This particularly aggressive looking new M-class is a limited edition AMG version that includes a slack-jawed bumper and 20-inch wheels.Mercedes has called it the ‘Edition 1’ and is only offering 100 cars for Rs 66 lakh a pop. The designers have created a very dynamic car with sharp styling, dramatically cut wheel arches and a big grille with a large three-pointed star on the grille. Other details like the aggressive front bumper, AMG-style vents on the bonnet, an imitation sump guard and proud sills make this car quite striking to look at, while retaining a strong family resemblance to the rest of the Mercedes-Benz range.
Despite being 23mm longer, 15mm wider and 19mm lower than before, the new M-class weighs 10kg lesser than the old car, emphasising the use of lightweight materials. Build quality is phenomenal, and the new M-class feels incredibly tough and robust.
It is built around a steel monocoque and features mostly steel panels, although the bonnet and front wings are aluminium. The engine’s power drives all four wheels via Mercedes’ 4Matic permanent all-wheeldrive system, and you can opt for a six-stage off-road package that brings with it varying ride-height adjustments, automatic differential locks and a special off-road calibration for the stability control system.
Mercedes has employed an electrically-assisted power steering unit, and you also get adjustable air suspension as standard. Additionally,the spare wheel sits beneath the boot floor and is a space saver.
Every inch of the M-class' interior is covered in the finest quality. The grain of the wood, the quality of the thick leather, the well-damped manner in which the metal-capped buttons work and the micron-perfect fit all prove that this is one of the finest cabins you can find. Polished wood and brushed aluminium inserts lend a touch of class, white lighting, chrome, wood and leather give it a sense of occasion, and the styling is more avant-garde than traditional. There is also waterfall lighting on the dashboard and doors, further enhancing the classy feel of the cabin.
The seats have acres of legroom and great thigh support. The sheer width accommodates three people sitting abreast comfortably. The only grouse is the lack of a third row of seats that some of its rivals can be optioned with.
The cabin is quite practical, however, with many cubbyholes, a big glovebox and other storage spaces. Even the column-mounted gearlever frees up space for two extra bottle holders and a small cubby. The boot, at 690 litres, is cavernous, and the middle row folds to give a flat loading bay.
It comes with a long list of equipment and you get stuff like cruise control, a reversing camera, a six-CD player, Bluetooth with audio streaming, adaptive air suspension, electric steering adjustment, climate control and auto-dimming mirrors.
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Issue: 165 | May 2013
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