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    Geneva Motor Show: Introducing Qoros



    By William Maley

    Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com

    February 17, 2013

    The 2013 Geneva Motor Show is setting up to be a exciting show with a number of vehicles making their debut. One of the big surprises for Geneva will be the launch of a new car company. Chinese automaker Qoros will be introducing itself to the world by showing off a production-intent sedan as well as two "concepts" that appear to be production ready. Qoros was founded as a part of a joint venture between Chery Automobile and global holding company, Israel Corporation.

    Their production-intent sedan is called 3 sedan and unlike most Chinese cars of the past few years, this doesn't look like a blatant copy of another automaker. The design is mostly original and unique. Measuring at 181 inches long and 72.4 inches wide, the 3 sedan is slightly larger than a Ford Focus.

    Power comes from either a 1.6L four-cylinder producing 126 horsepower and 114 pound-feet of torque or a turbocharged version of the same engine putting out 156 horsepower and 154 pound-feet of torque. There is a choice between a six-speed manual or an optional six-speed dual clutch transmission. A stop-start system is available.

    Coming down the pipeline will be two other engines; a 1.3-liter inline-three and a 1.6-liter inline-four, both turbocharged and direct-injected.

    Qoros concept showings will include a 3 Cross Hybrid Concept which previews a crossover model and a hybrid system that uses two electric motors; one mounted in the back and the other mounted between the engine and transmission. The other concept is the Estate Concept which previews a possible wagon version.

    Qoros will begin selling the 3 sedan in China starting in the second half of this year. Europe will follow thereafter.

    Source: Qoros

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    Album: Qoros Showings At Geneva

    12 images

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    William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.comor you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster.

    Press Release for the 3 Sedan is on Page 2, the Cross Hybrid and Estate Concept is on Page 3


    World premiere: the Qoros 3 Sedan

    Elegant design, class-leading interior space, generous specification, high safety standards

    At its global debut at the 83rd Geneva International Motor Show, new automotive brand, Qoros, gives a world premiere to its first series production car, the Qoros 3 Sedan.

    The elegant compact (C-segment) car will be launched in China in the second half of 2013, with first sales in Europe starting later in the year. The vehicle is entering a pre-production development phase after two summers and two winters of extensive testing at key locations around the world.

    The styling of the Qoros 3 Sedan draws heavily on contemporary German-influenced automotive design and introduces a distinctive brand identity. A unique, advanced eight-inch touchscreen infotainment system, developed in-house by Qoros, will be fitted as standard across the Qoros 3 Sedan range.

    The compact Qoros 3 Sedan offers class-leading interior space for maximum passenger comfort. A primary objective from the earliest stages of the vehicle engineering programme was to achieve high scores in both Chinese and European crash assessments. Qoros employs modern safety technology and has put the Qoros 3 Sedan through a rigorous testing regime in helping it meet this objective.

    Two efficient four-cylinder 1.6-litre gasoline engines will be available at the launch of the Qoros 3 Sedan in China, both of which feature VVT (variable valve timing), and which will challenge for class-leadership in China in terms of performance and efficiency.

    The naturally-aspirated unit delivers an output of 93 kW (126 bhp) and 155 Nm maximum torque. The turbocharged version offers 115 kW (156 bhp) and 210 Nm maximum torque. Both engines are combined with a six-speed manual transmission as standard, with an optional six-speed dual clutch transmission available for both. A stop-start system will also be available.

    "With the support of AVL, Qoros is also developing a new three-cylinder 1.2-litre turbocharged engine and an all-new four-cylinder 1.6-litre turbocharged engine, both with GDI (gasoline direct injection). These engines will deliver highly competitive performance and efficiency," comments Klaus Schmidt, Executive Director of Vehicle Engineering, who was formerly a senior manager at BMW M-Power.

    Elegant design with class-leading interior space

    The styling of the Qoros 3 Sedan was undertaken from a clean sheet by the Qoros design teams in Munich and Shanghai under the direction of Executive Director of Design, Gert Volker Hildebrand. It establishes the design direction for the entire Qoros model family and draws on contemporary German-influenced automotive design to exhibit a timeless, desirable elegance.

    Driven by the theme 'Creating Future History', Gert Hildebrand's team set out to ensure that every model in the Qoros family is instantly recognisable as a Qoros. Key elements introduced with the Qoros 3 Sedan include an athletic, elegant profile, short overhangs, a coupé-like silhouette and a roof which flows smoothly into the strong rear quarters.

    The Qoros engineering team established from the earliest stages of the development programme that the compact platform's design should incorporate a long wheelbase and generous proportions. At 4,615 mm long, 1,839 mm wide and 1,445 mm high, the sedan's athletic, elegant styling also presents a solid, well-planted profile. It features horizontal styling themes along and across the body that highlight its length and width.

    The Qoros 3 Sedan has one of the longest wheelbases in the compact segment, at 2,690 mm. A striking contour edge running continuously from the headlamps to the door handles and on to the rear light clusters emphasises the seamless, cleanly sculptured bodysides. In conjunction with the striking accentuation strip in matt aluminium that runs above the side sill between the wheel arches, this contour edge visually stretches the silhouette even further.

    At the front, the contours of the bonnet form a dynamic curve, and the front section is designed to meet the highest standards of crash safety and pedestrian protection.

    The rear doors feature a 'hockey-stick' rear window line that extends into the C-pillar to allow easier access for occupants into the rear seats. Subtly flared wheel arches reflect the overall elegant styling theme without overtly interrupting the bodyside's lateral flow.

    Wheel sizes start at 16 inches, compared to the 15-inch entry-level wheel size for most compact segment cars, and the Qoros 3 Sedan can be specified with wheels up to 18 inches, highlighting the car's unusually wide track, once again conveying solidity. Several alloy wheel design and size combinations will be available at launch. The bespoke-designed triple-split eight-spoke alloy wheel, with gloss black inner and matt silver outer surfaces are highly distinctive and are destined to become a hallmark Qoros feature.

    Unmistakable "brand face"

    The Qoros 3 Sedan introduces a characteristic "brand face", refined in its proportions and surface finishes, that will become familiar on future models in the Qoros family.

    The top of the dual-section radiator grille is at the same height as the headlamp units and creates a striking contrast with the overall horizontal orientation of the car's face. The radiator grille forms an equal-sided trapezoid with a wide chrome bar as its upper edge and a second chrome bar at the bottom edge of the lower air intake. The grille itself has also been carefully designed with a mesh of matt black 'clouds' to hide the radiator fans behind – another neat styling finish.

    The Qoros logo – also developed under the direction of Gert Volker Hildebrand – proudly occupies a central point within the upper contour line of the radiator grille. The horizontally stretched Q incorporates the full 'Qoros' brand name in uppercase letters in a tactile three-dimensional chrome and gloss-black arrangement.

    The front and rear lamp clusters were another defining feature on which Gert Hildebrand's team paid painstaking attention to detail. The distinctive daytime running lights are horizontally positioned LED bars at the upper edge of the headlamp modules. The same applies to the three horizontal LED light bars in the wide rear lamp clusters that dominate the rear quarter flanks.

    Interior: class-leading space

    The Qoros 3 Sedan offers its five passengers remarkably generous interior space for a compact segment car, and is again dominated by a horizontally-oriented design theme that emphasises the length and width of the cabin. The elegance of the exterior continues inside. The steering wheel, which features a flat lower edge, sits in front of a 'floating' instrument panel and centre console that maximises the feeling of interior spaciousness.

    The combination of thin red LED light strips along each edge of the central console and discreet red LED lighting in the door handles create a warm, welcoming interior ambience. This, as well as the instrument cluster displays that illuminate immediately when any one of the car doors is opened, emphasises the feeling of passenger cabin quality.

    A high-resolution TFT display at the centre of the instrument cluster provides crucial information to the driver, including vehicle range and next-turn directions from the navigation system.

    The Qoros 3 Sedan boasts a luggage compartment of 450 litres. The 60:40 split rear seatbacks fold down individually to optimise cargo carrying flexibility and incorporate a ski-hatch allowing the car to accommodate long items.

    As well as a 2.8-litre glovebox (which will be air conditioned on top specification models), there are nine further storage compartments, including in the front centre console, front arm rest, as well as wide door pockets in all four doors, and rigid front seatback pockets for rear seat passengers. There are bottle holders in the front door pockets, two large cupholders in the front centre console, and two cupholders in the rear centre armrest.

    Advanced touchscreen infotainment system as standard across the range

    The Qoros 3 Sedan is fitted as standard with an innovative eight-inch capacitive touchscreen infotainment system that represents an automotive industry first and occupies a prominent position in the central console.

    The advanced software, technology and graphics were designed and developed in-house to safely manage information displays for minimal driver distraction and to optimise ease-of-use while on the move. The intelligent and powerful package was created specifically with the young, aspirational, 'always-connected' target Qoros customer firmly in mind.

    The innovative user-interface is based on the finger 'swipe' concept of modern smartphones and is unique in responding to multi-touch gestures. Replacing the array of switches and buttons that blights many modern car interiors, the capacitive touchscreen enables users to manage entertainment, navigation, 'Cloud' networking connectivity and vehicle settings with intuitive finger 'swipe' inputs (full functionality will be model dependent).

    The system's user-interface is highly intuitive and is designed to fully exploit touchscreen technology. For example, an incoming phone call can be answered with a simple swipe anywhere on the screen towards the driver, or can be rejected and forwarded to voicemail with a swipe away. Audio balance (right-left) and fade (front-rear) settings for the speakers are shown on the touchscreen as a single focus point on an overhead view of the vehicle and can be adapted by moving the point with a finger.

    Selected versions of the system allows drivers to book dealer service appointments, features an automatic emergency services alert in the event of an accident, and supports usage-based car insurance services. The state-of-the-art navigation system includes best-in-class traffic information and an advanced points-of-interest search. Integrated networking – enabled through 'Cloud' connectivity – enables drivers to share their driving experiences, points-of-interest, favourite trips and photos via social media channels.

    Mobile phones on the most popular operating systems (Apple iOS, Android and Windows Phone) and external music players can be integrated via Bluetooth, USB and AUX-IN connections.

    Powerful engines with optional dual clutch transmission

    Two engines developed in collaboration with leading powertrain engineering specialist, AVL, will be available for the launch of the Qoros 3 Sedan in China. Both are four-cylinder 1.6-litre units featuring variable valve control technology to optimise performance and efficiency.

    The naturally-aspirated version delivers 93 kW (126 bhp) and 155 Nm maximum torque at 3,900 rpm. With this engine, the Qoros 3 Sedan accelerates from zero to 100 km/h in 11.0 seconds (provisional target, not yet verified).

    With the turbocharged engine, which offers 115kW (156 bhp) and 210 Nm maximum torque at 2,500 rpm, acceleration from zero to 100 km/h is achieved in a brisk 9.0 seconds (provisional target, not yet verified).

    Both power units are combined with a six-speed manual transmission as standard. A six-speed dual clutch transmission is available as an option for both engines, offering the driver automated gear selection as well as a manual shift mode.

    Depending on model and market, the Qoros 3 Sedan will be fitted with an automatic start-stop system for increased efficiency, and manual models will also feature an optimal gearshift point display.

    Other engine families are under development with the support of AVL. These will include a three-cylinder 1.2-litre turbocharged gasoline engine with 97 kW (130 bhp), and a brand new four-cylinder 1.6-litre turbocharged gasoline engine with 136 kW (160 bhp), both featuring GDI (gasoline direct injection) and VVT (variable valve timing).

    These will be mated to a six-speed manual transmission as standard, with a seven-speed dual clutch transmission available as an option, which will offer the driver automated gear selection as well as a manual shift mode.

    The 1.2-litre and all-new 1.6-litre powertrain units will meet the EU6 emissions standard which comes into effect in Europe in 2014, and will be highly competitive in the compact segment in terms of power, torque, fuel economy and emissions.

    Ride and handling developed to European standards

    The vehicle dynamics of the Qoros 3 Sedan have been tailored to European customer expectations. The sedan features McPherson struts at the front and twist-beam suspension at the rear to provide an ideal balance of responsive handling and a compliant ride. Rack-and-pinion steering with electronic power assistance delivers precise direction changes.

    Stopping power is provided by 320mm disc brakes at the front and 285mm disc brakes at the rear. Braking performance and stability is enhanced by anti-lock braking (ABS) and electronic stability control systems developed in conjunction with TRW specifically for the Qoros 3 Sedan.

    Qoros' first production model has undergone an extensive development and testing regime under the direction of Klaus Schmidt, Executive Director of Vehicle Engineering, formerly head of the technology and driving dynamics department at BMW's M-Sport division.

    "Our aim was to offer our customers a driving experience defined by predictable, clear responses to their inputs," says Schmidt. "Our all-new compact segment vehicle platform provides the ideal basis for excellent reactions and control during spirited driving, while also being comfortable and hassle-free in the city. We have achieved the right balance between ride comfort and performance in the Qoros 3 Sedan."

    Solid body structure and high safety standards

    The highly sophisticated safety technology of the Qoros 3 Sedan is engineered to achieve top scores in European and Chinese new-car independent crash tests. Its body architecture is based on the very latest insights in the field of accident safety and occupant protection. A precise arrangement of impact-bearing structures and generously-sized deformation zones ensure that the passenger cell is protected from the most diverse types of collision events.

    Furthermore, there is an extensive package of safety features for occupant protection, including:

    Highly effective load-limiting safety belts with dual pre-tensioners to ensure the effective restraint of front seat occupants

    Optimised seat structures, providing robust occupant restraint in frontal impact and good whiplash protection in the event of a rear impact

    Suite of front airbags, seat-mounted side airbags and roof-mounted curtain airbags which deploy to cover the front and rear window apertures

    Seat belt reminder functions for all seating positions

    Comprehensive equipment as standard

    The Qoros 3 Sedan meets the needs and expectations of modern motorists who demand generous features and infotainment, and who also prefer options to individually configure their vehicle.

    The Qoros 3 Sedan offers three specification levels.

    Six exterior paint finishes (solid Crystal White and solid Midnight Black, and metallic Macadamia Brown, Starlight Black, Diamond Silver and Shimmer Grey) and two interior colours (Lava Black and Sand Dune Beige) will be available for the Qoros 3 Sedan at launch in China. The interior upholstery can be specified in fabric, a fabric-leatherette combination, or in full leather.

    Depending on the specification level, the Qoros 3 Sedan features interior décor finishes in various high-grade materials, as well as 16-, 17- and 18-inch alloy wheels in various designs.

    Standard features on all versions of the Qoros 3 Sedan include the innovative touchscreen infotainment system, air conditioning, remote control central locking, all-round electric windows, electric exterior mirrors, and a four-speaker, 100-watt audio system. These can be supplemented by options that include a rear view camera with parking distance control, xenon headlamps, cruise control, electrically adjustable front seats, an automatic anti-dazzle interior mirror, and an upgraded six-speaker audio system. An extensive accessories list offers further customisation options.

    All-new production facility for quality, efficiency and sustainability

    The Qoros 3 Sedan will be produced in an all-new manufacturing facility in Changshu. Construction of the facility – occupying 250,000 square metres adjacent to the company's headquarters – is nearly complete, and it will include a bodyshop, assembly line and paintshop.

    The factory – and its production processes – exceeds legal requirements in both China and Europe in terms of the recyclability of end-of-life vehicles, components and materials.


    The Qoros 3 Cross Hybrid Concept and Qoros 3 Estate Concept Versatile driving pleasure with innovative drive technology

    Following the launch of its first production model, the Qoros 3 Sedan, the brand plans to expand its model family with the launch of a new model every six-to-eight months.

    At the 83rd Geneva International Motor Show, Qoros presents a five-door crossover – the Qoros 3 Cross Hybrid Concept – that features a compact hatchback body, enhanced traction properties and an advanced hybrid drive.

    This concept illustrates how the design themes introduced in the Qoros 3 Sedan may be applied to its future model range. It also offers a glimpse ahead to the brand's future technological developments with a pioneering hybrid drive that not only enhances efficiency but that also provides an exceptional all-wheel driving experience.

    The intelligent Qoros modular vehicle architecture is a key factor in ensuring that new models can be introduced quickly and efficiently, and the Qoros 3 Cross Hybrid Concept is based on the same vehicle platform as the Qoros 3 Sedan.

    With the same long wheelbase (2,690 mm) and wide track as the sedan, the Qoros 3 Cross Hybrid Concept exhibits generous proportions and a solid, planted road presence.

    Hallmark design features reinterpreted

    The Qoros 3 Cross Hybrid Concept showcases a mild evolution of the styling introduced on the production sedan. Elegant lines and balanced proportions reflect sporty aspirations. Short body overhangs and the coupé-like roof line flowing into the hatchback tailgate give the five-door model a touch of dynamic flair. Horizontally oriented lines highlight the width of the boldly shaped rear, which featuresa large tailgate.

    The front view of the concept is almost identical to the Qoros 3 Sedan, but the core elements of the Qoros 'face' are supplemented with bespoke accents. The lower air inlet at the bottom of the trapezoidal grille stretches further back, highlighting the concept's powerful front stature. Also distinctive are the rounded contours of the fog lamps, which are placed wide apart.

    The headlamp clusters, featuring LED bars at their top edge as daytime running lights, are the same as those on the Qoros 3 Sedan, stretching far into the flanks and into a striking contour edge which runs through the door handles and rises continuously to the rear. The rear light clusters – unique to this concept, feature horizontal LED light bars in a neat compact arrangement.

    Its raised ground clearance and specific design features that emphasise its robust, versatile characteristics hint at the Qoros 3 Cross Hybrid Concept's potential for excursions beyond the asphalt. It features underbody protection at the front and rear to protect against impacts, as well as uprated suspension and damper systems that ensure occupants remain comfortable even on rough terrain.

    A combination of hybrid drive and all-wheel system for increased driving pleasure and efficiency

    The development of advanced engineering innovations is a core strategic activity for the brand and the Qoros 3 Cross Hybrid Concept features an advanced hybrid drive system developed in partnership with leading electric drive systems specialist American Axle.

    A three-cylinder 1.2-litre turbocharged petrol engine with 97 kW (130 bhp) is installed transversely at the front to drive the front wheels.

    A 50 kW electric motor is housed between the luggage compartment floor and the rear axle, not only convenient for power transfer but also safely isolated from rear collision impacts. The motor is powered by a LG Chem lithium-ion battery with a maximum capacity of 1.9 kilowatt-hours.

    A second electric motor – the Integrated Starter Generator (ISG) – is mounted between the petrol engine and the transmission. Its role, as well as to start the petrol engine more discreetly – with less noise and less vibration – than a traditional starter motor, is to charge the rear electric motor's dedicated battery so that the Qoros 3 Cross Hybrid Concept can operate continuously in all-wheel drive mode. And, during the most demanding driving, the ISG delivers additional power to the front axle, allowing the concept to deliver surprisingly swift performance: zero to 100 km/h is achieved in less than 7.0 seconds (provisional target, not yet verified).

    Intelligent control software ensures seamless transition between petrol-engine front-wheel drive, electric motor rear-wheel drive, and all-wheel drive, depending on the most efficient mode to respond to the driver's inputs and the prevailing road conditions.

    The Qoros 3 Cross Hybrid Concept can be driven in pure-electric mode at a speed of up to 120 km/h, and for a maximum range of approximately four kilometres (provisional target, not yet verified).

    The Qoros 3 Estate Concept: modern functionality in an elegant, athletic style

    The Qoros 3 Estate Concept, featuring extended interior space, intelligent and flexible functionality, and elegant design, show how the new brand's compact segment model range might be expanded with an estate variant in the future. Qoros' modular platform provides the ideal basis for fast and efficient expansion of the model family, and the compact estate is becoming increasingly popular among European motorists. Its elegance and bold stature echo the Qoros styling themes introduced by the Qoros 3 Sedan, while the intelligently designed interior provides an incredibly versatile and adaptable space that allows luggage capacity to be adapted to individual needs.

    An individual alternative to the classic sedan

    Sales of compact segment estate cars are growing thanks to their more flexible capabilities to meet the diverse transport needs of ever more adventurous family lifestyles in Europe. The versatile trunk space provides additional flexibility and volume for luggage or other cargo, or to pursue leisure activities which might involve transporting bulky sports equipment, for example.

    The practical advantages are married with the impressive driving dynamics and performance of the Qoros 3 Sedan, and the estate concept pleasingly adopts its timeless, elegant exterior design.

    Signature design with distinctive touches

    Based on the same platform as the Qoros 3 Sedan, the Qoros 3 Estate Concept is generously-proportioned for a compact segment estate. Appealing touches include the application of the horizontal design theme to highlight the long roof line flowing smoothly to the rear, and the large side windows that give the vehicle an elegant and elongated look.

    Like the sedan, the concept has the characteristic Qoros face, featuring the same large headlamps which reach from the distinctive radiator grille far into the flanks. The rear lamp clusters are also identical to those on the product Qoros 3 Sedan, creating a strong family resemblance between the two models. The three bold horizontal LED taillight bars neatly suit the powerful rear, where the large tailgate opening features a convenient low loading sill.

    Plenty of space and versatility in the interior

    The wide-ranging options provided by the folding rear seatbacks and the ski hatch, as well as the numerous storage compartments and accessory attachments, offer prospective customers a highly versatile and functional vehicle, both for everyday driving and long-distance travel. The Qoros 3 Estate Concept is conceived for young families and other modern customers whose vehicle choice is based on an active, varied lifestyle.

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    If they come to the US, they should partner w/ Wal-Mart and Sam's Club for in-store dealerships....given Genericans desire for cheap $h! from China, it would probably sell well....

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    I'm impressed. There are hints of other design languages in it, from the back VW, up front Kia, but nothing is a blatant copy and it's not hideous. For a Chinese car that speaks volumes.

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      Press Release is on Page 2
      Mercedes-Benz Vans expands product range: Mercedes-Benz Concept X-CLASS – First outlook on the new pickup bearing the three-pointed star
      Product range expansion for sustainable global growth Market launch in late 2017 Key markets Europe, Latin America, South Africa, and Australia Investments in the high nine figures Two design variants, one message: the first true premium pickup The X-Class: powerful engine, high ride comfort, and exemplary safety Stockholm/Stuttgart – With the Concept X-CLASS, Mercedes-Benz Vans gives a concrete outlook on its new pickup, the X-Class, in Stockholm. The first premium pickup will combine the best of two worlds. This is demonstrated impressively by Mercedes-Benz with two design variants of the concept car. The Concept X-CLASS powerful adventurer illustrates that the future X-Class will possess all the strengths of a classic pickup – tough, functional, strong, and with off-road capability. The Concept X-CLASS stylish explorer goes a step further and shows what will distinguish the pickup bearing the Mercedes star. The X-Class will be a true Mercedes from the hallmark brand design and comfort to the driving dynamics and safety. This will make Mercedes-Benz the first premium manufacturer to account for the changing customer requirements in the global segment of mid-size pickups, and it will make the tough one-ton pickup with seating for up to five persons the first to be attractive as an urban lifestyle and family vehicle.
      With the pickup, Mercedes-Benz Vans will expand its product range with a fourth model series. At the same time, the brand bearing the three-pointed star will become the first premium manufacturer to occupy the promising segment of mid-size pickups. Daimler AG will make investments in the high nine figures (euro) in the new model series by the time of the market launch. It will be launched in late 2017 under the name Mercedes-Benz X-Class. The key markets will be Argentina, Brazil, South Africa, Australia with New Zealand, and Europe.
      Dr Dieter Zetsche, Chairman of the Board of Daimler AG and Head of Mercedes-Benz Cars: "With the Mercedes-Benz pickup, we will close one of the last gaps in our portfolio. Our target: we want to offer customers vehicles matching their specific needs. The X-Class will set new standards in a growing segment."
      "We will open up and change the segment of mid-size pickups – with the world's first true premium pickup for the modern urban lifestyle", says Volker Mornhinweg, Head of Mercedes-Benz Vans. "Our future X-Class will be a pickup that knows no compromise. Ladder-type frame, high-torque six-cylinder engine, and permanent all-wheel drive are compulsory for us. As an added value we bring safety, comfort, agility, and expressive design – in other words, everything that distinguishes vehicles bearing the Mercedes star. We will thus appeal to new customers who have not considered owning a pickup before."
      Changing segment: Mercedes-Benz first premium manufacturer of a pickup
      Worldwide the market for mid-size pickups is undergoing a radical change. Gone are the days when they were bought as mere "workhorses". Instead, they are becoming increasingly popular as versatile vehicles for a simultaneous private and commercial use and as vehicles for a strictly private use. The percentage of privately used pickups has been growing steadily for years. Accordingly, the double cab has emerged as the dominating body style, because it offers room for up to five persons. More and more private and commercial customers ask for vehicles with the characteristics and comfort features of a passenger car. A similar development took place in the segment of off-road vehicles some 20 years ago. Back then, Mercedes-Benz was the first premium manufacturer to launch a sport utility vehicle (SUV), the M-Class, and completely redefined the off-road segment – with lasting success.
      "The Concept X-CLASS design variants interpret the hallmark brand design idiom of our SUVs in a most expressive form, and embody the dichotomy of our design philosophy: they are hot and cool", says Gorden Wagener, Head of Design at Daimler AG. "With its progressive design the powerful adventurer expresses cool modernity and thirst for adventure, while the stylish explorer on the other hand uses pure emotion to provide a tangible experience of modern beauty."
      Concept X-CLASS stylish explorer: progressive design with SUV looks
      The Concept X-CLASS stylish explorer, painted in a cool elegant white metallic, impressively demonstrates how the Mercedes-Benz pickup will make a decidedly stylish statement in its segment and in the urban environment. The contrast of emotionally appealing and yet purist surface treatment ("hot") and technically precise, innovative and clever details ("cool") reinterprets the design philosophy of Mercedes-Benz. The athletic design lends the concept car a markedly expressive and dynamic appearance. The distinctive front represents an evolution of the hallmark SUV face of the brand – with a more massive powerdome on the bonnet and headlamps extending far into the wings. The classic SUV front apron and the strongly flared wheel arches put even more emphasis on the sense of width, and give the vehicle an even more solid stance on the road. At the same time, the front cites the single-louvre grille with centrally positioned Mercedes star, the face of the elegant Mercedes-Benz coupés.
      The flared front and rear wings make room for a wide track and large tyre/wheel combinations for tough off-road use. 22-inch light-alloy wheels with a contrasting anthracite chrome finish give the Concept X-CLASS stylish explorer a towering and superior stance. The running boards are integrated into the bodywork and emphasise the athletically sculpted body. Depending on the angle of the incoming light, the paintwork developed specifically for this concept car lends the urban pickup a look that gives the athletic profile even more emotional appeal.
      The extremely short front overhang, the very long rear overhang and two long lines stretching along the side amplify the focus placed on driving dynamics. The rear of both concept cars sports the hallmark chromed SUV trim at the lower edge, and, as a distinctive feature, a continuous LED light strip in a slim chrome surround on the tailgate. It points to the unique character of the future pickup.
      Stylish interior with a high level of operating and display comfort
      The interior of the Concept X-CLASS stylish explorer is an equally emotional and stylish statement – characterised by an intriguing contrast of warm and cool colours, as well as by high-quality materials. The world of colours and materials translates the Mercedes-Benz design philosophy of sensual purity. The sensual touch and feel of the brown, very natural nubuck leather on the seats provides a cosy feel. This warm colour, which is also found on the dashboard, is combined with cool white nappa leather. The trim made of open-pore smoked oak contrasts with the brushed and polished aluminium trim elements. The world of modern luxury is realised in a highly stylish fashion.
      The modern flair is further boosted by round air vents, the free-standing high-resolution central display as well as the central controller and multifunctional touchpad. Similar to a smartphone, all telematics functions can be controlled with the touchpad by using gestures or by entering letters and characters. Mercedes-Benz thus introduces the most modern control and display concept in the segment of mid-size pickups. At the same time, the characteristics and functionalities typical in the pickup segment have been retained, such as the handbrake in the centre console.
      Concept X-CLASS powerful adventurer: the redefinition of toughness
      Complementing the Concept X-CLASS stylish explorer, the second concept car focuses on the classic traits of a pickup. The Concept X-CLASS powerful adventurer with a lemonax metallic paint finish stages toughness, durability, and off-road capability. As a result, it impressively underscores the fact that the future Mercedes-Benz pickup will combine comfort and style with the basic virtues of this vehicle category.
      The Concept X-CLASS powerful adventurer towers above it all with a height of 1.90 metres. Large tyres of size 35x11.50, the huge ground clearance, and the athletic design instil respect even at first glance. The brand's hallmark SUV radiator grille with two louvres, front and rear underride guard, wing claddings, and matte carbon wheel arches additionally underscore the superior off-road aesthetics. An electric winch at the front and a metal hook at the rear are further indications of the toughness and power of the future pickup.
      With its progressive design the concept car exudes independence and thirst for adventure in their purest forms. This feel continues in the interior. Matte carbon elements in the exterior and interior, metallic brushed surfaces, and a bold colour scheme lend the vehicle a sense of power. The lemonax metallic exterior paint finish is perfectly tailored to the interior colour highlights. The colour and material concept underscores the outdoor look with glossy black nappa leather and the use of carbon-style black embossed leather surfaces. To ensure the seats provide lateral support in all handling situations and in any terrain, the seat side bolsters are trimmed with black leather that offers extremely good grip and has a pleasantly soft touch and feel.
      The X-Class: powerful engine, high ride comfort, and exemplary safety
      As is the norm for Mercedes-Benz, customers of the X-Class will be able to choose from different equipment scopes to customise the exterior and interior. In addition, the premium brand will develop a special range of accessories for the pickup, for example bed covers and various styling elements. Thanks to the tried and proven modular strategy, a host of interior components that customers know and appreciate from the C-Class and V-Class will be found in the X-Class – from the perfectly finished high-quality materials and the infotainment system to the ergonomic seating comfort. As a result, the pickup will offer the "welcome home" feeling typical of the brand, and define a new level of comfort and value appeal in the segment of mid-size pickups.
      The X-Class will also set new standards in the segment with regard to connected life. Thanks to the communication module with on-board SIM card, it will be possible to use the extensive Mercedes me connect services. Drivers can connect with their pickup by smartphone, tablet or PC at any time and from anywhere. For example, to send navigation destinations to the vehicle or query where the pickup is parked and how much fuel is in the tank. In addition to these optional remote online services, standard services such as accident recovery, maintenance management and breakdown management will also be available.
      Variety will likewise distinguish the engine range. The top-of-the-line model will be powered by a V6 diesel in combination with 4MATIC permanent all-wheel drive. The high-torque engine will provide high driving dynamics on the road and off the road. The all-wheel-drive system will combine an electronic traction system, a transfer case with reduction gear, and two differential locks. The traction system and the electrically operated on-demand differential locks channel the power to where traction is best. Under extreme off-road conditions, the rear differential and the inter-axle differential can be locked. This will make it possible to safely master difficult obstacles and inclines.
      The powerful drive system and the tough ladder-type frame will make a payload of more than 1.1 ton and a towing capacity of up to 3.5 tons possible. Enough power for transporting some four cubic metres of firewood on the pickup bed and a sail boat hooked up to the trailer coupling, for example. At the same time, the specially constructed suspension with wide axles, a five-link rear axle with coil springs, and a precisely calibrated spring/damper set-up will ensure a high ride comfort – on the road and off the road. The pickup bearing the three-pointed star will impress with precise steering, a comfortable ride, and agile cornering. It will absorb bumps in a superior fashion, making it a perfect fit for the urban environment.
      Like all Mercedes vehicles, the pickup will be distinguished by exemplary safety. Modern driver assistance systems based on cameras, radar and ultrasound sensors will support and relieve the driver in many situations, and in so doing equally enhance safety and comfort. A host of assistance systems will already come as standard.
      The Mercedes among pickups: focus on five customer groups
      The X-Class will combine the strengths of a pickup with the value appeal, comfort, driving fun, and safety that distinguish the vehicles bearing the Mercedes star. As a result, the Mercedes-Benz pickup will bridge the gap between commercial and private and between urban and rural use. It will consequently appeal not only to pickup owners wishing for more car-like characteristics, performance, safety, and comfort, but also and above all to people who drive a passenger car, SUV or van. Extensive market research studies conducted by Mercedes-Benz with potential customers in the target markets bear this out.
      Mid-size pickups currently have the largest share of the total vehicle market in Australia with 14.1 percent. Argentina comes close behind with 11.6 percent. This means that in these countries, one out of every eight registered vehicles is a pickup in the one-ton category. In Brazil, mid-size pickups have a share of almost five percent of the total vehicle market. That figure is 0.5 percent in Germany, 1.3 percent in Great Britain, 1.4 percent in Turkey, and 0.8 percent in Russia.
      Based on its market research studies, Mercedes-Benz has identified five customer groups for the X-Class, which are of different relevance in the individual countries.
      One important target group is constituted by families with an active lifestyle and an affinity to premium products. They use the pickup mostly for commuting to work, for shopping, taking the kids to school or sports activities, for weekend trips, and vacation. The key markets are Brazil, Argentina, Australia, and South Africa.
      Another target group for the X-Class are successful adventurers, who live in an urban environment and participate in outdoor sports such as skiing or riding jet skis, or have their own boat. They need a comfortable premium vehicle for everyday use that at the same time offers sufficient cargo space and towing capacity for their recreational equipment. The top markets are Australia, South Africa, Brazil, Great Britain, and Germany.
      In addition, the Mercedes-Benz pickup will have the potential to inspire trend-conscious individualists with an affinity to premium products. They lead an independent lifestyle and want a vehicle outside the mainstream that underscores their personality and status with a unique design. Independent individualists use the pickup as an "everyday vehicle" in the city, for evening and weekend activities, and for sporting events. The key markets for this target group are Germany, Great Britain, South Africa, and Brazil.
      The fourth customer group comprises business owners such as building contractors, architects, and service providers who want to use their pickup for commercial and private purposes: that is as a comfortable company car for customer meetings, which is equally perfect for transporting customers and employees as well as tools and building materials, as an "everyday vehicle", and as a vehicle for weekend activities. Significant markets for business owners are Germany, Great Britain, Australia, and Argentina.
      Landowners, such as cattle ranchers in Argentina, soy bean farmers in Brazil or vintners in South Africa, also use their pickup for commercial and private purposes. They need a vehicle that on the one hand takes them through unpaved terrain and has sufficient cargo and towing capacity. On the other hand, it must be suitable for driving to customer and supplier meetings as well as for use as an "everyday vehicle" for the family.
      Production cooperation with Renault-Nissan
      The market launch of the Mercedes-Benz X-Class in Europe will begin in late 2017. The new model series will be positioned in the segment at an attractive price. The pickup will be manufactured in a production cooperation with the Renault-Nissan Alliance. Production for the European, Australian and South African markets will start at the Nissan plant in Barcelona, Spain, in 2017. The X-Class for the Latin American market will roll off the assembly lines at the Renault plant in Cordoba, Argentina, starting in 2018.
      With the X-Class, Daimler AG and the Renault-Nissan Alliance expand their strategic cooperation which began six years ago. This affords Mercedes-Benz fast and cost-efficient entrance to the fast-growing segment of mid-size pickups. In addition, both companies benefit from optimal utilisation of the production capacity. Nissan is the second-largest manufacturer of mid-size pickups with a payload of one ton in the world, and can look back on more than 80 years of experience in producing and marketing these types of vehicles.
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      View full article
    • By William Maley
      Previous Page Next Page Mercedes-Benz has unveiled two concept versions of the upcoming X-Class pickup. 
      The X-Class Stylish Explorer is likely a preview of the production model that we'll be seeing next year. It features a massive Mercedes-Benz grille, flared-out wheel fenders, 22-inch wheels, and a set of sporty bumpers. The X-Class Powerful Adventurer comes with a raised ride height, winches on the front and rear bumpers, meaty off-road tires, and interesting design for the tailgate. The interior features a lot of design ideas and pieces from other Mercedes models such as the vents for the HVAC system and protruding screen from the center stack. The Powerful Adventure features a fire extinguisher as well because why not.
      The concepts feature a V6 turbodiesel engine and Mercedes' 4Matic all-wheel drive paired with a transfer case with low gears and two differential locks - this combination will be available on higher trims. Lower trim trucks will get turbodiesel four-cylinders and the choice of either rear or all-wheel drive. Under the skin, the X-Class is based on the Nissan Navara and uses the same chassis, albeit with some slight changes.
      “With the X-class, we will close one of the last gaps in our portfolio. Our target is to offer customers vehicles matching their specific needs. The pick-up will set new standards in a growing segment,” said Mercedes-Benz chairman Dieter Zetsche in a statement.
      The X-Class will be built alongside the Navara and Renault Alaskan in factories in both Spain and Argentina. Sales are expected to begin next year in Europe, with other key markets such as Australia and South Africa following thereafter. A decision on whether or not the U.S. will get the X-Class is still up in the air at the moment.
      Source: Mercedes-Benz
      Press Release is on Page 2
      Mercedes-Benz Vans expands product range: Mercedes-Benz Concept X-CLASS – First outlook on the new pickup bearing the three-pointed star
      Product range expansion for sustainable global growth Market launch in late 2017 Key markets Europe, Latin America, South Africa, and Australia Investments in the high nine figures Two design variants, one message: the first true premium pickup The X-Class: powerful engine, high ride comfort, and exemplary safety Stockholm/Stuttgart – With the Concept X-CLASS, Mercedes-Benz Vans gives a concrete outlook on its new pickup, the X-Class, in Stockholm. The first premium pickup will combine the best of two worlds. This is demonstrated impressively by Mercedes-Benz with two design variants of the concept car. The Concept X-CLASS powerful adventurer illustrates that the future X-Class will possess all the strengths of a classic pickup – tough, functional, strong, and with off-road capability. The Concept X-CLASS stylish explorer goes a step further and shows what will distinguish the pickup bearing the Mercedes star. The X-Class will be a true Mercedes from the hallmark brand design and comfort to the driving dynamics and safety. This will make Mercedes-Benz the first premium manufacturer to account for the changing customer requirements in the global segment of mid-size pickups, and it will make the tough one-ton pickup with seating for up to five persons the first to be attractive as an urban lifestyle and family vehicle.
      With the pickup, Mercedes-Benz Vans will expand its product range with a fourth model series. At the same time, the brand bearing the three-pointed star will become the first premium manufacturer to occupy the promising segment of mid-size pickups. Daimler AG will make investments in the high nine figures (euro) in the new model series by the time of the market launch. It will be launched in late 2017 under the name Mercedes-Benz X-Class. The key markets will be Argentina, Brazil, South Africa, Australia with New Zealand, and Europe.
      Dr Dieter Zetsche, Chairman of the Board of Daimler AG and Head of Mercedes-Benz Cars: "With the Mercedes-Benz pickup, we will close one of the last gaps in our portfolio. Our target: we want to offer customers vehicles matching their specific needs. The X-Class will set new standards in a growing segment."
      "We will open up and change the segment of mid-size pickups – with the world's first true premium pickup for the modern urban lifestyle", says Volker Mornhinweg, Head of Mercedes-Benz Vans. "Our future X-Class will be a pickup that knows no compromise. Ladder-type frame, high-torque six-cylinder engine, and permanent all-wheel drive are compulsory for us. As an added value we bring safety, comfort, agility, and expressive design – in other words, everything that distinguishes vehicles bearing the Mercedes star. We will thus appeal to new customers who have not considered owning a pickup before."
      Changing segment: Mercedes-Benz first premium manufacturer of a pickup
      Worldwide the market for mid-size pickups is undergoing a radical change. Gone are the days when they were bought as mere "workhorses". Instead, they are becoming increasingly popular as versatile vehicles for a simultaneous private and commercial use and as vehicles for a strictly private use. The percentage of privately used pickups has been growing steadily for years. Accordingly, the double cab has emerged as the dominating body style, because it offers room for up to five persons. More and more private and commercial customers ask for vehicles with the characteristics and comfort features of a passenger car. A similar development took place in the segment of off-road vehicles some 20 years ago. Back then, Mercedes-Benz was the first premium manufacturer to launch a sport utility vehicle (SUV), the M-Class, and completely redefined the off-road segment – with lasting success.
      "The Concept X-CLASS design variants interpret the hallmark brand design idiom of our SUVs in a most expressive form, and embody the dichotomy of our design philosophy: they are hot and cool", says Gorden Wagener, Head of Design at Daimler AG. "With its progressive design the powerful adventurer expresses cool modernity and thirst for adventure, while the stylish explorer on the other hand uses pure emotion to provide a tangible experience of modern beauty."
      Concept X-CLASS stylish explorer: progressive design with SUV looks
      The Concept X-CLASS stylish explorer, painted in a cool elegant white metallic, impressively demonstrates how the Mercedes-Benz pickup will make a decidedly stylish statement in its segment and in the urban environment. The contrast of emotionally appealing and yet purist surface treatment ("hot") and technically precise, innovative and clever details ("cool") reinterprets the design philosophy of Mercedes-Benz. The athletic design lends the concept car a markedly expressive and dynamic appearance. The distinctive front represents an evolution of the hallmark SUV face of the brand – with a more massive powerdome on the bonnet and headlamps extending far into the wings. The classic SUV front apron and the strongly flared wheel arches put even more emphasis on the sense of width, and give the vehicle an even more solid stance on the road. At the same time, the front cites the single-louvre grille with centrally positioned Mercedes star, the face of the elegant Mercedes-Benz coupés.
      The flared front and rear wings make room for a wide track and large tyre/wheel combinations for tough off-road use. 22-inch light-alloy wheels with a contrasting anthracite chrome finish give the Concept X-CLASS stylish explorer a towering and superior stance. The running boards are integrated into the bodywork and emphasise the athletically sculpted body. Depending on the angle of the incoming light, the paintwork developed specifically for this concept car lends the urban pickup a look that gives the athletic profile even more emotional appeal.
      The extremely short front overhang, the very long rear overhang and two long lines stretching along the side amplify the focus placed on driving dynamics. The rear of both concept cars sports the hallmark chromed SUV trim at the lower edge, and, as a distinctive feature, a continuous LED light strip in a slim chrome surround on the tailgate. It points to the unique character of the future pickup.
      Stylish interior with a high level of operating and display comfort
      The interior of the Concept X-CLASS stylish explorer is an equally emotional and stylish statement – characterised by an intriguing contrast of warm and cool colours, as well as by high-quality materials. The world of colours and materials translates the Mercedes-Benz design philosophy of sensual purity. The sensual touch and feel of the brown, very natural nubuck leather on the seats provides a cosy feel. This warm colour, which is also found on the dashboard, is combined with cool white nappa leather. The trim made of open-pore smoked oak contrasts with the brushed and polished aluminium trim elements. The world of modern luxury is realised in a highly stylish fashion.
      The modern flair is further boosted by round air vents, the free-standing high-resolution central display as well as the central controller and multifunctional touchpad. Similar to a smartphone, all telematics functions can be controlled with the touchpad by using gestures or by entering letters and characters. Mercedes-Benz thus introduces the most modern control and display concept in the segment of mid-size pickups. At the same time, the characteristics and functionalities typical in the pickup segment have been retained, such as the handbrake in the centre console.
      Concept X-CLASS powerful adventurer: the redefinition of toughness
      Complementing the Concept X-CLASS stylish explorer, the second concept car focuses on the classic traits of a pickup. The Concept X-CLASS powerful adventurer with a lemonax metallic paint finish stages toughness, durability, and off-road capability. As a result, it impressively underscores the fact that the future Mercedes-Benz pickup will combine comfort and style with the basic virtues of this vehicle category.
      The Concept X-CLASS powerful adventurer towers above it all with a height of 1.90 metres. Large tyres of size 35x11.50, the huge ground clearance, and the athletic design instil respect even at first glance. The brand's hallmark SUV radiator grille with two louvres, front and rear underride guard, wing claddings, and matte carbon wheel arches additionally underscore the superior off-road aesthetics. An electric winch at the front and a metal hook at the rear are further indications of the toughness and power of the future pickup.
      With its progressive design the concept car exudes independence and thirst for adventure in their purest forms. This feel continues in the interior. Matte carbon elements in the exterior and interior, metallic brushed surfaces, and a bold colour scheme lend the vehicle a sense of power. The lemonax metallic exterior paint finish is perfectly tailored to the interior colour highlights. The colour and material concept underscores the outdoor look with glossy black nappa leather and the use of carbon-style black embossed leather surfaces. To ensure the seats provide lateral support in all handling situations and in any terrain, the seat side bolsters are trimmed with black leather that offers extremely good grip and has a pleasantly soft touch and feel.
      The X-Class: powerful engine, high ride comfort, and exemplary safety
      As is the norm for Mercedes-Benz, customers of the X-Class will be able to choose from different equipment scopes to customise the exterior and interior. In addition, the premium brand will develop a special range of accessories for the pickup, for example bed covers and various styling elements. Thanks to the tried and proven modular strategy, a host of interior components that customers know and appreciate from the C-Class and V-Class will be found in the X-Class – from the perfectly finished high-quality materials and the infotainment system to the ergonomic seating comfort. As a result, the pickup will offer the "welcome home" feeling typical of the brand, and define a new level of comfort and value appeal in the segment of mid-size pickups.
      The X-Class will also set new standards in the segment with regard to connected life. Thanks to the communication module with on-board SIM card, it will be possible to use the extensive Mercedes me connect services. Drivers can connect with their pickup by smartphone, tablet or PC at any time and from anywhere. For example, to send navigation destinations to the vehicle or query where the pickup is parked and how much fuel is in the tank. In addition to these optional remote online services, standard services such as accident recovery, maintenance management and breakdown management will also be available.
      Variety will likewise distinguish the engine range. The top-of-the-line model will be powered by a V6 diesel in combination with 4MATIC permanent all-wheel drive. The high-torque engine will provide high driving dynamics on the road and off the road. The all-wheel-drive system will combine an electronic traction system, a transfer case with reduction gear, and two differential locks. The traction system and the electrically operated on-demand differential locks channel the power to where traction is best. Under extreme off-road conditions, the rear differential and the inter-axle differential can be locked. This will make it possible to safely master difficult obstacles and inclines.
      The powerful drive system and the tough ladder-type frame will make a payload of more than 1.1 ton and a towing capacity of up to 3.5 tons possible. Enough power for transporting some four cubic metres of firewood on the pickup bed and a sail boat hooked up to the trailer coupling, for example. At the same time, the specially constructed suspension with wide axles, a five-link rear axle with coil springs, and a precisely calibrated spring/damper set-up will ensure a high ride comfort – on the road and off the road. The pickup bearing the three-pointed star will impress with precise steering, a comfortable ride, and agile cornering. It will absorb bumps in a superior fashion, making it a perfect fit for the urban environment.
      Like all Mercedes vehicles, the pickup will be distinguished by exemplary safety. Modern driver assistance systems based on cameras, radar and ultrasound sensors will support and relieve the driver in many situations, and in so doing equally enhance safety and comfort. A host of assistance systems will already come as standard.
      The Mercedes among pickups: focus on five customer groups
      The X-Class will combine the strengths of a pickup with the value appeal, comfort, driving fun, and safety that distinguish the vehicles bearing the Mercedes star. As a result, the Mercedes-Benz pickup will bridge the gap between commercial and private and between urban and rural use. It will consequently appeal not only to pickup owners wishing for more car-like characteristics, performance, safety, and comfort, but also and above all to people who drive a passenger car, SUV or van. Extensive market research studies conducted by Mercedes-Benz with potential customers in the target markets bear this out.
      Mid-size pickups currently have the largest share of the total vehicle market in Australia with 14.1 percent. Argentina comes close behind with 11.6 percent. This means that in these countries, one out of every eight registered vehicles is a pickup in the one-ton category. In Brazil, mid-size pickups have a share of almost five percent of the total vehicle market. That figure is 0.5 percent in Germany, 1.3 percent in Great Britain, 1.4 percent in Turkey, and 0.8 percent in Russia.
      Based on its market research studies, Mercedes-Benz has identified five customer groups for the X-Class, which are of different relevance in the individual countries.
      One important target group is constituted by families with an active lifestyle and an affinity to premium products. They use the pickup mostly for commuting to work, for shopping, taking the kids to school or sports activities, for weekend trips, and vacation. The key markets are Brazil, Argentina, Australia, and South Africa.
      Another target group for the X-Class are successful adventurers, who live in an urban environment and participate in outdoor sports such as skiing or riding jet skis, or have their own boat. They need a comfortable premium vehicle for everyday use that at the same time offers sufficient cargo space and towing capacity for their recreational equipment. The top markets are Australia, South Africa, Brazil, Great Britain, and Germany.
      In addition, the Mercedes-Benz pickup will have the potential to inspire trend-conscious individualists with an affinity to premium products. They lead an independent lifestyle and want a vehicle outside the mainstream that underscores their personality and status with a unique design. Independent individualists use the pickup as an "everyday vehicle" in the city, for evening and weekend activities, and for sporting events. The key markets for this target group are Germany, Great Britain, South Africa, and Brazil.
      The fourth customer group comprises business owners such as building contractors, architects, and service providers who want to use their pickup for commercial and private purposes: that is as a comfortable company car for customer meetings, which is equally perfect for transporting customers and employees as well as tools and building materials, as an "everyday vehicle", and as a vehicle for weekend activities. Significant markets for business owners are Germany, Great Britain, Australia, and Argentina.
      Landowners, such as cattle ranchers in Argentina, soy bean farmers in Brazil or vintners in South Africa, also use their pickup for commercial and private purposes. They need a vehicle that on the one hand takes them through unpaved terrain and has sufficient cargo and towing capacity. On the other hand, it must be suitable for driving to customer and supplier meetings as well as for use as an "everyday vehicle" for the family.
      Production cooperation with Renault-Nissan
      The market launch of the Mercedes-Benz X-Class in Europe will begin in late 2017. The new model series will be positioned in the segment at an attractive price. The pickup will be manufactured in a production cooperation with the Renault-Nissan Alliance. Production for the European, Australian and South African markets will start at the Nissan plant in Barcelona, Spain, in 2017. The X-Class for the Latin American market will roll off the assembly lines at the Renault plant in Cordoba, Argentina, starting in 2018.
      With the X-Class, Daimler AG and the Renault-Nissan Alliance expand their strategic cooperation which began six years ago. This affords Mercedes-Benz fast and cost-efficient entrance to the fast-growing segment of mid-size pickups. In addition, both companies benefit from optimal utilisation of the production capacity. Nissan is the second-largest manufacturer of mid-size pickups with a payload of one ton in the world, and can look back on more than 80 years of experience in producing and marketing these types of vehicles.
      Previous Page Next Page
    • By William Maley
      Previous Page Next Page Ram Trucks has decided that it had enough of the Ford Raptor. During the Texas State Fair, Ram unveiled the Rebel TRX Concept.
      The basis for the Rebel TRX is your standard Ram 1500 Rebel with everything turned up to max. Under the hood lies a supercharged 6.2L V8 (yes, the Hellcat V8) producing 575 horsepower. This is paired with an eight-speed automatic with special programming to go fast off-road. A BorgWarner 44-45 transfer case and Dynatrac Pro 60 axle in the rear with an electric locker makes sure all of that power gets to the wheels.
      The suspension features adjustable coil-over shocks with external reservoirs, custom suspension control arms, performance springs in the rear, and a set of six-piston brakes with larger rotors. The changes are said to increase suspension travel by 40 percent and overall wheel travel has increased to over 13 inches. Beadlock wheels are wrapped in a set of aggressive 37-inch off-road tires.
      Outside, a new grille with a scoop provides additional airflow for the engine. There are also a set of composite fender flares to compensate for the tires, side-exit exhaust pipes, and a set of spare tires and tools in a special storage compartment in the bed. 
      At the moment, this is only a concept. But Ram hints that it could go into production, saying this truck is a "consumer-interest study for an extreme performance half-ton pickup." You have our attention, Ram.
      Source: Ram Trucks
      Press Release is on Page 2
      Ram Reveals New Rebel TRX Concept – 100-mph Off-road Pickup Rips With 575 Supercharged Horsepower
      Ram Rebel TRX concept is an engineering, design and consumer-interest study for an extreme performance half-ton pickup Supercharged 6.2-liter HEMI® V-8 delivers 575 horsepower, the most powerful factory-engineered half-ton pickup ever TorqueFlite eight-speed automatic transmission is integrated with a powerful supercharged engine, 4x4 Performance Control System and paddle-shifters Front and rear axles feature severe-duty components to handle the high horsepower and off-road rigors More than 13 inches of wheel travel at all four corners, an increase of more than 40 percent Front and rear bypass performance shocks added for improved response and damping Unique RAM front grille and steel bumpers share design cues with Power Wagon and Rebel, and provide additional air flow to cool the 6.2-liter supercharged HEMI V-8 engine Reaching six inches wider than a standard Ram 1500, the acute hour-glass body design and huge fender wells clear aggressive 37-inch tires Rebel TRX concept interior takes signals from the Ram Rebel, but adds unique features, materials and colors, including carbon fiber, luxury leather/suede and six-point harnesses September 29, 2016 , Auburn Hills, Mich. - Ram, America’s off-road truck leader, today introduced the Ram Rebel TRX concept. Rebel TRX is a 100-mph off-road machine with 575 horsepower – the most powerful half-ton truck the company has ever built. Ripping over pavement at speeds greater than 100 mph is an experience, but the Ram Rebel TRX concept hits triple digits in an off-road environment with the help of a supercharged 6.2-liter HEMI® V-8.
      “Ram Truck heads to the 2016 State Fair of Texas with a host of product news plus a new concept that pickup fans will truly appreciate – the Ram Rebel TRX concept was built specifically for this event and solidifies Ram Truck’s position as the off-road pickup leader,” said Mike Manley, Head of Ram Brand, FCA – Global. “With 575 supercharged horsepower and a suspension system built to withstand an all-day hammering, the Rebel TRX concept can devour the roughest terrain at more than 100 miles per hour and never look back.”
       
      Powertrain
      The rapidly beating heart of the Ram Rebel TRX concept is a powertrain marvel. A 6.2-liter supercharged HEMI with 575 horsepower, the most powerful Ram 1500 the company has ever built, lays the groundwork of expectation.
       
      Mated to the TorqueFlite 8HP70 eight-speed automatic transmission, new calibrations were used for the engine, transmission and drivetrain to optimize the expected high-speed off-road driving cycle.
       
      The Ram Rebel TRX concept uses Ram’s 4x4 Performance Control System with a BorgWarner 44-45 transfer case. The system employs different modes of operation: Normal, Wet/Snow, Off-road and Baja.
       
      The Ram Rebel TRX concept uses a standard Ram 1500 front axle with an open differential and custom CV half-shafts to handle the wider track dimension. The spindles are moved forward to make room within the fender wells for the aggressive 37-inch tires.
       
      In the rear, a Dynatrac Pro 60 axle spools power through an electric, selectable locker to 35-spline, 1.5-inch axle shafts. The locker is available in all modes and commits both rear wheels to traction at the same speed, spreads the torque load and maximizes the tractive effort (power put to the ground) in full-throttle maneuvers.
       
      Engineering
      The Ram Rebel TRX has an exterior design that radiates focused aggression, which is only trumped by what lies under its skin. The concept was built around suspension and frame prerequisites. Equally important was adapting as many systems from the standard Ram 1500 as possible to ensure durability and proper function.
       
      The high-strength steel frame structure of the Ram Rebel TRX is virtually unchanged when compared to a standard Ram 1500. The frame uses low-torsion attributes that increase durability, stability and handling precision.
       
      A 40 percent increase in suspension travel and 37-inch tires contribute to incredible ground clearance. This combination allows the TRX concept to overcome surface obstacles at high speed.
       
      The front suspension incorporates custom-built upper and lower A-arms with special attention to caster and camber angles during suspension cycling. Overall, front- and rear-wheel travel is increased to more than 13 inches from the standard 9 inches. The front load is managed by a state-of-the-art, adjustable, performance coil-over shock with internal bypass. The result is a smooth ride over smaller bumps, and when the bumps become mounds, the reaction speed and heat dissipation is unbeatable, softening the impact on occupants and maintaining the tire-to-ground contact.
       
      The Ram 1500 uses an exclusive, best-in-class link coil rear suspension system that shares basic architecture with the fastest off-road trucks in desert racing. The frame’s hard points for the five-link suspension system are unchanged and allow the rear axle travel to span up to 13 inches, while standard rear-wheel travel on the Ram 1500 is 9.25 inches. New 2.5-inch bypass shocks use factory upper and lower shock mounts. The standard rear coils are swapped for performance springs located in the factory-spec positions.
       
      To provide incredible stopping power, the factory hydraulic-boost compensation unit enhances brake pedal feel and performance during emergency stop events. Baer brakes six-piston monoblock calipers mounted to 15-inch rotors equip the front. The rear uses six-piston calipers with 14-inch rotors.
       
      High-speed off-road truck racing teams commonly use a 37-inch tire for its height and durability. Tires with 37 inches of height, 13.5 inches of width, aggressive treads and 10-ply design are assigned the task for Rebel TRX. The Rebel TRX concept also features custom beadlock wheels from Mopar. Beadlock wheels provide additional tire-holding strength by pinching the outside of the tire to the rim. The Rebel TRX carries two complete spare tire and wheel packages. Tools and jack are located in custom, lockable storage between the wheels in the bed.
       
      Design
      Although it is clear that the line and color combinations are borrowed from the popular Rebel and Power Wagon models, the Ram Rebel TRX has a much more chiseled look.
       
      Three letters burst clear of a Power Wagon-inspired grille spelling “RAM” in body-matching black and red. Out of necessity, the bold, scooped grille allows a fire-breathing supercharged engine to cool with additional air flow. Composite flares help compensate for a six-inch increase in track width and gave designers another location to mark their signature. A lower brush guard is forged in steel and up to the “rock knock” test.
       
      To clear the roots-style blower mounted atop the HEMI engine, the Rebel TRX uses a hood based on the taller Ram Heavy Duty design. The raised fender height matches shoulders to chest. A drone’s-eye view exposes bright LED clearance lighting and the acute hour-glass body lines as they dive back into the doors only to pop back out in the back, enabling rear tires to firmly tuck into the wells.
       
      The side of the Rebel TRX leads your eye to enormous five-inch, side-exit exhaust ports integrated within a full-length rock rail for added body/sill protection.
       
      Closing out the rear of the truck, a large “Ram” badge in Matte Black is borrowed from the Rebel and covers the tailgate. A custom rear steel bumper with integrated skid plate and tow hooks matches capability features on the front of the truck.
       
      When traversing rough terrain at high speeds, seating is important. The interior design team chose suede with accent mesh cloth inserts to cover the rear bench and front buckets. The suede inserts provide tremendous grip to clothing. The front seats integrate lateral support upper bolsters with embroidered logos. All four seats are strapped with six-point harnesses, further fixing occupants to their proper locations.
       
      An open upper glove box with elastic straps holds a sturdy TRX-labeled bag with color matched tools. A seven-inch thin-film transistor (TFT) display cluster features muddy tracks and TRX badge graphics. The same graphics fill the screen on an 8.4 Uconnect. To record TRX’s accomplishments, a custom camera mount is located at the rear-view mirror.
       
      The center console matches efforts on the instrument panel and includes a new polystable shifter trimmed in black suede and Header Red stitching. Designers re-trimmed the Rebel TRX armrests with solid Header Red accent stitching and wrapped the upper bolster in suede to keep arms in place. Nylon-strap door pulls are embroidered with “Release.”
       
      A sport bar covered in black anodized paint provides anchor points dedicated to the six-point harnesses and spans from B-pillar to B-pillar – formed to allow maximum possible seat travel.
       
      The Rebel TRX interior floor trades carpet for black rubberized coating. Black all-weather mats from Mopar reduce foot slip when foot-to-pedal placement is crucial.
       
      One look at the Ram Rebel TRX concept and its intentions are clear — a 575-horsepower off-road machine with the ability to clear miles of desert in the blink of an eye.
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