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    Mercedes-Benz Shows Off Not One, But Two X-Class Pickups


    • Mercedes-Benz's interpretation of a pickup truck from Nissan


    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.



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    :puke: I realize this is just computer generated images, but the outside is just blah, the interior is even worse. The dash just does not work as it looks like a hatchet job. This will sell to badge snobs but the rest will look to more established better built mid size trucks.

    The GM twins beat this hands down.

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    I think they actually look pretty good, and I have always been more against a Mercedes pickup.  I also would have thought the pickup would have the same interior as a Metris and just be plain jane commercial vehicle.  These actually look pretty interesting as they have a more luxury trim and an off road trim.  I think both would actually do well in the USA if they decide to sell them here.  A US model would need a gas engine, but their current 4 and 6 cylinder gas engines would beat any of those currently offered by the competition.   

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    I like thdon't front, even though it looks very soft for a truck, and the interior as well, also a little soft for s truck. But that tailgate looks atrocious! 

    It definitely does intrigue me though. Will there not be a gas engine though? I just saw turbo 4 diesel and turbo 6 diesel. 

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    17 hours ago, dfelt said:

    :puke: I realize this is just computer generated images, but the outside is just blah, the interior is even worse. The dash just does not work as it looks like a hatchet job. This will sell to badge snobs but the rest will look to more established better built mid size trucks.

    The GM twins beat this hands down.

     

    Don't know anything about how these trucks will drive or perform, but "the GM twins beat this hands down." 

     

    Of course, they do. Of course, they do.

     

     

     

     

     

    Not feeling that white one much, but the off-road variant looks the business. I'd rock one.

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    I just enjoy the lines and curves of the MB over the Colorado. I just don't think the Colorado is that good looking of a truck when compared to it's sibling, GMC, or the Tacoma.

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    32 minutes ago, surreal1272 said:

    Simply hideous interior with a can't make up its mind what it wants to be exterior to match. Sorry but no.

    Ummm...no for a long laundry list of reasons.

    ...and I mean no to the truck, not your comment, which was far too kind and generous to the vehicle in question.

    • Upvote 1

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    9 minutes ago, A Horse With No Name said:

    Ummm...no for a long laundry list of reasons.

    ...and I mean no to the truck, not your comment, which was far too kind and generous to the vehicle in question.

    I was trying to nice about it but it really is a mess inside and out. That interior looks like it belongs more in a Fiat 500 and not a Mercedes. I just cannot wrap my head around the ugliness of it all.

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    Just now, surreal1272 said:

    I was trying to nice about it but it really is a mess inside and out. That interior looks like it belongs more in a Fiat 500 and not a Mercedes. I just cannot wrap my head around the ugliness of it all.

    I would be well into my second well aged bourbon before that thing would start to look like something I would park next to, much less something I would actually want to own.

    1 minute ago, surreal1272 said:

    I was trying to nice about it but it really is a mess inside and out. That interior looks like it belongs more in a Fiat 500 and not a Mercedes. I just cannot wrap my head around the ugliness of it all.

    The Fiat 500 is also much more coherent as a design than this. You may not like it, but it is a coherent design...something that I cannot say about the truck in question.

    1 hour ago, FordCosworth said:

    In the " green " interior, is that a thermos mounted in there?

    More like an automotive vomit bag for when you sober up on the way home from the dealer after buying it...

    And that would take a whole lot more than the previously mentioned two bourbons in my previous example.

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    32 minutes ago, A Horse With No Name said:

    I would be well into my second well aged bourbon before that thing would start to look like something I would park next to, much less something I would actually want to own.

    The Fiat 500 is also much more coherent as a design than this. You may not like it, but it is a coherent design...something that I cannot say about the truck in question.

    More like an automotive vomit bag for when you sober up on the way home from the dealer after buying it...

    And that would take a whole lot more than the previously mentioned two bourbons in my previous example.

    The amount of bourbon that it would take for me to like this truck, would literally kill me.

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    I still think if Mercedes sells a truck in the USA, it will be at the Sprinter/Metris dealers and be a commercial use vehicle.    Cadillac already had a pick up and dropped it, I don't think they would have success with a pick up because they would never be able to make it different enough from a GMC or Chevy.  

    I think for the vast majority of pickup truck buyers a Cadillac or Mercedes or even a Lincoln is "too fancy" for them, and they feel more comfortable in a Chevy or Ford.   It is like how a lot of people are more comfortable in jeans and a t-shirt than they are in a suit.  I think a luxury pick up won't sell a lot, but Mercedes could move some commercial pickups because Mercedes commercial vehicles are the best in the business.

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    There's an issue right off the bat: MB recently juggled their SUV/CUV nameplates to make more "sense", moving them all to 'Gxx'…. outside of the vans, which for some strange reason have actual words as names. If MB named this rebadge with an actual name, built them all in refrigerator white with black steel rims, it would fit the commercial 'pattern'.

    However, articles are already branding these 2 concept vehicles as 'luxury trucks' and drawing lines to other established luxury trucks, so if MB doesn't build them that way, they will be looked upon as failures to compete. So their vehicle plans are being made for them.
    And not only does naming them (so far) as 'X-class' directly counter the idea that these would be commercial small trucks, it ALSO suggests that… according to the realigned MB naming convention… that the 'X' supersedes the S-class as the top of the line, since the deeper you go into the alphabet, the more you spend. That's an problem, besides the fact that the MB naming convention, despite 're-alignment, remains bewildering at best once you get into it.

    So it's courting floppage on numerous counts beyond the obvious 'rebadged nissan' shame, and we've still not seen any production version. 

    Edited by balthazar

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    2 hours ago, smk4565 said:

    I still think if Mercedes sells a truck in the USA, it will be at the Sprinter/Metris dealers and be a commercial use vehicle.    Cadillac already had a pick up and dropped it, I don't think they would have success with a pick up because they would never be able to make it different enough from a GMC or Chevy.  

    I think for the vast majority of pickup truck buyers a Cadillac or Mercedes or even a Lincoln is "too fancy" for them, and they feel more comfortable in a Chevy or Ford.   It is like how a lot of people are more comfortable in jeans and a t-shirt than they are in a suit.  I think a luxury pick up won't sell a lot, but Mercedes could move some commercial pickups because Mercedes commercial vehicles are the best in the business.

    You're wrong twice. If MBUSA gets this, it will be on the consumer side, not the Commercial side. Second, the only reason the Cadillac EXT died was because the Chevy died. Just like if there was no Nissan Frontier, there would be no X-Class.

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    1 hour ago, ocnblu said:

    Datsun + body kit = MEH

    Here's a better photo of a Colorado instead of the purposely white on white, unflattering post above.

    100_2034.JPG

    I still like it in the green  as well.  Plus, with the diesel, it is rated to tow ten thousand pounds.  Probably not going to buy a truck with the next vehicle. However,  looked at a Colorado at my local Chevy Dealer recently when I got bored.  I was very, very impressed!

    Edited by A Horse With No Name
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    2 hours ago, ocnblu said:

    Datsun + body kit = MEH

    Here's a better photo of a Colorado instead of the purposely white on white, unflattering post above.

    100_2034.JPG

    This truck Rocks! :metal: 

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    I don't know why we're comparing a Benz CONCEPT to a Chevrolet production vehicle.  It's not like what you see here is what is going to be on dealer lots.  It will be toned down a lot and if the QX30 is any indicator, have a lot of Nissan switchgear in it. 

    The GMC Canyon Denali is already a nice place to spend your day.  A new interior, front clip, and some rear blade tail lights would be all it takes for Cadillac to match or beat this effort by Benz. 

     

     

    and yes, I'd be all over something like this like white on rice...

    2017-Cadillac-Escalade-EXT.jpg

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    9 minutes ago, Drew Dowdell said:

    2017-Cadillac-Escalade-EXT.jpg

    :metal: This is Freakin Sexy as hell! :metal: Cadillac for sure should bring this to market.

    Sign me up please, one in Forest Green! :D Or Husky Purple.

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