Detailed in a series of videos, the X-Class aims to be more than just a luxed-up Nissan Navara.
It may have a massive three-pointed star on the grille, but underneath the skin of the X-Class is a Nissan Navara NP300. The posh pickup truck will actually be built by Nissan at its Barcelona factory in Spain starting late next year to cater the European, Australian, and South African markets. Assembly will also take place from 2018 in Cordoba, Argentina at Renault’s factory for the Latin American market.
While it shares the underpinnings with the Navara and Alaskan, Mercedes says the X-Class has what it takes to become the first true premium pickup, thus effectively create a new niche. Since Audi has made it clear it doesn’t have plans for a utilitarian vehicle while BMW is unlikely to develop a production pickup in the foreseeable future, it means the X-Class will not have any sort of competition.
The concept introduced with much fanfare last evening in Stockholm, Sweden had a split personality: Stylish Explorer and Powerful Adventurer. The former has a plushier exterior and interior appearance as one would expect from a product with a premium status, while the latter proposes a rugged look to highlight the X-Class’ off-road capabilities. It likely means the production version will be offered in multiple guises to lure in a wider variety of buyers.
Don’t hold your breath for an AMG-powered version, though. Daimler board member Ola Källenius has already announced the pickup truck will not spawn a high-performance version simply because there wouldn’t be enough demand to justify the efforts. The good news is AMG styling is on the agenda for the X-Class, bringing a slightly more aggressive look without any extra muscle underneath the hood.
A forbidden fruit in United States, the X-Class in the highest specification will be motivated by a turbodiesel V6 engine channeling power to a 4MATIC all-wheel drive setup. Mercedes-Benz Vans has already announced it will boast a payload capacity of more than 1.1 tons (2,430 pounds) and will be able to tow up to 3.5 tons (7,720 lbs). The “Mercedes among pickups” will also have some real off-road credentials thanks to a transfer case with reduction gear and two differential locks.
Mercedes has plans to sell the X-Class “at an attractive price,” one that will obviously be higher than the more mundane Nissan Navara NP300 and Renault Alaskan workhorses.
Source: Mercedes-Benz Vans