IAB Scoop - Mercedes Benz to market B-Class as a Sports Tourer in India

22/02/2012 - 16:29 | ,  ,  ,   | Shrawan Raja

Industry sources have told Indian Autos Blog that Mercedes Benz is working out the price and configuration of the B-Class for the Indian market. Mercedes' second biggest hatchback could be launched before Diwali this year with both petrol and diesel options. It is likely to be marketed as a "Sports Tourer" as hatchbacks and Mercedes Benz are not synonyms could be one of the reasons.

Mercedes Benz B-Class interiorMercedes Benz B-Class exterior

The company may concentrate on Tier 2 and Tier 3 cities as key markets due to their lower premium brand saturation levels. This will be the first time Mercedes Benz is selling a compact car in a country where premium is perceived as big. The timing of the launch coincides with the high spending mood during the festival season.

Despite measuring 4.35 meters long and 1.78 meters wide to become India's biggest hatchback, it will be easiest (new) Mercedes to own, drive and park.

Mercedes Benz did not use the Auto Expo as the stage to show the B-Class to potential customers. It flew down the A-Class concept to the show along with a series of luxury and performance models such as the SLS AMG convertible and the new M-Class that's expected to reach dealer showrooms in April.

The second generation B-Class was showcased at the Frankfurt Motor Show last year and subsequently reached shores of Europe and Britain. It shares its platform with the upcoming A-Class (meaning its easy to build the A-Class using the same resources). It is powered by 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine that produces 122hp/200Nm and 156hp/250Nm in the B180 and B200 variants respectively. Frequent travelers will prefer the 1.8-liter diesel engine that makes 109 hp/250Nm and 136hp/300Nm on the B180 CDI and B200 CDI variants.

Mercedes may want to consider the tried-and-tested 2.2-liter diesel engine used on the C- and E-Class models assembled in India by Force Motors. The chassis can take over 300hp as AMG editions of the B-Class with similar power levels are undergoing development. The sub-2 liter petrol and diesel engines are paired either to a 6-speed AT or a 7-speed dual clutch transmission. Testing of the B-Class in India is expected to get underway the next few months.

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