Mercedes-Benz has confirmed that the new C-Class sedan will be introduced in India this year. Sources say that the next-gen W206 C-Class, which was launched internationally in mid-2021, could be in showrooms as early as May 2022. Martin Schwenk, MD and CEO, Mercedes-Benz India, told Autocar India in a recent interview that the company will bring the fifth-gen sedan “in 2022”. He mentioned that the C-Class will be a volume model and will drive the double-digit growth in the company’s overall sales numbers expected this year.
- Current C-Class stocks depleted; new C-Class launch not far off
- V8-powered Maybach S 580 to arrive in March
- Mercedes to expand retail network for AMG models
Mercedes-Benz India held on to its leader position in the luxury car market last year, with sales of 11,242 cars. Schwenk said that the outgoing C-Class had racked up “a significant volume in 2021”. “The new C-Class is a great car and I’m sure it will serve its purpose and further drive up volumes,” he added.
New Mercedes C Class launch around May 2022
“We had a very good run out of the existing C-Class,” commented Schwenk. With stocks of the outgoing model all but cleared out, the German marque is missing a key product in its portfolio. “We will not keep that gap for much longer,” chimed in the Mercedes boss, alluding that the new C-Class launch isn’t far off. However, he added, “We need to align our launches with the waves of COVID. So, let’s see.”
The latest-gen C-Class made its world debut almost a year ago. The W206 model sees its wheelbase and overall length grow by 25mm and 65mm, respectively, promising more cabin room. With sharper styling and new tech on offer, including a large, tablet-style touchscreen infotainment system, the C-Class has been brought in line with the latest generation of Mercedes-Benz models, including the new S-Class limousine.
Globally, the new C-Class is exclusively powered by electrified, four-cylinder petrol and diesel engines. And though it remains to be seen which powertrains are brought to our market, one could look forward to the company introducing its 48V mild-hybrid tech to the India line-up as well. For reference, Indian customers had the choice of two, 2.0-litre, four-cylinder engines – a 204hp turbo-petrol (C200) and a 194hp diesel (C220d) – on the outgoing sedan, which was priced from Rs 50 lakh-51.74 lakh (ex-showroom, India).
Notably, the new C-Class estate has already been spied in India, though it’s the sedan that will make it to our shores.
Mercedes Maybach S Class launch in March 2022
We had reported a year ago that the new Mercedes-Maybach S 580 limousine will be assembled at the company’s Chakan plant near Pune, and now the automaker has confirmed the news. “We are introducing the (new) Maybach S-Class and have planned it for March this year,” said Schwenk in a media interaction.
For the uninitiated, the Maybach S-Class (codename: Z223) is 180mm longer than even the long-wheelbase S-Class sedan (V223) sold here. In addition to a larger footprint, elements that help it stand out are the signature Maybach grille, central chrome fin on the bonnet, chrome accents on the bumpers, 34-spoke alloy wheels, Maybach insignias on the C-pillars and an optional, two-tone body paint.
On the inside, the Maybach gets all the trappings of a luxury limousine, including exclusive materials and finishes, and individual ‘Executive’ rear seats with a ‘Chauffeur package’ as standard.
Under the hood of the S 580 lies a 500hp, twin-turbo V8 petrol engine, with 48V mild hybrid tech and a four-wheel-drive system. Expect the model to be priced at around Rs 2.5 crore (estimated, ex-showroom).
Mercedes AMG GT Black Series in India
During the media interaction, Mercedes-Benz India also confirmed the launch of the AMG GT Black Series. However, our sources tell us that the automaker had a very limited allocation of the sportscar for the Indian market, which has already been sold out before the official launch.
The Black Series coupe features the most powerful AMG V8 to be ever fitted to a series production model. The 4.0-litre petrol engine puts out 730hp and 800Nm of torque to the rear wheel via a 7-speed dual-clutch gearbox. In addition to the potent powertrain, lightweighting measures, like the extensive use of carbon-fibre throughout the body, and plenty of aero trickery make this Porsche 911 GT2 RS rival capable of a 0-100kph sprint in a scant 3.2sec.
After beginning the local assembly of select AMG models in India in late 2020, the brand is now looking to expand its retail network. “In the past years, we have seen a stronger growth in the AMG portfolio than in the overall (Mercedes) brand. We will continue to focus on AMG (this year). In line with this approach, we will add additional AMG Performance Centres across major cities in India in 2022,” Schwenk told the media at its annual meet.
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