• Mercedes’ E 220 CDI gets new Avantgarde trim

    Mercedes has given its E 220 CDI range a new top-end variant. The new E 220 CDI Avantgarde trim will have all the features available in the lower Elegance trim, the only changes being the addition of a seven-speed G-Tronic auto box, an Eco Stop/Start mode, a sporty three-spoke steering, new five-spoke twin alloy wheels, twin exhaust tailpipes and a 5.8-inch screen.

    The new variant will retain the current E 220 CDI’s 170bhp 2.2-litre common-rail diesel engine, and is priced at Rs 42.10 lakh (ex-showroom, Mumbai).

    The E 220 CDI is also available with a special AMG Sport edition, which comes with a body kit, black roof and special interior trim. This version also comes with a seven-speed G-Tronic gearbox. It is priced at Rs 39.16 lakh (ex-showroom, Mumbai).

    The introduction of the new top-spec E 220 CDI Avantgarde trim coincides with the discontinuation of its E 250 CDI and E 200 CGI models, and Mercedes will only continue to sell them till dealerships run out of stock. According to company sources, the high demand for the ML 250 CDI has led to a shortage of the 250 CDI engines, which is one of the reasons for the discontinuation of the E 250 CDI.

    Additionally, citing insufficient demand, Mercedes will only sell the E 350 variant on a made-to-order basis post the festive season.

    M&M bidding for Aston Martin stake

    According to media reports, a 50 per cent stake in Aston Martin could be sold before the end of the month. Bids have been made by Mahindra & Mahindra and European buyout group InvestIndustrial. Although M&M are reported to have made the higher bid, InvestIndustrial has also offered a technical partnership with Mercedes as part of the deal.

    Aston Martin boss Ulrich Bez recently told Autocar that the company was not for sale, but conceded the potential need for a technical partner. Aston Martin’s Kuwait owners Investment Dar led a consortium that bought Aston Martin for £493m (Rs 4,394.7 crore) in 2007.

    BMW upgrades the X6 with cosmetic changes and a new motor for the diesel.

    BMW has launched the updated X6 sports-activity coupe (SAC) in India. The changes include cosmetic and mechanical upgrades. The front now sports relocated fog lights that sit high up in the air inlets, and a more accentuated kidney grille. Customers also get the option of adaptive LED headlamps along with blue aluminium brake calipers and a bonnet with a powerdome. The updated rear features new horizontally-mounted twin LED lights. Also on offer are new paint finishes – Marrakesh Brown metallic, Orion Silver metallic and Midnight Blue metallic. The xDrive 50i model gets new bi-colour, double-spoke 19-inch alloy wheels.

    On the inside, there's the new Nevada leather upholstery available in a choice of beige, black, finewood ash grain and aluminium flywheel black, among other shades. In terms of cabin space, the X6 is unique in its segment, perhaps only the Porsche Cayenne coming close.

    Changes to the mechanicals are in the form of a new eight-speed gearbox for both the 50i and the 40d variants. In the 40d, the 3.0-litre turbo-diesel’s 235bhp and 53kgm has been bumped up to 306bhp and 64.2kgm respectively, with the help of a new 3.0-litre twin-turbo motor.

    Customers can opt for two packages on the X6. The Innovation package comes with adaptive full-LED headlights, BMW head-up display and BMW apps, while the Luxury package includes special comfort seats with lumbar support, active seat ventilation and seat heating.