Mercedes-Benz revealed its new X-Class midsize truck concept October 25, the prototype for a production pickup expected to launch in 2017.
The new truck will – at least initially – skip over the North American market in favour of European, Asian and South American markets, however.
Mercedes-Benz is no stranger to trucks—it builds heavy-duty highway tractors, large box-trucks and, of course, the military-grade full-frame G-Class SUV.
Expect the premium brand to draw upon its commercial truck-building expertise while designing what will undoubtedly be one of the toughest silver-arrows-badged vehicles in its lineup.
The German brand intends to sell its new pickup under the umbrella of its Mercedes Vans division, though it will be targeted toward private ownership and will likely have limited commercial use, given the lofty price tag sure to be associated with the premium vehicle.
The X-Class pickup will be built upon a traditional steel ladder-frame, thus ensuring considerable payload and tow capacity, as well as durability and off-road capability.
Power will be sent to all four wheels through a version of Mercedes’ 4Matic drivetrain. A V6 diesel engine is expected to power the pickup when it goes on sale next year.
Dieter Zetsche, head of Mercedes parent Daimler, says the luxury marque is anticipating increased growth in the midsize pickup market, and that its new X-Class will likely appeal to a growing subset of urban professionals who enjoy driving “lifestyle vehicles,” including pickups.
The X-Class will be offered in two models: the “Stylish Explorer,” which will feature low-profile tires wrapped around large wheels, a svelte exterior, and a plush interior; and the “Powerful Adventurer” which will come off-road-ready with increased ride height, flared fenders containing larger mud tires, and an integrated front winch.
Should it eventually come to our shores, the X-Class will battle with several competitors in the midsize pickup segment including the Toyota Tacoma, Chevrolet Colorado, GMC Canyon, and Honda Ridgeline.