Mercedes-Benz has taken the veil off its new premium ute (or pickup if you live outside of Australia), christened the Concept X-Class that aims to combine the utility of a traditional ute with luxury and comfort.
Two versions has been shown in Stockholm, Sweden – one showcasing the vehicle’s style, while the other highlights its off-road capability.
Despite being labeled a concept, the models are near production ready and set to arrive at showrooms by the end of 2017 wearing the X-Class moniker.
“With the Mercedes-Benz pickup, we will close one of the last gaps in our portfolio. Our target: we want to offer customers vehicles matching their specific needs. The X-Class will set new standards in a growing segment,” said Dr Dieter Zetche, Chairman of the Board of Daimler AG and Head of Mercedes-Benz Cars.
“We will open up and change the segment of mid-size pickups – with the world’s first true premium pickup for the modern urban lifestyle,” says Volker Mornhinweg, Head of Mercedes-Benz Vans.
While Mercedes is keeping a tight lip on the technical details, we know the X-Class is based on the Nissan Navara. The concepts use a diesel V6, which will be confined to top of the line models in the production car, with 4Matic all-wheel drive, an off-road ratio transfer case and differential locks for both axles. The company claims the ute has a payload of more than 1.1 ton and a towing capacity of up to 3.5 tons.
Like other Mercedes vehicles, the X-Class will have a raft of modern driver assistance systems based on cameras, radar and ultrasound sensors.
“Our future X-Class will be a pickup that knows no compromise. Ladder-type frame, high-torque six-cylinder engine, and permanent all-wheel drive are compulsory for us. As an added value we bring safety, comfort, agility and expressive design – in other words, everything that distinguishes vehicles bearing the Mercedes star,” Mornhinweg said.
Outside, the Mercedes’ new ute is sure to make a stylish statement in its segment and in the urban environment. Its front fascia wouldn’t look out of place on one of the brand’s SUV, while the flared wheel arches house off-road 22-inch light alloy wheels.
Inside, Mercedes owners will feel right at home with its familiar cockpit, characterized by an interesting contrast of warm and cool colours, as well as high-quality materials. It also features Nappa leather and open-pore smoked oak that contrasts with the brushed and polished aluminium trims.
The large infotainment screen sits high on the centre and is control via a multi-function touchpad on the console.
Australian delivered Mercedes-Benz X-Class will be built at Nissan’s factory in Barcelona, Spain.