PUNE: Keeping an eye on the slowdown in the auto sector, luxury carmaker Mercedes-Benz has for the first time introduced non-AMG sports utility vehicle for the Indian market to celebrate the 40th anniversary of global icon G-Class which rolled out in 1979 and has since been the benchmark for all Mercedes SUVs.
Launching the G 350d on Wednesday, Martin Schwenk, MD and CEO of Mercedes-Benz India hoped this BSVI complaint vehicle would help the German carmaker further consolidate its position in the segment.
Priced at Rs 1.5 crore, the G 350d essentially brings down the cost by Rs 1.31 crore as compared to its AMG avatar, the G63, which was launched late last year at a price of Rs 2.19 crore.
The G 350d has 3.0-litre, in-line six-cylinder diesel engine that puts out a strong 286hp and 600Nm of torque. This is the same unit that is embedded in Mercedes S 350d and as such, is BS VI-compliant. The near 2.5-tonne SUV hits 100kph from a standstill in a claimed 7.4 sec.
“The G-Class has been unparalleled and unrivalled around the world, since its inception in 1979. It is the benchmark amongst luxury off-road vehicles. Today, Mercedes-Benz offers the fans and customers in India the first ever diesel G-Class, the Mercedes-Benz G 350d. The G 350d with limitless customisation possibilities is positioned as a lifestyle vehicle for aficionados, who want a highly personalised vehicle, which is an expression of their dynamic personality,” said Schwenk.
“We start our product offensive for 2019 today, and there cannot be a better vehicle to make an impression other than with the iconic G-Class. With the new G 350 d, we are glad to offer over 15 specialty and AMG cars for our discerning customers,” Schwenk added.
“We have an exciting product offensive lined up for Q4 and we are confident of maintaining our leadership position in the luxury segment.”
The G 350d is being brought to India via the CBU route and as such, makes use of the recent regulations that allow OEMs to import up to 2,500 units per year without the need of homologating in India. In terms of rivals, the second-gen G-class competes with the Range Rover Sport and Toyota Land Cruiser LC 200 in our market.
With the addition, the carmakers’ SUV portfolio now has eight models GLA, GLC, GLE, GLS grand edition, AMG GLC 43 4MATIC, GLE coupe and AMG G63.
The G 350d retains the G-Wagen’s butch image with its upright proportions, but adopts a more toned down approach towards styling compared to the G63.
It simply means, instead of the ‘panamericana’ grille, it gets a simpler front fascia and 20-inch alloy wheels. On the inside, the cabin is typical new-age Mercedes, with a pair of 12.3-inch screens for the instrument cluster and infotainment system taking centre stage.
Leather upholstery, powered front seats, a multi-function steering wheel, push button start, cruise control, auto LED headlamps and wipers, three-zone climate control and ambient lighting are other creature comforts are all part of the package.
Safety systems include eight airbags, ABS, EBD, brake assist, ESC, traction control and hill-start assist.