This is a pickup truck that will make you do a double take. Dubbed the X-Class — in keeping with the firm’s naming habits — Mercedes-Benz’s latest concept looks set to be the world’s first true “premium” pickup truck.
But developing this pickup truck was more than filling in the last gap in Mercedes’ already-extensive portfolio; the German automobile manufacturer knew a compromise between the form and function had to be made. Comprised of not one, but two midsize truck concepts — named a rather cheesy “Powerful Adventurer” and “Stylish Explorer”— both are based on the Nissan NP300 Navara and powered by a diesel engine. The former will be an off-road model with a jacked-up chassis, fender flares and electric winch; the latter will adopt a more car-like approach with big wheels and a no-fuss exterior.
Aesthetically, the X-Class should top its class after the very badass-looking Ford F-150 Raptor. And there’s no mistaking this pickup is a Mercedes, gigantic tristar emblem aside. An evolution of the hallmark SUV of the brand — the GLS series — we’re not surprised this multi-purpose vehicle inherited similar characteristics. A massive power dome on the bonnet and headlamps extending into the wings form the basis of the truck’s distinctively look. Then your eyes will be drawn to the radiator grilles (again, classic SUV styling) and aggressively flared wheel arches, its solid stance making it feel a lot more reliable for the heavy-duty work it was inevitably destined for.
Inside, the X-Class “Stylish Explorer” model sees a cockpit that mirrors its exterior — luxurious and inviting. The warm brown Nubuck leather seats and contrasting cool white nappa leather, complement the open-pore smoked oak that forms the dashboard. In the middle, a free-standing high-resolution central display system will aid you in your driving needs. Modern luxury is not something you’d expect to find in a pickup truck, is it?
The “Powerful Adventurer”, on the other hand, continues its mean streak inside. Matte carbon elements add sportiness to the bold Lemonax colour scheme, and seat side bolsters are trimmed with black leather that provide good grip for lateral support for whatever handling situations the wild outdoors throw your way.
Although we can’t wait to see it on local roads, Mercedes-Benz has revealed that its key markets would be Latin America, Australia, South Africa and Europe come late 2017, so we can only settle for pickup truck-envy here for now.