Mercedes-Benz has added a new top-end variant to its E-Class diesel range. The new E220 CDI now comes with an option of Avantgarde trim, that has all the features available in the lower Elegance trim with an addition of a 7-speed G-Tronic automatic transmission, an Eco Stop/Start mode, a sporty 3-spoke steering wheel, new 5-spoke twin alloy wheels, twin exhaust tailpipes and a 5.8-inch screen. The Avantgarde trim will retain the current E220 CDI’s 170 BHP 2.2-litre common-rail diesel engine, and is priced at Rs. 42.10 lakhs (ex-showroom, Mumbai).
Mercedes-Benz is also offering the E220 CDI with a special AMG Sport edition, which comes with a body kit, black roof and special interior trim. This version also features a 7-speed G-Tronic gearbox and is priced at Rs. 39.16 lakhs (ex-showroom, Mumbai). Along with the introduction of the new top-end E220 CDI Avantgarde trim, Mercedes has discontinued the E250 CDI and E200 CGI models, the company will continue to sell these models till dealerships run out of stock.
According to company sources, the increasing demand for the ML250 CDI has led to a shortage of the 250 CDI engines, which is one of the reasons for the discontinuation of the E250 CDI. Insufficient demand for the E350 variant has forced the company to sell it on a made-to-order basis.
Jaguar’s new XF, Audi’s A6 and the BMW 5-Series range are giving tough competition to the E-class, especially in the diesel range. Mercedes was the first entrant in the luxury car segment in India and till a few years ago, was a market leader. It has considerably lost market share to its German rivals, BMW and Audi. The company now hopes to regain its position and is looking at an aggressive turnaround strategy which includes adding new generation compact cars to its portfolio, each year, till 2015. As part of the strategy, the company has recently launched the cheapest luxury car in India, the B-Class Sports Tourer.
Source – Autocar India