Mercedes-Benz launches the GLE LWB and the AMG C 43

Saneet Dsilva
Deliveries for both, the GLE and the C 43 have commenced

With the festive season just around the corner, Mercedes-Benz India has delivered on its promise of 10 car launches in the calendar year 2023. The last two of the lot coming together- the GLE LWB starting at Rs 96.40 lakh onwards and the C 43 AMG at Rs 98 lakh ex-showroom.

Mercedes-Benz GLE LWB
The leading luxury SUV from the German automaker has undergone a subtle update, featuring a fresh, star-studded front grille, redesigned bumpers, new LED headlamps and taillamps, and new 20-inch twin-spoke alloy wheels. What’s even more significant are the interior updates, as the GLE now offers new upholstery choices with improved materials and a powerful 590W Dolby Atmos Audio system. The GLE has borrowed the touch-sensitive steering wheel from the S-Class, which also provides haptic feedback. The air conditioning vents now come with a chrome trim and there’s a 12.3-inch touchscreen infotainment unit with wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto support, along with a 12.3-inch driver’s display. Standard features now include wireless charging and USB-Type C ports.

The GLE is available in three variants: the 300d, 450, and 450d. All the engines are mated to a 9-speed automatic gearbox, which sends power to all four wheels through Mercedes’ 4MATIC all-wheel-drive system. Each of the three engines is equipped with a mild-hybrid 48V integrated starter-generator, adding an extra 20PS and 200Nm to their total outputs. Moreover, the off-road package provides users with a transparent bonnet function, and the top-of-the-line GLE 450 and 450d models also come equipped with air suspension.

The GLE 300d is equipped with a 2.0-litre four-cylinder diesel unit that produces 269PS and 550Nm, resulting in a 0-100kmph time of 6.9 seconds. The GLE 450d employs a 3.0-litre inline six diesel engine with 367PS and 750Nm of torque.

As for the petrol-powered GLE 450, it features another inline six-cylinder, this time in turbo-petrol configuration to produce 381PS and 500Nm. Both 450 variants – petrol and diesel – can accelerate from 0-100kmph in just 5.6 seconds.

Mercedes-AMG C 43
The C 43 is the ninth addition to the Mercedes-AMG lineup, emphasising the marque’s commitment to its enthusiast clientele. The C 43 is introduced in a single variant with a starting price of Rs 98 lakh, ex-showroom.

Starting at the front, the C 43 now gets to showcase the iconic Panamericana grille, featuring 14 slats, a design previously reserved for the 63 variants. Other noticeable changes include the incorporation of adaptive LED headlamps with a single daytime running light, prominent air intakes on the front bumper with black accents and glossy black wing mirrors. Along the sides, the Turbo Electrified badge stands out, differentiating it from the standard version. The silhouette is a familiar one with 18-inch alloy wheels and a conventional four-door sedan body. Inside the vehicle, you’ll find AMG-specific digital graphics displayed on the 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster and the 11.9-inch touchscreen infotainment system. The interior is further enhanced with an AMG-themed leather-wrapped flat-bottom steering wheel, sporty seats, pedals, and striking red seat belts. Notable features include Mercedes’ intelligent automatic headlights, known as Digital Light, and a 710W, 15-speaker Burmester sound system.

The most significant change, compared to its predecessor, is the reduction in the number of cylinders. However, through some technical wizardry, the C 43 has managed to increase its power output. The C 43 now features a 4-cylinder engine instead of the previous 6-cylinder, but it now produces 407.8PS and 500Nm of torque. Like the GLE, it is equipped with a 48-volt starter generator, enabling this sedan to accelerate from 0 to 100kmph in just 4.6 seconds and reach a top speed of 249kmph, which is electronically restricted. Power is delivered to all four wheels via Mercedes-AMG’s 4MATIC drive system through a 9-speed automatic gearbox, which comes with a ‘Race Start’. However, the system is biassed towards the rear wheels, with 31 percent of the torque sent to the front axle and 69 percent to the rear axle.

Extensive modifications have been carried out on the chassis. These alterations encompass a revamped front axle, the integration of AMG Ride Control suspension featuring double wishbones at the front and multi-links at the rear coupled with adaptive dampers. Notably, the C 43 model now benefits from rear-wheel steering, similar to the larger sedans in the lineup. This feature not only reduces the turning radius by turning in the opposite direction at slow speeds but also enhances high-speed stability by turning in the same direction at speeds exceeding 60kmph. Additionally, an improvement in braking performance is asserted, courtesy of the introduction of new 370mm steel discs with four-piston callipers at the front and 320mm steel discs with single-piston floating callipers at the rear.

Mercedes has opened bookings for both the cars and have started deliveries for the same.

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