Mercedes unveiled not one, but two pickup truck concepts previewing the regular production version of the X-Class.
Each of the two new concepts represents a different character, with the Stylish Explorer offering a premium and sporty experience while the Powerful Adventurer is the rugged hardcore off-roader.
The Stylish Explorer is set to preview most accurately the regular production double-cab X-Class model, with a plush interior, sporty bumpers and a set of big, 22-inch alloy wheels. The Powerful Adventurer on the other hand boasts a huge ground clearance, extra body cladding complete with wider wheel arches and off-road wheels and tires.
“With the X-Class, we will close one of the last gaps in our portfolio,” said Mercedes-Benz boss Dieter Zetsche. “Our target is to offer customers vehicles matching their specific needs. The pick-up will set new standards in a growing segment.”
Entry-level models will be offered with RWD as standard, with the all-wheel drive system offered as an option. The engine range will include four-pot petrol and diesel units without providing more information, with the show cars being powered by a V6 diesel engine which is expected to sit at the top of the range. The AWD V6-equipped X-Class can carry more than 1.1 ton, with a towing capacity of up to 3.5 tons.
“The Concept X-CLASS design variants interpret the hallmark brand design idiom of our SUVs in a most expressive form, and embody the dichotomy of our design philosophy: they are hot and cool”, said Gorden Wagener, Head of Design at Daimler AG. “With its progressive design the powerful adventurer expresses cool modernity and thirst for adventure, while the stylish explorer on the other hand uses pure emotion to provide a tangible experience of modern beauty.”
AWD-equipped models will also come with low-range gearing, locking differentials and an advanced traction control to aid in the most extreme of off-road situations. The body-on-frame steel chassis might be shared with the Nissan Navara and Renault Alaskan but Mercedes has retuned both the McPherson strut suspension up front and the five-link setup at the rear.
Mercedes also delivers on their promise to offer a cabin that’s unique to their models, with a unique dashboard design using styling cues from the company’s other models, including the round air vents and the infotainment system with the central touchpad to control it. In fact, the only common component with its Nissan-Renault siblings is the traditional hand-brake.
Mercedes says that they will launch the new X-Class pickup truck in Europe in late 2017. Production for the European, Australian and South African markets will take place at the Nissan plant in Barcelona, Spain while the Latin American models will be built at the Renault plant in Cordoba, Argentina in 2018.