German automaker Mercedes-Benz has figured out that luxury pickups are a lucrative market and is jumping into it big time. A concept of its new luxury X-Class pickup was unveiled in Stockholm, Sweden, in October. Initially destined for other markets, the X-Class may one day come to the United States.
The X-Class was co-developed with Nissan. It’s based on Nissan’s global Navarro model, but the Mercedes-Benz version boasts unique bodywork and a more luxurious interior to fit with the premium image of the German marque.
What We Know
The X-Class is a midsize body-on-frame truck that will be offered in off-road and street versions. The 5-passenger crew cab configuration will have a short bed and 4-wheel coil-spring suspension.
Rear and all-wheel drive models will be available. Four-wheel drive versions for off-road use will be equipped with a low-range transfer case and locking differentials.
Powertrain choices will include some diesel engines, with a range-topping V6 of as-yet unknown size and power. The top-of-the-line V6 will be a diesel in combination with 4MATIC permanent all-wheel drive.
Maximum payload capacity is said to be over 1 ton, while towing capability is over 7,700 pounds.
The X-Class interior will sport genuine wood trim and leather upholstery. Other noteworthy features of the luxury pickup will include an infotainment system accessible through smartphone app and high-tech radar and camera-based driver assist and automatic safety systems.
Market launch is scheduled for late 2017. Initially built in Spain and Argentina, and sold in Latin America, Europe, South Africa and Australia, the X-Class may eventually make its way to the U.S., although there is no timeline yet for that decision.
The automaker has identified five target customer groups for its initial markets:
- Families with an active lifestyle and an affinity for premium products
- Successful adventurers who live in an urban environment and participate in outdoor sports such as skiing or riding jet skis, or who have their own boat
- Trend-conscious individualists
- Business owners, such as contractors, architects and service providers
- Landowners, such as cattle ranchers in Argentina, soy bean farmers in Brazil or vintners in South Africa