Mercedes is going to launch its B class compact sports tourer. with a sub-Rs 25 lakh price tag, it will be the cheapest Merc. in India yet. And it will go further down the price spectrum in the first quarter of 2013 when it launches its entry-level model, the A class for under Rs 20 lakh. The B class will have two variants, one priced at just under Rs 22 lakh and the other closer to Rs 25 lakh. These launches will enable Mercedes to take on rivals BMW and Audi, both of which have begun exploring the bottom half of the price spectrum to step up sales. Currently, most of the models of these three luxury car makers are priced above Rs 30 lakh. These iconic car brands are attempting to appeal to the younger and highly aspirational salaried class. In five to six years, Mercedes Benz India expects cars priced in the Rs 20-25 lakh band to account for 40-50% of total sales. Luxury car makers expect growth in the lower-priced segment to more than double as against the traditional luxury range, which is expected to grow at between 5% and 10%. "The B-Class marks the start of a new innings for Mercedes-Benz India. This is the first of Mercedes-Benz's compact cars and will be followed up by the A-Class next year. We have other models also in pipeline over the next few years," says Peter Honegg, managing director & CEO, Mercedes-Benz India. The B-Class is India's first sports tourer. Globally the sports tourer category comprises of cars like the Audi A3 Sportsback, BMW Active Tourer 1 series and VW Tiguan and Touran and Ford C Max. Mercedes is using social media to create hype pre-launch. Recently, it launched the 'ultimate touring trails' campaign - which exhorts people to "explore your passion" and to "sport a lifestyle that defines you" - with young celebrities in association with Discovery channel. The company claims the campaign received close to 3,000 entries. "Mercedes-Benz was successful in harnessing the response for the B-Class from customers and the car's initial allotment is already sold out," says Honegg.