Mercedes-Benz India introduces new petrol engine, takes localisation route on GLE SUV

The midsized SUV is set to attract niche buyers with its two new locally-assembled top-end variants.

By Mayank Dhingra calendar 02 Jun 2020 Views icon14562 Views Share - Share to Facebook Share to Twitter Share to LinkedIn Share to Whatsapp

German luxury carmaker Mercedes-Benz today introduced two new top-of-the-line variants on its midsized SUV GLE in the Indian market.

The company has launched a new petrol as well as BS VI-compliant diesel engine on the long-wheelbase (LWB) version of the model on sale in India since January 2020, which so far only offered two diesel engines in the GLE 300d 4MATIC LWB and a fully imported GLE 400d 4MATIC LWB guise, respectively.

Now, as it introduces the new 450 4MATIC LWB BS VI-compliant petrol engine that develops 367bhp of power and 500Nm of peak torque, and an additional 22bhp and 250Nm of torque through its ‘EQ Boost’ hybrid powertrain, Mercedes-Benz India has taken the opportunity to localise the popular model.

Alongside the 300d and the 450 petrol, the 400d diesel will now also be locally assembled from CKD kits at Mercedes-Benz India’s plant in Chakan, Pune, making a predominant portion of the GLE portfolio to now be available at competitive prices.

While the petrol 450 4MATIC is priced at Rs 88.80 lakh (ex-showroom), India, the diesel 400d 4MATIC now comes priced at Rs 89.90 lakh (ex-showroom, India), thus, putting it a significant price reduction compared to its CBU sibling which retails at a ticket price of Rs 1.25 crore, but offers Mercedes’ E-Active Body Control system, a superior audio unit as well as 9 airbags, compared to seven on the CKD version. The 300d remains priced at Rs 73.70 lakh, ex-showroom India.

According to Martin Schwenk, MD and CEO, Mercedes-Benz India, “The GLE LWB is an important pillar in our expansive SUV portfolio, leading our product offensive in the SUV segment and it remains Mercedes-Benz’s highest-selling SUV in India. With the addition of these two new variants, we once again reiterate our customer focus and our commitment to the Indian market.”

“The new GLE LWB has already excited the market and has a three-month waiting period. With the introduction of a petrol model, we expect it to further drive its popularity and cater to the requirements of those customers who waited for a petrol model. It remains our endeavour to keep renewing our portfolio at regular intervals to meet customers’ preference,” added Schwenk.

48V hybridisation
The GLE 450 4MATIC comes with an in-line 3.0-litre, six-cylinder petrol engine systematically electrified with 48-volt technology. The integrated starter/alternator (ISG) is responsible for hybrid functions such as EQ Boost or energy recuperation, while allowing fuel savings that were previously reserved for high-voltage hybrid technology. The ISG eliminates the need for a belt drive for ancillary components at the front of the engine, which reduces its overall length.

The slim design, together with the physical separation of intake/exhaust, creates space for near-engine exhaust after treatment. The 48-volt on-board power supply serves not only high-power components such as the water pump and air-conditioning compressor, but also the ISG, which also supplies energy to the battery by means of highly efficient energy recuperation.

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