Ritzy rides

Written by Vikram Chaudhary | Updated: Sep 7 2014, 07:49am hrs
Below R30 lakh

Mercedes-Benz A-Class

The A-Class is the German automakers smallest offering in India, but in terms of luxury, it is not small. The A-Class gets a fresh, sporty design. What especially attract attention are the arrow-shaped front section and the expressive radiator grille. Similarly, the cabin combines a sporty ambience with an ergonomic layout. But both the 1.6-litre petrol and 2.2-litre diesel engines are decidedly underpowered.

Price: R26 lakh onwards

Engines: 1.6-litre petrol, 2.2-litre diesel

Mercedes-Benz CLA-Class

To be launched in January 2015, the CLA-Class is a compact four-door luxury sedan. Based on the platform of the Mercedes-Benz W176 and W246 compact cars, it is among the companys newest cars globally, formally launched at the January 2013 North American International Auto Show. Mercedes-Benz India will try and keep the car around the R30-lakh mark, close to Audi A3s price in India.

Price: R30 lakh (expected)

Engines: To be announced

Audi A3

The A3 is Audis answer to the upcoming Mercedes-Benz CLA-Class. But it could also hit the sales of segment-size bigger cars such as Toyota Camry and Skoda Superb. The Audi A3 made its Indian debut at the Auto Expo 2014. It is below the A4 as one of the entry-level models for the German marque. The A3 gets both petrol and diesel engines1.8-litre TFSI petrol and 2.0-litre TDI diesel.

Price: R23 lakh onwards

Engines: 1.8-litre petrol,

2.0-litre diesel

R30 lakh to R50 lakh

Mercedes-Benz E-Class

The E-Class is the highest-sold luxury sedan in India ever, with over 25,000 units making their way out of showrooms. Globally, the E-Class has been the most successful vehicle for Mercedes, with more than 11 million units sold. Powered by a

1.6-litre petrol and a 2.2-litre diesel engine, the new E-Class, for the first time, gets the three-pointed star integrated into the central grille. A perfect blend of old-world charm and modern technology.

Price: R45 lakh onwards

Engines: 1.6-litre petrol, 2.2-litre diesel

Audi A6

The new A6 is seeing an increasing interest among Indian businessmen not because it is a far better car than the Mercedes-Benz E-Class or the BMW 5 Series, but because Audi, as a company, has been getting quite popular in the country. It gets a range of engines such as 2.0 TFSI and

2.8 FSI (both petrol) and 2.0 TDI and 3.0 TDI (both diesel).

Price: R45 lakh onwards

Engines: 2.0, 2.8 petrol;

2.0, 3.0 diesel

BMW X4

BMW will soon bring to India the X4, the design of which has been massively inspired by the bigger X6. The X4 gets the same basic silhouette and proportions of the X6 along with other design elements. BMW hasnt revealed the interiors yet, but they will probably be shared with other cars in the X range to save on costs. The X4 will be sold with a range of petrol and diesel engines.

Price: R40 lakh-R60 lakh (expected)

Engines: 2.0-litre petrol,

3.0-litre diesel

Mercedes-Benz GLA-Class

The GLA-class is the latest model to make use of Mercedes front-wheel-drive MFA platform. It will be the companys first proper rival to the likes of the Audi Q3 and BMW X1. The front end features the most modern treatment yet of Mercs new design language, with just two chunky bars of metal on the front grille with a big three-pointed star at its centre.

Price: R30 lakh-R40 lakh (expected)

Engines: 1.6-litre petrol,

2.1-litre diesel

BMW 3 Series GT

The 3 Series GT fits nicely between the 3 Series and the 5 Series. The car gets more space than the 3 Series but has lesser equipment than the

5 Series. It rides better than the 3 Series but is not as cosy as the 5 Series. What it does offer is massive exclusivity, and that is what works for the GT. After all, one can always anticipate from BMW a car that customers never knew they ever wanted.

Price: R42.75 lakh

Engine: 2.0-litre diesel

Above R50 lakh

Porsche Macan

The Audi Q5-based Macan is Porsches entry into the luxury compact SUV segment and will be positioned below the Cayenne. It could be launched in three formsthe Macan S, Macan Turbo and Macan Diesel S. The Macan S will be powered by a 3.0-litre turbocharged V6 petrol engine producing 335 bhp. There will also be a 3.0-litre V6 diesel engine on offer in the Diesel S.

Price: R60 lakh-R80 lakh (expected)

Engines: 3.0-litre petrol, 3.0-litre diesel

Volvo new XC90

The managing director of Volvo India has assured us that the new XC90, launched last week in Europe, will enter the Indian market early next year. It will get an ultra-efficient engine that, by some measures, will be cleaner than that of a Toyota Prius. We expect Volvo India will sell it competitively, between R60-R70 lakh.

Price: R60-R70 lakh (expected)

Engines: To be announced

BMW i8

For quite some time now, BMW has been developing its i range of electric and hybrid cars. The first of the lot was the i3 pure electric car and then the i8 hybrid. The i8 hybrid, in fact, was a show-stopper at the Auto Expo 2014 and was unveiled by cricketing legend Sachin Tendulkar. Expected to be launched by the end of this year, the i8 is a plug-in hybrid and will be for a discerning few.

Price: R1.5 crore (expected)

Engine: Petrol-electric hybrid

Mercedes-Benz S-Class

The last word in luxury and unofficially the best car in the world, the S-Class is Mercs practical answer to the Bentleys and Rolls-Royces of the world. Practical, because it costs less and is far better-engineered. Surprisingly, it excels both as a chauffeur-driven limousine and as a drivers car. At over R1.5 crore, it sits almost at the top of the automotive food chain.

Price: R1.6 crore

Engine: 4.7-litre V8 petrol