The New Mercedes-Benz X-Class Pickup Truck Concept Is Here
It's cute, but will it be able to keep up with the competition?
Soon, upper-middle-class Mercedes-Benz GLE (formerly ML) owners will no longer be forced to suffer the indignity of loading messy firewood into their medium-sized luxury SUVs. Mercedes' new X-Class pickup truck concept was unveiled Tuesday at a press conference in Stockholm, and it's just about ready to take on the global midsize truck market.
With the vehicle in the concept stage, production details are limited; but we do know that the X-Class will be available with a top-line V-6 diesel engine paired with 4MATIC all-wheel-drive. Unlike the more pedestrian AWD systems on some other Mercedes models, the X-Class uses an "electronic traction system," a transfer case, and two locking differentials. The truck will be built on a ladder frame and will be capable of carrying more than 2200 pounds and towing up to 7000 pounds. Mercedes claims it will be able to carry those loads all while maintaining agile handling capabilities and remaining relatively comfortable for its human occupants.
During its launch, Mercedes-Benz executives made it clear that they feel because the new truck will be branded as a Mercedes, it's important the truck is able to maintain the legacy that the G-Wagen and M-Class (now GLE-Class) have upheld for decades.
The automaker also stressed that the mid-size truck segment, which the X-Class will fall into, is an extremely attractive market for the company. Mercedes Board Chairman, Dr. Dieter Zetsche, explained that his company believes there will be 2.8 million mid-size trucks on the road by 2025. Executives with the automaker also explained the importance of their new truck's utility for things other than just carrying cargo. For example, they believe owners should be able to "appear at the opera house" in their X-Class.
Mercedes-Benz executives said at its launch that the truck would be available for purchase by the end of 2017. "Mercedes-Benz pickup has to be best in class in many disciplines," said Dr. Zetsche. It's a "pickup with car-like attributes," one executive explained. "A Mercedes among pickups."