- Published: Wednesday, 19 July 2017 13:45
STUTTGART, GERMANY - Mercedes-Benz is going into the pickup business, with the announcement of the production version of the X-Class, a five-seater double-cab pickup truck.
If that sounds totally bonkers, well it’s actually a brilliant move by Mercedes-Benz, which unveiled the pickup as a concept back in 2015. Parent company Daimler already has platform sharing arrangements with Renault-Nissan, which is why the Mercedes-Benz Citan light van shares underpinnings with the Renault Kangoo. Likewise, luxury brand Infiniti makes use of Mercedes engineering in its Q30 and Q50 models.
The X-Class thus shares its ladder-frame platform with the Nissan Navara and recently-announced Renault Alaskan pickups. At 5,340mm long, 1,920mm wide and 1,819mm tall, the X-Class is longer and wider than the Navara, but slightly shorter (the Nissan measures 5,255mm x 1,850mm x 1,840mm), though both share the same wheelbase of 3,150mm.
The suspension setup is similar, with the same double-wishbone front and multi-link rear (no leaf springs or live axles here) that give the Navara impressive on-road manners and civility. The X-Class has a standard comfort suspension with 202mm of ground clearance and an off-road optimised version with 20mm added ride height - Mercedes says markets outside of Europe will receive the latter as standard.
Two diesel engines form the main variants for the X-Class at global debut - a 2.3-litre turbodiesel inline four is the powerplant for both models, the X 220d (single turbo) and X 250d (twin turbo). Each have 163bhp and 190bhp respectively, again identical to international choices for the Navara. Transmission is a six-speed manual or seven-speed automatic with all-wheel drive as standard, although rear-wheel drive is also a choice.
Mercedes has also announced a range-topping V6 turbodiesel variant with 258hp and 550Nm of torque - it’s a Mercedes 3.0-litre V6 engine, as already seen in numerous ‘350 d’ models in the passenger car lineup. The ‘Dynamic Select’ switchable drive mode system will be available on the V6.
The car has been announced with three trim levels - Mercedes is positioning it as a lifestyle machine just as much as a work one - namely Pure, Progressive and Power. Power is the highest grade variant, with full leather upholstery, electric seats and more. The cabin has been Mercedes-ified, with the brand’s usual furniture (air vents, COMAND infotainment and more) and a full range of the usual options is available.
We’ve not received word on the X-Class and its availability for Singapore, although it does look promising as right-hand drive variants will be made for the UK, Australia and New Zealand. RHD units are manufactured in Barcelona, Spain in co-operation with Renault Nissan.