On Tuesday evening, 25th October, Mercedes-Benz unveiled their new X-Class Concept, a premium pick-up truck (bakkie) in Stockholm.
The X-Class is the product of a partnership between Renault-Nissan Alliance and Daimler, which forms part of a 5-year partnership. Daimler CEO, Dieter Zetsche, stated that “with the Mercedes-Benz pickup we will close one of the last gaps in our portfolio. The X-Class will set new standards in a growing segment.”
The New X-Class
There are two variants of the truck; one built for off-road use with the other highlighting Mercedes’ premium styling. Both versions, however, are unmistakably Mercedes, with their large grills and badge proudly displayed on the front of the vehicle. The off-road version, also known as the “Powerful Adventurer”, has a higher ride height and ground clearance, with the addition of protective coverings on the wheel arches, electronic winch in front and metal hook on the rear. The more styled version, the “Stylish Explorer”, provides more of an SUV feel, with flared wheel arches, 22″ light-allow rims, and clean running lines. The interior for both remain very similar, resembling most Mercedes passenger vehicles across the portfolio.
Mercedes has opted for manufacturing in this market not merely to complete its portfolio, but due to the rising sector with increased sales for pick-ups. The company also suggested that pick-up owners are no longer just looking for a heavy-duty vehicle, but something that doubles for personal use for urban and city living. Mercedes suggested that potential customers include “families with an active lifestyle and an affinity to premium products,” or “successful adventurers who live in an urban environment.” In short, those who can afford it.
The X-Class will be available in Europe, Australia, and South Africa in late 2017, with sales starting in early 2018 for South Africa. There is currently no pricing indication, apart from what Mercedes deem to be “competitive.”
Three engine choices will be available, which are likely to include a 3.0-litre V6, a 2.3-litre four-cylinder turbo-diesel, and a 2.5-litre four-cylinder petrol. Other engine specifications have not been released as yet. Two drive-trains will also be available, which are a manual and a 7G-Tronic automatic.