One exciting Mercedes-Benz model that was showcased amongst others at the Auto Expo 2020 and grabbed eyeballs was the A-Class limousine. In India, the A-Class limo will likely be the starting point of the Mercedes-Benz brand. At least it looks a given considering that the A-Class and B-Class hatchbacks are not sold anymore here. The Mercedes-Benz A-Class limousine effectively replaces the CLA in India. At the Auto Expo, it was shown in its AMG avatar. However, a quick look at Mercedes’ India website shows that the car will be available in regular petrol and diesel versions too. Here then is a dekko at what the smallest Mercedes-Benz car in India could bring to the table.
The A-Class limousine is not a bigger car than the CLA. At least length-wise. Where the CLA measured 4,630mm in length, the A-Class limo is only 4,549mm. In other parameters like the width and height, the A-Class has the edge. In terms of wheelbase, the most important thing, the A-Class limo takes the upper hand again with 2,729mm. The CLA boasted a wheelbase of 2,699mm. On paper, the limousine should be the more spacious of the two and that’s a good thing because the CLA, as was the other car in this segment, was cramped. The A-Class limo might just justify its name with respect to the CLA.
The cabin is modern and on par with the more expensive CLS. There are going to be 64 different ambient lighting options. Mercedes-Benz says that it will not launch a stripped or entry-price point model. The A-Class limo for India will be a fully-kitted model – more like a CBU. This also reminds us that the company might not make the car here at the onset. It might gauge the public response and then perhaps go the CKD route. At the Auto Expo, the expected price that was floated around was Rs 40 lakh. A quick glance at the C-Class prices confirms that the A-Class limo will take its place. Mercedes-Benz India, at that point of time, might hike the C-Class prices or just discontinue the base trim. At the time it was removed from our market, the CLA had a starting price of Rs 32 lakh.
Coming back to the cabin, there are digital screens for the driver and a similarly-sized touchscreen infotainment system with MBUX. The limo will be a connected car and one can access vehicle info on their smartphone. There is dual-zone climate control, a panoramic sunroof as well as wireless charging and powered front seats with memory function. Hard disc navigation too is dialled in as well as smartphone connectivity. If you opt for the AMG model, you get a Burmester surround sound system, keyless go and a multifunction sports steering wheel.
Mercedes-Benz will likely have three variants and engines on offer – A180d, A220, and the sporty A35. All three engines are BS6 compliant and are mated to a 7-speed DCT. The 1.5-litre diesel engine has been co-developed with Renault-Nissan and produces 115hp of power and 260Nm. It comes with start-stop tech and should be the mileage champ amongst the three engines. The AMG will have the 2.0-litre turbo petrol engine that should make around 300hp of power and 400Nm torque.
The interesting fact here is that the launch is expected to happen in the second half of this year. While Covid-19 may have played havoc with the launch as well as production schedules of many-a-manufacturer, we believe the A-Class limo launch will be on time. Moreover, at launch, it will not have competition from its traditional rival, the Audi A3. The A3 sedan in its new form is yet to be globally unveiled. Moreover, the Audi wont have a diesel option for India either. The A-Class limo will likely then lock horns with petrol-only offerings like the Skoda Superb (bigger car) and Toyota Camry (hybrid tech).
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