Snapshot – As more Indians are getting wealthier at younger ages, their car buying preferences are getting upscale. In a bid to attract this swish, young set, luxury car makers are dangling attractively priced entry-level luxury cars. While the likes of the Audi Q3 Sport, the BMW 1-Series hatchbacks, Mini Cooper’s hatchback range, the Volvo V40 and Mercedes Benz’s A and B-Class models are already on sale in the country, the next twelve months will see three more entry-level cars being launched in India. While BMW India seems to be slowing down in terms of new product launches, Audi and Mercedes Benz are stamping down on the throttle. CarToq profiles three upcoming entry-level luxury cars.
Audi A3 Sedan
The Audi A3 sedan is just around the corner, what with email flyers being sent out to prospective buyers. The most affordable Audi in India, with a price near the 22 lakh rupee mark, aims to tug at heart and purse strings with a design theme Indian car buyers love, a booted sedan. A sedan signifies status in India and often times, certain hatchbacks as expensive as 40 big ones are mistaken for Maruti Suzuki Swifts.
In a nation that is extremely image conscious, and where cars are more than just means of transport, a sedan body style is only next to the SUV body style in the Indian luxury market. By offering an alluringly priced sedan for the price of a luxury hatchback, Audi India seems poised to capitalize on this sentiment. The MQB platform based Audi A3 will be sold with petrol and diesel engine options, and will be assembled at Audi’s Aurangabad factory. Click here for more.
Mercedes Benz GLA Crossover
Mercedes Benz India showcased the GLA crossover at the 2014 Indian Auto Expo, as a precursor to this crossover’s launch here. To be launched before this year ends, the GLA crossover is the first such body style on the Mercedes Benz MFA architecture, which underpins all entry-level luxury cars from the German brand. The GLA crossover is a jacked up version of the A-Class, and one that has butch looks to go with its crossover positioning.
In India, the GLA Crossover will rub shoulders with the likes of the Audi Q3 and the BMW X1. Armed with a price tag between 25-30 lakh rupees, the GLA crossover will give Mercedes Benz a foothold in the big volume luxury crossover/SUV market, a segment that it has hitherto not had a presence in. The GLA crossover will share its engines with the A-Class hatchback, with the 2.2 liter turbo diesel engine likely to get more power. While the base variants will be front wheel driven, an all wheel drive variant is likely to make the cut too.
Mercedes Benz CLA sedan
With Audi India bringing the A3 sedan to cater to buyers looking for a compact sedan that’s smaller and cheaper than the likes of the A4s and the C-Class’ of this world, Mercedes Benz is readying up its own offering in the entry-level luxury sedan space. Like the GLA Crossover, the CLA sedan was showcased at the 2014 Indian Auto Expo and this car is likely to arrive into the country by early next year.
Although the high performance CLA45 AMG version made its Auto Expo debut, regular variants of the sedan will be what Mercedes Benz will launch in the sub-30 lakh rupee space. The CLA sedan will sit below the C-Class models and will borrow engines and gearboxes from other MFA architecture based Mercedes Benz cars. The CLA sedan will join the A-Class, B-Class and GLA models’ CKD assembly at Mercedes Benz’s Chakan assembly unit.
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