of reflectors.
The interiors of the new M-Class have many changes such as redesigned AC vents, new central console layout and refreshed instrument cluster. The new steering wheel looks sharp and has classic touches such as wood inserts on the upper half. Expect new dual tone color combination in the upcoming M-Class.
The upcoming M-Class is 23 mm longer and 15 mm wider than the outgoing model. The old M-Class is 20 mm taller than the new M-Class. Hence, with regard to space and comfort, there may not be any changes in the new M-Class. The two rows of seats will offer excellent overall comfort and the large boot at the rear should be able to carry enough luggage during off-road expeditions.
Engine and performance
The new M-Class will be powered by a 350 CDI diesel motor that puts out 258 Bhp of power and 620 Nm of torque. The engine is mated to a 7-GTRONIC automatic transmission which is same as in the outgoing model.
However, when compared with the current 350 CDI diesel engine, the new engine puts out 27 Bhp more power and 80 Nm more torque and this means, the new M-Class can perform better than the outgoing model. Expect the new M-Class to also offer better ride quality and handling characteristics as Mercedes-Benz have worked on its suspension extensively in order to improve its road manners.
The new M-Class is expected to come equipped with engine start/stop technology, all time four-wheel-drive system. Other features such as the AIRMATIC air suspension and Adaptive Damping System (ADS) may likely be retained in the new model.
The new M-Class will be imported as a CBU and hence will likely be priced at around Rs. 70 lakh. But the company plans to assemble the M-Class at a later stage. Hence, expect the price of M-Class to reduce significantly once Mercedes-Benz assembles it in India.
The new M-Class may be a luxury SUV with just five seats, but its rich technology and strong brand image can help carry its credentials.