German luxury carmaker Mercedes Benz on Wednesday launched the next-generation version of its top of the line SUV GLS at Rs 1 crore in India. It is the seventh launch for the company this year.
In its third generation now, Mercedes has introduced an electric boost feature called EQ in the petrol version of the car. It electrifies the engine with 48-volt technology and an integrated starter-generator (ISG) that bumps up the power output by an additional 22 hp and 250 NM of torque.
"The GLS completes a decade in India and with more than 6700 units on Indian roads, it undoubtedly remains the most preferred full-size luxury SUV in its segment. The new GLS is the most luxurious SUV on offer from Mercedes-Benz in the Indian market and it will continue to remain an important pillar in Mercedes-Benz's SUV portfolio," says Martin Schwenk, managing director and CEO, Mercedes Benz India.
The new GLS has a considerably longer wheelbase over its predecessor (3135 mm, an increase of 60 mm), offering more space (87 mm), especially in the second seat row, which can be adjusted fore and aft. The seven-seater full-size SUV is powered by a 6 cylinder inline 3-litre diesel engine that produces a peak power of 330 hp, torque of 700 NM and can sprint to 100 kph in 6.3 seconds and a 3-litre petrol engine that produces 367 hp power, 500 NM of torque and does 0-100 kph a shade better at 6.2 seconds. Both the petrol and the diesel versions are priced at the same level.
The integrated starter-generator (ISG) in the petrol variant is responsible for hybrid functions such as EQ Boost or energy recuperation while allowing fuel savings that were previously reserved for high-voltage hybrid technology.
Mercedes was India's largest luxury car brand in India for the fifth consecutive year in 2019 with sales of 13,786 units ahead of BMW's 9641 units and Audi's 4,594 units. Overall luxury car volumes in the country declined by over 13 per cent last year, the steepest ever in a year and for the first time since 2016 when sales had declined by nearly 8 per cent. Volumes have generally remained range-bound in the 35,000-40,000 unit per annum band since 2015 and are significantly lower than earlier projections of about 100,000 units by 2020.
In the first quarter of 2020, the Stuttgart based firm managed to sell 2,386 units in India registering a decline of nearly 40 per cent over last year. Mercedes' tally in the quarter was its lowest in seven years. BMW came in right behind at 2,365 units during the period, a decline of 17 per cent over last year.