U.S. not included in truck's initial sales plan
The Mercedes pickup finally gains a name and is previewed as a concept that’s likely close to what the final production model will look like. Making its debut today in chilly Sweden is the Mercedes-Benz X-Class Pickup Concept, which the automaker says should be ready to go on sale by late 2017.
Looking like a Snapchat face swap between a Mercedes-AMG GT and a Nissan Navara, the X-Class concept is the result of a partnership between Benz and Nissan. The truck is based on Nissan’s Navara, but Benz was responsible for the powertrain, styling, and amenities.
During the truck’s unveiling, Mercedes-Benz Cars chief Dieter Zetsche said “I truly dislike blank spots in our portfolio” and claimed the “timing is right” to explore the niche premium midsize pickup truck segment. Mercedes says the X-Class will be the fourth model under its van lineup.
The automaker says engine choices will include a six-cylinder diesel, likely the 3.0-liter Bluetec turbodiesel V-6 used in current models like the Sprinter van. Permanent all-wheel drive will be standard, along with a transfer case, and lockable rear and inter-axle differentials.
At the unveiling, Mercedes showcased two possible styling variants for the X-Class. The first is called “stylish explorer” and appears to be a more upscale look with stylish wheels, low-profile tires, monochromatic exterior, and a tailgate with fancy LEDs. The second truck is dubbed “powerful adventurer” and features off-road goodies like stubby tires, a winch, and plastic body cladding. Both styles are based on a five-passenger crew cab with full-sized doors and a short truck bed.
For the interior, Mercedes made a big effort to ensure it looks like a proper Benz. The dashboard features SL-inspired air vents, along with Benz’s familiar instrument cluster, three-spoke steering wheel, and floating infotainment screen. The automaker’s COMAND rotary knob and touchpad is also featured.
Mercedes expects the X-Class to sell well in a number of countries including Australia where the automaker says midsize trucks account for 14.1 percent of auto sales. The truck will also be sold in South America, South Africa, and Europe. For now, there are no plans to bring the X-Class to North America.