By Thomas Shambler
The Mercedes-Benz X-Class fills a hole in the German car maker's portfolio with a new four-wheel-drive workhorse
Mercedes-Benz is heading into unchartered territory next year when it launches an unlikely new vehicle – a premium version of the pick-up truck. While other, sportier categories tend to steal the limelight, pick-up trucks make up one of the world's biggest car markets. And Mercedes thinks it can offer an entirely new twist with a premium version.
Set to be called the X-Class, it will go on sale late next year. Mercedes previewed its upcoming puck-up with two near production-ready concept cars, which are intended to show off how versatile the X-Class will be both on – and off – the road. There's the X-Class 'Powerful Adventure Concept', designed as the all-terrain workhorse, as well as the 'Stylish Explorer', which is intended to be a more urban, fashion-friendly vehicle.
The trucks are closely related to both the Nissan Navara and Renault Alaskan pick-ups, but Mercedes have included some very upmarket styling options, along with a premium interior design. The front-end of both cars feature the trademark Mercedes grille, complete with swept black angular headlamps.
While a few design aspects – such as the oval ring taillights that loop around the tailgate – won't make the cut on the production models – the overall shape and size will remain the same. That's including the massively flared wheel arches that accommodate the huge, 22-inch alloy wheels on the Stylish Explorer.
Inside the cabin, the off-road version has a rugged-looking interior finished with metal and carbon-fibre trim and bright yellow accents to match the Powerful Adventure's aggressive paint job. The style-friendly model looks more upmarket, crafted out of expensive wood panelling and leather.
While the production versions will be toned down significantly, you can expect the same options and trim found on Mercedes-Benz road cars. These will be available on any high-spec X-Class trucks.
Given that both models serve as concepts – despite being close to production models – engine options and prices are still a mystery. However, with models set to be on the road by November 2017, it won't be long until these details are available in full.