Mercedes-Benz has announced the local CKD assembly of the S-Class at its Chakan plant in Pune. Originally Mercedes was going to start the local assembly in June this year with the launch of the S350 CDI variant. However, the move comes within two months of launching the S500 in India owing to the increase in demand for the flagship saloon. With the initial 125 units allotted for India sold out; bookings are now open for the 2014 Mercedes S-Class with deliveries commencing from June 2014. The locally assembled S-Class gets certain changes from the fully imported model.
The saloon gets new alloy wheels on the outside, while the cabin gets a new wood trim, leather wrapped steering wheel instead being wrapped with wood and leather. The upholstery uses plain leather instead of nappa and the sound system is from Burmester without the 3D surround sound. The 2014 S500 is also the most powerful luxury saloon in the country and is powered by a 4.7-litre V8 twin-turbo engine that is capable of producing 453 BHP of power and a staggering 700 Nm of torque. The engine is mated to a 7-speed dual-clutch transmission sending power to the rear wheels.
The S-Class is also the first car to feature all LEDs in the car without a single conventional bulb used anywhere. Mercedes has also started the S-Class chauffeur training program that offers a 21 module one of its kind multilingual course for chauffeurs of the S-Class across India. The 21 modules focus on enhancing the soft skills, personal development, courtesy and safety of the chauffeurs, while also providing better control and optimum use of the host of features on the S-Class thereby completing the luxury experience for the customers.
The S500 was launched back in January at a price tag of Rs. 1.57 crore as a fully imported variant. The locally produced S500 has been priced at Rs. 1.36 crore (ex-showroom, Delhi) reducing the price of the saloon by Rs. 20 lakhs. Apart from the S-Class, Mercedes-Benz currently assembles the E-Class, C-Class and the M-Class at its production facility in Chakan, Pune.