Mercedes-Benz has revealed its lengthy awaited X-Class ute that can tackle the whole lot from the work web site and the outback to the boardroom and Australia’s ritziest waterfront abodes.
While it seems just like the ideas revealed in 2016, varied particulars of these vehicles – together with the unconventional tail lights –have been toned down.
The X-Class is the primary ute from a luxurious model and a machine Mercedes-Benz hopes will elevate the bar for security and luxurious in a category the place value and ruggedness have been main focuses for rivals as diversified because the stalwart Toyota Hilux and Volkswagen Amarok, a relative newcomer to a market section that is doubled in 15 years and now accounts for 1 in each six new car gross sales.
Top greenback efficiency
Claimed to hold as much as 17 kegs of beer whereas towing an eight-metre yacht the X-Class might be out there in 3 grades and with a selection of four-cylinder and V6 diesel engines.
Pricing might be revealed nearer to the automobile’s early 2018 on-sale date, however greatest guesses have the extra utilitarian entry fashions promoting from about $55,000 and the leather-laced top-end variants topping $80,000.
X marks the spot Down Under
The X-Class has been constructed for the world however Australia is one in all 5 core markets set to snaffle the lion’s share of gross sales for a automobile that might increase the German model’s native gross sales by upwards of 10 per cent.
Mercedes-Benz will supply the X-Class in 3 trim ranges – Pure, Progressive and Power – to cater for everybody from well-heeled tradies and gray nomad adventurers to conventional luxurious automobile patrons.
Indeed, it is the fragmenting luxurious section that Merc sees as a core goal for the X-Class.
A way of life car
“The new X-Class finds the perfect balance between the stylish design expected of a Mercedes-Benz and the uncompromising robustness and functionality demanded of the category,” says Diane Tarr, the managing director of Mercedes-Benz Vans for Australia and New Zealand.
“We can effectively provide a solution for trade and fleet customers, and we will find out just how far this category can evolve for private customers who need the vehicle to support their lifestyle.”
Mercedes-Benz additionally believes the X-Class will attraction to SUV drivers in search of extra load-carrying versatility.
Not your common ute
While Tarr acknowledges the premium value on the Merc guidelines it out of a big chunk of the ute section – the tradie-focused backside finish – the model expects to take the combat to the more and more in style top-end 4×4 dual-cabs.
“Our intention is to be a key player in that segment and naturally with the target audience that we see as a focus for this product we hope to get a fair share,” she says. “We are bringing a premium ute into that space and with that we’re hoping to expand the market and attract other potential customers that may never have talked about a ute … and hopefully grow it even further.”
The firm believes the ute market is in a transition just like what the SUV section went by 20 years in the past.
And Benz claims “the X-Class is the first ute that offers not just excellent off-road but also superb on-road performance”.
Despite the three-pointed star grille, the X-Class is arguably extra Nissan than Mercedes-Benz.
It makes use of lots of the underpinnings of the Nissan Navara and even comes out of a Nissan manufacturing facility in Spain.
Its 2.3-litre four-cylinder engines are additionally equivalent to these within the Navara, out there in single-turbo 120kW or twin-turbo 140kW tunes.
But the V6 that’s the hero of the vary is pure Mercedes-Benz, giving the four-door a efficiency edge over rivals as broad because the Toyota Hilux and Nissan Navara. Producing 190kW and 550Nm it has extra energy than any rivals, though equivalent torque to the Amarok.
Best of each
Those V6 fashions, referred to as X350d, may even get a Dynamic Select system that adjusts throttle sensitivity, the auto transmission calibration and the engine’s stop-start performance.
Engineers have additionally added extra cross members to the Nissan ladder body chassis for added energy. And the much-criticised Navara coil spring rear suspension has been extensively modified for the X-Class.
The X-Class even has a wider monitor (the space between the left and proper wheels) than the Navara, an extra effort to enhance stability and dealing with and make the X-Class drive extra like an SUV than a truck.
Down and soiled
While luxurious is a key gross sales pitch, Mercedes-Benz is at pains to level out the X-Class can match it with the hardest, hottest-selling utes available on the market: assume Ford Ranger, Toyota Hilux and Volkswagen Amarok.
Claimed towing capability matches class leaders at as much as 3.5 tonnes and, relying on the mannequin, it will probably carry as much as 1.1 tonnes in its tray, “enough to transport 17 full 50-litre barrels of beer”, in response to the PR blurb. Just sufficient for a weekend away with the boys, then…
With a nod to the finer issues, Benz additionally says the X-Class can drag a triple horse float or “an eight-metre yacht”, the final word reinforcement than the X has a broad remit.
Mercedes has additionally ensured the touchy-feely bits are pure Benz.
The cabin is dominated by round air vents paying homage to these utilized in the whole lot from the S-Class to the GLC.
There’s the acquainted Comand central controller and an 8.4-inch multimedia display on prime of the sprint.
And, in fact, it seems pure Merc from the skin, proper all the way down to the daring grille and muscular bumpers.
Toby Hagon from executivestyle.com.au