If Merc is making hay, can Beemer be far behind??
Mercedes-Benz’s product offensive run continued unabashed for quite a few months as other luxury-carmakers scampered hither-tither. The penultimate launch of Merc was the chunky-yet-sophisticated A-Class, arguably the one which will bring in the most volumes for the manufacturer.
Taking the fight to the Stuttgart-based manufacturer is its German counterpart from Bavaria, known for its trademark Hofmeister kink. They have officially teased the 1-series for the Indian market just when Mercedes was busy enjoying A-Class’ success. And now, for the first time on Indian roads, the BMW 1-Class has been spotted testing by AutoCar.
As the smallest and least priced model from BMW, the 1-Series is the one made for taking the Merc A-Class head-on. The current generation of 1-Series is codenamed as F20 and has been on offering in various international markets since September 2011.
The 1-Series is long enough for a compact car, hence expecting sufficient roominess is not outrageous. The interior quality is also expected to be top-notch, and it is definitely a looker on the exterior.
BMW might plonk the X1’s 2.0L 181bhp diesel and 2.0L 150bhp petrol engines to keep costs down in India, a deviation from its international offerings of 1.6-litre petrol and the 2.0-litre diesel engine options. And then there is the far-fetched possibility of a hot, 168bhp, direct-injection petrol option.
Where BMW can hit Mercedes hard is by pricing the 1-Series more competitively since that is one area where A-Class is soft. Both the automakers will go all guns blazing to woo first-timers who wouldn’t like to compromise on luxury. Launch is scheduled in September. The market is all set for a German showdown!!
Which one will you go for, then?