Following the hike in excise duty proposed in Union Budget 2012-13, several automakers were compelled to offer steeper prices on their models. On the other hand, several car launches were delayed, eyeing a possibility of re-pricing the vehicles. One such anticipated launch was of the Mercedes Benz ML350 CDI. Debuted at the 2012 Auto Expo in Delhi, the SUV was scheduled for an April launch, which is now slated for May 15 in New Delhi.
The first batch of Mercedes Benz ML350 SUVs will be bought to the shore via CBU unit, inviting an excise duty of 75 percent. However, the assembly will commence at Chakan facility in Maharashtra from September 2012, which will certainly shrink the aggressive excise duty attracting more potential customers.
Power for the new ML class will be drawn from a 3.0-litre V6 diesel unit that thumps out 258 bhp peak power and 620 Nm peak torque. Transmission option is Merc’s brilliant 7G-tronic transmission that can pull the SUV from 0-100 kmph in 7.4 seconds, while boasting a 224 kmph top speed, which is as stunning for an SUV.
For the later phase, Mercedes could also offer a smaller and more fuel-efficient, 2.2-litre diesel motor. In the market, the Mercedes Benz ML350 CDI will go up against premium class SUVs like the Audi Q5 and BMW X3. Watch out this space for the official launch.