The Mercedes-Benz X-Class remains a forbidden fruit in the United States, but these new spy photos taken in Northern Europe hint the German automaker could change its mind in the future. What we see here is a test prototype of the brand’s first-ever pickup, this time equipped with a slightly larger rear bed, more suitable for the American market.
Our spy photographers were not able to provide exact dimensions of the cargo area, but as standard the X-Class gets a 62.4-inch (1587-mm) long bed. A quick look at the Nissan Navara, upon which the X-Class is based, shows the Japanese truck has an option for a 70.3-inch (1,788-mm) long bed, which might be length of this trial vehicle’s bed, too.
Under the hood is probably the standard four-cylinder 2.3-liter diesel engine, which Mercedes borrows from Nissan. It is currently offered in two power options, 163 horsepower (120 kilowatts) and 190 hp (140 kW), and will be soon joined by a new flagship version.
Introduced at the Geneva Motor Show earlier this month, the X350d 4Matic has two additional cylinders under the hood. The 3.0-liter V6 diesel is good for 258 hp (190 kW) and a maximum torque of 406 pound-feet (550 Newton-meters) available from low 1,400 rpm.
Mated to a seven-speed automatic transmission and a 4Matic system with a two-stage transfer case and three selectable drive modes, this unit is able to accelerate the pickup from a standstill to 62 miles per hour (100 kilometers per hour) in 7.9 seconds, while top speed is 127 mph (205 kph).
If Mercedes indeed decides to bring the X-Class to the U.S. after all, the only configuration that seems sellable to us will be a long bed V6 model. The six-cylinder variant will hit showrooms in Europe from mid-2018 with prices starting at €53,360 (about $65,200, including VAT) in Germany.