Mercedes-Benz has unveiled its premium new pickup truck — the mean-but-stylish X-Class. Two versions are set to hit Europe and South Africa in late 2017, one focused specifically on off-road use and the other for city-based flaunting.
Both trucks will come with a rugged all-wheel drive system and high-torque V6 engines, but each has it’s own differentiating features. The off-road model (dubbed the “Powerful Adventurer”) has a much taller road height and ground clearance to get you over the bigger rocks and give you a better view of your surroundings. The “Stylish Explorer”, on the other hand, is basically an urban SUV in a pickup truck shell; flared wheel arches, 22-inch alloy wheels — you get the picture.
“With the Mercedes-Benz pickup we will close one of the last gaps in our portfolio,” said Daimler CEO Dieter Zetsche in a press statement. “The X-Class will set new standards in a growing segment.”
Mercedes say that the pickup driver of 30 years ago, who would look for a workhorse and not much more, doesn’t really exist in 2016. Instead they say that people are looking for vehicles that can do it all, a car that can bridge the gap between work and play, and urban and rural. It’s no surprise then, that all the usual technological extras, including a central touchscreen display “similar to a smartphone” and “modern driver assistance” will come as standard in both trucks.
It feels like this is the company’s first attempt at a pickup, but its Argentine arm actually experimented with them back in the 1970s. The 220D “La Pick-up,” though it looked like more like a funeral car, earned itself a passionate following. “I guess it wasn’t exactly the toughest pickup ever from a technological point of view, ” said Zetsche, “and it wasn’t a great success from an economic point of view, either. But it grew a huge fan base.”
Mercedes will be hoping the new X-Class nails all three. Check it out above, and watch the trailer below.
Meanwhile, Mercedes-AMG’s new E-Class is the most powerful sedan it has ever made.