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

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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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lol how are the "soft" mercedes' remarkably different from this?

2016-chevrolet-colorado-front_10553_032_640x480_gaz.png

if anything, the mercedes is more interesting to look at.

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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.

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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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GMC Canyon Nightfall Edition beats this hands down!

GMC_Canyon_Nightfall_Edition.jpg

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I kind of like the off-road version, not the other one though and not that interior, it looks so thrown together and incomplete....

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I wish GMC would do a move off-road oriented Canyon sans the chin spoiler and with extra ground clearance.  .

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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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I'd love for them to bring them here in the half ton size and have Ford Platinus and Limiteds, GMC Denalis, Ram Limiteds all put it shame. 

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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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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

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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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      About the Chinese A-Class L Sedan
      The A-Class L Sedan also reflects the purist, surface-accentuating design of the latest Mercedes-Benz design philosophy of Sensual Purity. The compact saloon has very short overhangs at front and rear, which, in combination with the side feature line, reinforces the sporty image. As on the hatchback model, the front end design looks very progressive. Contributing to this impression are the low, drawn-out bonnet, flat headlamps with chrome elements, and torch-like daytime driving lights - plus the diamond radiator grille with single louvre, chrome pins, and central star. There is a choice of Sedan and Sport Sedan versions, with the latter featuring powerdomes on the bonnet.
      The greenhouse, which sits far back, and the compact rear end emphasise the sportiness of the vehicle. The wheels (in sizes 16 to 19 inches) fit flush in the wheel arches, which, like the strongly pronounced shoulders in the rear area, gives the vehicle a square stance on the road.
      The two-piece tail lights emphasise the width. The reflectors have been repositioned lower down in the bumper to allow the tail lights to benefit from a particularly flat design. Rose gold is an exclusive paint finish planned for the Chinese market.
      As in the hatchback model, the interior is a completely new departure, revolutionising the compact class from the inside with a new feeling of spaciousness. The interior architecture along with the displays and controls is an avant-garde USP in this segment. For the first time a cowl above the cockpit has been completely dispensed with. As a result, the wing-shaped main body of the dashboard with its trim level extends from one front door to the other with no visual discontinuity.
      Below this main body is a low-lying section, the so-called wing. The wing appears to float, as there are no connections or shape transitions to the surrounding area. The ambience lighting with up to 64 colours reinforces this effect and is a new interior experience, also for Chinese customers. The wing also forms the basis for the turbine-look air vents, which are embedded in trim, and the completely free-standing widescreen display.
      On board is the MBUX multimedia system - Mercedes-Benz User Experience - with unique learning abilities thanks to artificial intelligence. Of course, the popular WeChatMyCar app is integrated. MBUX makes it possible for the first time for two or more users to connect simultaneously to the system. The intelligent voice control with natural speech recognition is proficient in various Chinese dialects, including Sichuanese and Cantonese. Mercedes-Benz is the world's first automotive manufacturer to provide navigation display featuring augmented reality technology on the Chinese market.
      When developing the Chinese A-Class L Sedan (length/width/height: 4609/1796/1460 mm) a focal point was the kneeroom for rear passengers. As a result, at 2789 mm, the wheelbase is 60 mm longer than in the hatchback model (2729 mm). The boot has a capacity of 420 litres.
      At the market launch, the A-Class L Sedan will be available in China with the state-of-the-art all-aluminium four-cylinder engine with a displacement of 1.33 litres with power outputs of 100 and 120 kW (with cylinder shut-off); following later will be the 2‑litre four-cylinder engine with CONICSHAPE trumpet honing and CAMTRONIC variable valve timing. In China, the latter engine has an output of 140 kW. The 7G‑DCT dual clutch transmission comes as standard.
      Of course on the Chinese market the A‑Class L Sedan also boasts the very latest driving assistance systems with cooperative driver support, giving it the highest level of active safety in this segment with functions adopted from the S‑Class.

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    • By William Maley
      Mercedes-Benz has officially unveiled the Vision Mercedes-Maybach Ultimate Luxury concept at Auto China following a leak last week spilling key information about the concept. We can confirm that the Ultimate Luxury concept is a fully electric vehicle with four motors producing 750 horsepower. An 80-kWh battery provides a range of over 200 miles (about 500 kilometers on the European test cycle) - much less than the 310 mile figure we reported last week. A fast charge system can provide 60 miles of range within five minutes.
      But why a sedan/SUV hybrid design? It is most likely due to sedans and SUVs being the most popular body styles for luxury vehicles in China.
      "The Vision Mercedes-Maybach Ultimate Luxury is a totally new archetype of a kind never seen before. Our concept combines the DNA of an SUV with that of a sedan to produce an ultra- modern SUV of three-box design. With sensual and pure sophistication, we have created a timeless vehicle that underscores the position of Mercedes-Maybach as the ultimate luxury brand," says Gorden Wagener, Chief Design Officer at Daimler AG. 
      "Totally new archetype of a kind never seen before"? Is Daimler ignoring the AMC Eagle, Subaru Outback Sedan, and Volvo S60 Cross Country which can be argued as being archetypes of this idea? Maybe Wagener's comments are coming from a place where it is a first for ultra-luxury brand to do, but still...
      There are other traits that are influenced by the Chinese market. The wood trim used in the concept is ebony or what Mercedes calls"Magic Wood." This is used in traditional Chinese furniture design. The other is special accommodations for those sitting in the back. The seats provide a number of adjustments and sitting in between is a complete tea set, complete with a heated tray.
      While we expect certain details of the concept to appear on an upcoming Maybach SUV, don't expect the Ultimate Luxury concept
      Source: Mercedes-Benz


      World premiere of Vision Mercedes-Maybach Ultimate Luxury
      Exclusive motoring at the highest level Apr 24, 2018 – Stuttgart/Beijing - At "Auto China 2018" in Beijing, Mercedes-Benz is presenting the Vision Mercedes-Maybach Ultimate Luxury. The design of the crossover, based on an exclusive high-end sedan and an SUV, follows the philosophy of Sensual Purity. The show car combines the comfort and typical strengths of both body styles. These include the raised seating position and the athletic looks. The Vision Mercedes-Maybach Ultimate Luxury is conceived as an electric vehicle with four compact permanent-magnet synchronous motors and fully variable all-wheel drive.
      "The Vision Mercedes-Maybach Ultimate Luxury is a totally new archetype of a kind never seen before," says Gorden Wagener, Chief Design Officer at Daimler AG. "Our concept combines the DNA of an SUV with that of a sedan to produce an ultra- modern SUV of three-box design," says Wagener. "With sensual and pure sophistication, we have created a timeless vehicle that underscores the position of Mercedes-Maybach as the ultimate luxury brand."
      Continuing the Mercedes-Maybach success story
      The concept vehicle not only embodies the Mercedes-Maybach design language, it also reflects the traditional brand values while continuing the successful Mercedes-Maybach story. True to the principle of creating "the very best from the very best," Mercedes-Maybach stands for the ultimate in luxury while uniting the perfection of Mercedes-Benz with the exclusivity of Maybach.
      The show car also merges influences from the Western and Far Eastern hemispheres to deliver an appealing automotive cultural dialogue. For instance, use is made of "Magic Wood" ebony, which is traditional in Chinese furniture design. The same motif is also underlined by the combination of SUV and notchback sedan, which are the most successful body styles not only internationally, but especially on the Chinese market.
      In the Vision Mercedes-Maybach Ultimate Luxury, spaciousness and comfort, in combination with the raised seating position, elegant design and finest materials, particularly in the rear, give rise to a luxury experience at the highest level. The vehicle stands in exemplary manner for the typical Mercedes-Maybach values: traditional craftsmanship, uniqueness and individualization.
      Exterior design: harmony of sensuality and purity
      Smooth, extravagant surfaces with no beads or sharp edges create an image of sporty elegance: the Vision Mercedes-Maybach Ultimate Luxury has a majestic look. With its balanced proportions, the vehicle has tremendous presence.
      The front end is accentuated by the distinctive chrome-plated radiator grille with its fine vertical bars in the style of a pinstripe suit. The new grille design celebrated its world premiere in the Vision Mercedes-Maybach 6, the exclusive coupe concept car that delighted aficionados and fans of the brand in 2016. It also inspired the latest reinterpretation for the Mercedes-Maybach S-Class.
      In combination with the low-profile front headlamps with three lamp units, the grille dominates the front view of the vehicle while emphasizing its brand affiliation. The large air inlets along with the horizontal air inlet with integral chrome blades underline the sportiness of the SUV sedan while lending it a dynamic look. The air inlets are crossed by the brand's typical honeycomb pattern. A continuous trim strip extends from the split bonnet across the roof through to the rear end.
      Unlike a conventional sedan, the Vision Mercedes-Maybach Ultimate Luxury offers a significantly higher, SUV-typical seating position and therefore a sublime driving experience. This addresses the desire of many customers for a feeling of protection and security – a challenge for the designers. Ultimately, the task was to harmoniously transfer the familiar three-box design  – hood,  passenger compartment and trunk – to an SUV-like architecture.  This produces an interesting tension between the poles of sportiness and Mercedes-Maybach luxury.
      The upright C-pillar, long, gently forward-sloping hood and compact notchback dominate the sportily elegant side view. The muscular volume of the flank is accentuated by a long wheelbase and short rear overhangs. The overall appearance is rounded off by 24-inch turbine-look wheels.
      Truncated running boards in machined aluminum are integrated in the lower door area. They are illuminated in white and bear the Maybach logo. The overall vehicle is accentuated by subtle chrome trim above the running boards as well as in the lower area of the front and rear ends. The electrically extending door handles are flush with the sides.
      At the rear end, the three-part lamps are reminiscent of the design of the front headlamps. Situated above them is the visually vertically split rear window. Another striking feature is the modeled underride guard with diffuser look. It, too, is permeated by the Maybach pattern from the front end.
      Sublimeness meets lightness: interior design
      The interior of the Vision Mercedes-Maybach Ultimate Luxury features an exciting contrast between high-level sportiness and luxurious spaciousness.  This show car is the ultimate embodiment of a luxury dream automobile. The goal of the interior designers was to provide echoes of the series-produced vehicles while transporting them into an unprecedented world of luxury. They created a symbiosis of sportiness, modernity and elegance, giving an idea of coming generations of Mercedes-Maybach models.
      Exclusive materials with high-grade highlights exude exquisite quality in the interior, thereby underlining the vehicle's superlative luxury. The generous feeling of spaciousness, together with the high-contrast color compositions, make for an unattained luxury experience. The colors employed are typical of the brand, such as rose gold, crystal white and pearl grey. Flowing forms, delicate fabrics and aluminum parts create an exciting contrast between the sportily elegant details of an SUV and the lightness of a sedan.
      As the Vision Mercedes-Maybach Ultimate Luxury is intended primarily for chauffeur-driven use, its design is strongly focused on the rear passengers and their well-being. It is in the rear that the feeling of cozy spaciousness is at its most intense.
      The driver's area and cockpit are reduced to the essentials. Air vents, which reflect the design of the radiator grille, surround the free-standing Widescreen Cockpit with double 12.3-inch displays. The feeling of spaciousness is further enhanced by a light, contrasting bottom part of the instrument panel as well as by the reduced height of the dashboard. Overall, the interior creates an atmosphere of luxurious coziness that allows the occupants to relax pleasantly. To emphasize the visual lightness, the rose gold frame of the front seats is open, exposing the white leather to view. The color/material scheme celebrates the superlative luxury of the Vision Mercedes-Maybach with exquisite materials and breathtaking surfaces.
      The luxurious lightness of the interior is emphasized by the color crystal white, the finest Nappa leather and a sensual shade of brown that features a light metallic finish on the instrument panel. Gleaming surfaces in polished aluminum generate exciting reflections while mirroring the highlight: the rose gold-coated seats. The claim to the ultimate in luxury goes hand-in-hand with extreme technical challenges. For instance, the intense Mercedes-Maybach signature red metallic finish is applied by expert hand in several coats. Tradition and modernity are reflected in the form of appealing contrasts. The entire interior is surrounded by a large-area trim level. Dark ebony forms an exciting contrast with the surrounding areas of white leather. Wave-like, flowing lines of light are integrated flush into the wood surfaces, impressively uniting the analogue and digital worlds. The tailored seat upholstery layouts take up the lines of the trim while giving a reinterpretation to the typical diamond shape. The fine perforations are in rose gold. Thought through down to the smallest detail, crafted with love and affection.
      Modelled on the S-Class
      As in the Mercedes-Maybach S-Class, the especially comfortable seats impress with their adjustment kinematics. Unlike in a conventional sedan, the backrest is adjusted separately while the footwell and seat reference point remain unchanged. The cushion can be adjusted separately, while the seat angle and height adjustment are combined. Extra-soft knee cushions afford protection and comfort. The reclining seats feature a calf support, which is freely adjustable for length and angle. The crystal white Nappa leather seats are enhanced by diamond stitching in rose gold.
      The wide center console extends through to the rear. It is equipped with an integral, heated tray with teapot and cups, allowing exquisite tea-drinking enjoyment while on the road. The philosophy of tea plays a key role in bringing body and mind into balance while discovering the path to inner calm and vitality.
      The tea service is integrated into a sculpted wooden tray made of ebony, known as "Magic Wood." At the press of a button, the handmade service of finest china can be electrically retracted into the console under a sliding cover finished in high- gloss black.
      Enhanced user experience at the highest level
      The Mercedes-Benz user experience, too, represents the definitive embodiment of a luxury dream car. The design language is warmer and brighter, creating a  luxurious atmosphere. The car was created entirely in a 3D real-time graphic environment. Like a butler, the Vision Mercedes-Maybach Ultimate Luxury acts with anticipation, instead of offering long menus and lists. The vehicle plays music to match the current mood, knows the appointment calendar and plans the routes accordingly. In the rear, various flavors of tea and relaxation programs are on offer, depending on who the rear passenger is.
      The familiar ENERGIZING Comfort has been carried over from the S-Class. Systems such as massage, fragrance, light and music are combined, helping to regenerate and improve concentration. This holistic comfort and infotainment system can be individually programmed and adapted for every world market.
      The highlight of the Mercedes-Benz user experience in the Vision Mercedes-Maybach Ultimate Luxury is the comprehensive touch control concept – a combination of touchscreen, touchpad on the center console and Touch Control Buttons on the steering wheel. Alongside the intuitive control experience, reduced driver distraction is a further advantage.
      The control concept of the free-standing Widescreen Cockpit comprises three levels with rising information density: home screen, base screen and a submenu. The voice control adjusts to the user's voice and adapts new vogue words or changed use of language. In addition, the system does not employ stereotypical responses, but uses interactive variation.
      On the aesthetic front, it is based on the traditional Chinese ink painting style with its simplicity, white surfaces and balanced proportions.
      State-of-the-art powertrain and suspension technology
      The Vision Mercedes-Maybach Ultimate Luxury is conceived as an electric car. Thanks to its four compact permanent-magnet synchronous motors, it offers fully variable all-wheel drive. The output from the powertrain is 750 hp (550 kW). The flat underfloor battery has a usable capacity of around 80 kWh, producing a range of over 200 miles (500 kilometers according to the NEDC). The top speed is electronically limited to 155 mph (250 km/h).
      The fast-charging function is also convenient: thanks to DC charging based on the CCS standard, the system allows a charging capacity of up to 350 kW. In just five minutes, enough power can be charged to achieve an additional range of around   60 miles (100 kilometers).
      The battery can be charged by cable at public charging stations, conventional domestic socket outlets or, even more conveniently, by induction. The charging current is contactlessly transmitted by an electromagnetic field below the car.

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    • By William Maley
      Mercedes-Benz has been teasing for the past few weeks their showing at Auto China which is expected to be an SUV. But thanks to someone accidentally posting photos on the official Mercedes-Benz website, we have gotten our first look at the Vision Mercedes-Maybach Ultimate Luxury concept - quite the mouthful.
      The design... the less said about it, the better. It's a sedan with a tall ride height - think Volvo S60 Cross Country or Subaru Outback sedan. The front features the tall, vertical slat grille seen on the facelifted Mercedes-Maybach S-Class. The rear end styling is similar to the S-Class coupe with small taillights and angled trunk lid. The interior picture reveals seating for four, blue accent lighting, and a Maybach-branded tea set for rear passengers.
      The powertrain is comprised of four electric motors delivering a total 738 horsepower, and an 80-kWh lithium-ion battery pack that provides an estimated range of 310 miles.
      Source: Autocar, CarNewsChina

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    • By William Maley
      Describing a Buick as being bold seems somewhat strange, but the Enspire concept that debuted today in China is just that. Describing a Buick as being bold seems somewhat strange, but the Enspire concept that debuted today in China is just that.
      The overall shape is very different from Buick's current crossover lineup with a pronounced front end, deep cuts in the bumper, cameras mounted where the side-view mirrors would be, flared-out rear fenders, and a sharply raked rear end. The only interior shot provided by Buick is of the front. It looks very futuristic with the dash wrapped in microfiber suede and wood trim, OLED display, and a heads-up display featuring augmented reality technology.
      Power comes from Buick's eMotion electric powertrain producing 410 kW (about 550 horsepower). 0-60 mph is said to take about 4 seconds. On a single charge, Buick claims the Enspire can travel up to 370 miles. The concept supports both fast and wireless charging - the former providing an 80 percent charge within 40 minutes.
      Buick will be showing off the Enspire concept at Auto China 2018 in Beijing later this month.
      Source: Buick
      Enspire All-Electric Concept SUV Debuts in China
      Sculptural beauty meets advanced battery electric technology in Chinese concept SUV WUZHEN, China — The Buick Enspire all-electric concept SUV, an exploration of Buick’s bold design ideas and innovative technologies for future mobility, made its global debut in China. Key features include:
      Experience Features:
      Exterior feature lines and advanced aerodynamics accentuate the exterior’s strong, sculptural look. A “surround skyline” interior theme and suspended theater-type seating give the Enspire a bright and spacious interior. The center console and armrests are made from natural wood grain and microfiber suede. Cutting-edge technologies include an OLED display screen and an intelligent augmented reality technology-based head-up display system. 5G super high-speed network concept. Performance Features:
      Buick’s eMotion electric propulsion technology generates a maximum power of 410 kW, enabling the concept to sprint from 0-60 mph in 4 seconds.  The Enspire is able to travel up to 370 miles on a single charge. Supports both fast and wireless charging — the battery can be charged to 80 percent of capacity within 40 minutes. The Enspire all-electric concept SUV will be on display at Auto China 2018 in Beijing from April 25 to May 4.

      View full article
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