Mercedes Benz has begun importing the GLA Crossover into India for homologation at the Automotive Research Association of India (ARAI), a governmental regulatory organization for the auto sector. The GLA Crossover will be launched later this year in India and the crossover will square off with the likes of the Audi Q3 and the BMW X1. Mercedes Benz will launch both turbo petrol and turbo diesel variants of the GLA in India.
Proof of this rests with the import data, as seen on Zauba. Mercedes Benz has imported GLA 200 CDI (Diesel) and GLA 200 Sport (Petrol) models of the crossover. After the homologation process is completed, both models are likely to be imported into the country through the completely knocked down (CKD) kit route with assembly to happen at the German luxury car maker’s Chakan assembly unit, off Pune.
What is homologation?
Every new vehicle that a manufacturer seeks to sell in India needs to confirm to certain standards that are set by by governmental regulators. ARAI is a body that ensures compliance with the standards. In broad terms, homologation is the process in which a vehicle makers submit their vehicles to ARAI for getting permission to sell their vehicles in India. If the vehicle meets prescribed standards, ARAI grants it the homologation certificate, allowing the vehicle maker to sell the said vehicle in India.
The GLA crossover is based on the Mercedes Benz MFA platform, a platform that forms the basis of other affordable luxury cars such as the A-Class and B-Class models. While the GLA crossover will be launched in the second half of this year, Mercedes Benz will launch another MFA platform based car next year, in the form of the CLA sedan. The MFA range of cars are expected to lead Mercedes Benz’s volume charge not just in India, but also globally.
The luxury car maker is likely to ride on the big volume potential of the MFA range of cars to take back the numero uno position in India, a position that it lost to the likes of BMW first, and then Audi. Coming back to the GLA crossover, the diesel variant will get a 2.2 liter turbo diesel engine with 136 Bhp-300 Nm outputs while the turbo petrol engined variant will get a 1.6 liter motor with 156 Bhp-250 Nm outputs.
Both engines will come with 7 speed dual clutch automatic gearboxes driving their front wheels. Although Mercedes Benz offers an all wheel drive option on the higher variants of the GLA crossover sold internationally, the Indian variants are expected to make do with a front wheel drive to arrive a more competitive price tag. The GLA crossover will sit above the A-Class and B-Class hatchbacks in terms of price and positioning, but below the C-Class sedan. Expect prices of the crossover to begin from just below the 30 lakh rupees mark.