German automobile major Mercedes Benz launched the GL 350CDI BlueEfficiency, what it called the “most premium SUV [sport utility vehicle] in the Indian market” here on Thursday.

The two variants — GL Executive priced at Rs. 63.57 lakh and the GL Luxury priced at Rs. 68.48 lakh (ex-showroom Mumbai) — were unveiled by the Managing Director and CEO of Mercedes Benz India Wilfried Aulbur.

The seven-seater luxury model is equipped with a 7 G-TRONIC gearbox, 4Matic Permanent all-wheel drive, electrically folding third row of seats and a panoramic sunroof. Speaking to journalists on the occasion, Dr. Aulbur said, “In its segment, the GL-Class is the largest SUV and the only one that offers full-size third row seats with independent AC vents. It has exemplary head and leg room. The BlueEfficiency tag is a statement of its environmental compatibility.”

He said that special attention had been paid to safety. The models were equipped with the pre-safe preventive occupant protection system, a world first in this market segment. The crash-responsive head restraints for the driver and the front passenger would support the head sooner in a rear-end impact.

It accelerates from a speed of 0 to 100 kilometres per hour in 9.5 seconds, reaches a top speed of 210 kmph and consumes 9.7 litres of fuel per 100 km. It is also fitted with special off-road features such as Downhill Speed Regulation and hill-start assist.

Dr. Aulbur said, “The model is aggressively priced as we would like to occupy the luxury SUV sector in India, which has a space for 9,000-10,000 units a year.” He said that Mercedes Benz was planning to expand with showrooms and dealerships in Tier-2 and Tier-3 markets like Goa, Bhubaneshwar, Indore, Aurangabad and Surat.

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