The mission used to be “15 in 2015” and Mercedes-Benz India did just that.
They launched a record 15 new models last year and for their first launch for 2016, the motivational and marketing tagline is “winning”. That could mean pipping the competition in sales figures or on the Formula One circuits around the world, Mercedes isn’t planning to slow down anytime soon. Not with the first new model launch of the year, the GLE450 AMG Coupe. Inspired by BMW making headway into this super niche segment with the X6, Mercedes decided to claim a share of this pie with this, their first ever performance coupe in the Indian market.
The GLE450 AMG is not a full-bore AMG made car but it does share bits. The 3-litre bi-turbo V6 engine is AMG-enhanced and with 367bhp and 520Nm of torque, we don’t doubt it. The strong motor accelerates this bulky beast to a 100km/hr in a brisk 5.7secs.
Even the suspension has AMG-like drive settings that include Slippery, Comfort, Sport, Sport + and Individual. Of course, it’s DNA js a combination of the AMG-GTS and the iconic G-wagon so Merc’s 4Matic all-wheel drive system is standard, along with the massive 21in wheels in a new design and high sheen/black paint finish. There’s prominent AMG badging peppered all around and inside the car, in case you aren’t sure of its credentials.
The interior design will be familiar to anyone who’s been inside a modern Merc, including the sporty 3-spoke steering wheel, 8in COMAND interface with the touchpad just like on the new C-Class and this one throws in the Mercedes-Benz apps suite along with Wi-Fi hotspot capability. More tech comes in the form of Active Park Assist which is like having your own valet but without the stinking uniform.
A 360-degree cam gives you a birds eye view of the car and if need be, even park itself once it finds a suitable spot. Don’t forget to stay in the car just in case though. A crosswind assist system counters the drifting effects of, you guessed it, crosswinds. Adaptive High Beam Assist Plus is the latest and greatest in Mercedes Intelligent Light System and will give eagle eye vision even in pitch darkness.
With so much on offer, the price tag wasn’t going to be light. But even then, at ₹86.40 lakhs (Ex-showroom, Mumbai) it feels like a bit of a bargain in this rarefied segment. Expect a full review soon but until then, keep that fixed deposit locked.