With the ban on registration of diesel engines over 2,000cc in the Delhi-NCR region and NGT keen to push this ban to other cities, the future of big diesel engines in the country looks uncertain. Mercedes-Benz has been one of the most affected car manufacturers in the country as their diesel engine range is primarily over 2-litres. However, the German carmaker plans to introduce a petrol alternative of each of its models by September 2016 to remain competitive in these markets.
In an interview with Autocar India, Roland S Folger said, “I think that the most important thing that we did to mitigate the impact of the ban is to register the petrol versions of our cars, and by September this year, we will have a petrol version of each of the cars in our model line-up, right from the A-class, B-class, and so basically, we are going back to where we were 10 years ago.”
This statement indicates that the remaining two ‘diesel-only’ models in the carmaker's line-up, the GLE SUV and the GLS are likely to get petrol versions by September 2016. These two SUVs are expected to be launched in the ‘400’ guise, sharing their petrol engine and transmission with the locally assembled S 400 luxury sedan. The 3.0-litre V6 engine that is likely to power the cars will produce 333hp and 480Nm of torque, will be mated to a seven-speed automatic transmission.
Currently, both these SUVs are powered by a 3.0-litre V6 diesel motor in their ‘350 d’ guise, which produces 258hp and 620Nm of torque. The GLE also comes with a smaller 2.1-litre, four-cylinder diesel motor with the ‘250 d’, producing 204hp and 500Nm of torque. Also on sale in India is the GL 63 AMG which uses a fire-breathing 5.5-litre V8 petrol motor that propels this mammoth 2,580kg SUV to 100kph in merely 4.9 seconds.
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