Mercedes-Benz, India’s biggest German luxury car maker by sales, on Thursday introduced its luxurious people-mover, the Mercedes V-Class to target five-star hotels, business houses and VIP transport agencies in the country.
While the V-Class Expression Line variant is priced Rs 68.40 lakh, the top-end Exclusive Line variant costs Rs 81.90 lakh at pan India showroom.
While the multi-purpose vehicle or MPV segment is not all new for the Stuttgart-based carmaker in India, this is nonetheless a bold step for the German firm.
The new Mercedes-Benz V-Class will benefit from the Indian government’s decision to relax homologation norms for import of 2,500 vehicles per annum for automakers.
The vehicle is Mercedes-Benz’s second foray into the luxury MPV segment. The R-Class, which was launched in 2011, found few takers and was quickly discontinued.
While the V-Class could draw in a few private buyers looking to use their vehicle as an office-cum-meeting room on wheels, its core clientele would comprise five star hotels, business houses and VIP transport agencies in the country.
“We are excited to kick-start 2019 by introducing an exciting product from our global portfolio, the V-Class,” Martin Schwenk, the newly appointed managing director & CEO at Mercedes-Benz India, said.
The V-Class combines exemplary functionality with luxury appeal, unsurpassed comfort, efficient driving dynamics and uncompromised safety, he boasted.
“The V-Class is targeted at a wide array of potential customers comprising large families, sports enthusiasts and businesses,” Schwenk said.
The new V-Class is the first model to be launched by Pune-headquartered automaker in 2019 and marks the company's re-entry into a segment which is not really popular among luxury carmakers in India.
The brand is likely to launch a total of 10 new and refreshed cars in the country this calendar year.
The new Mercedes-Benz V-Class will be sold here as a completely built unit (CBU) and will be imported from Spain.
As a result, the new MPV has benefitted from the lower cost of production in Spain compared to Germany, which has translated into a comparatively lower sticker price.
In fact, it is a replacement for the aging Viano and the V-Class MPV combines a roomy and practical cabin with all the luxury trappings expected in a Mercedes car.
In India the V-Class is available in the long (Exclusive) and the extra long wheelbase (Expression) versions.
The Exclusive is a six-seater, while the Expression offers seating for seven.
What makes the six-seat V-Class special is its middle row arrangement. Its two armchair-style seats rest on flexible mounts and can be swiveled around to face the third row. Irrespective of the variant, access to the rear seats is via a sliding door. Both variants also get four metallic exterior colour options such as silver, blue, black and white.
The imported V-Class in India is sold with a single engine option – a 2.1-litre diesel that produces 163hp and 380Nm of torque delivered to the rear wheels via the 7G-Tronic automatic gearbox.
The engine belongs to Merc’s older OM651 family of engines but the 2.1-litre unit gets additional hardware that enables it to meet the stricter, cleaner BS-VI emission standard.