As soon as we hear the work ‘pickup’ in the automotive industry, we immediately relate it to big, brash American offerings with huge engines and even huger footprints. Even in India, we have some pickups to choose from the likes of the Tata Xenon XT, Mahindra Scorpio Getaway and the Isuzu D-Max V-Cross. But no matter what the case may be, we never relate a German carmaker to that body style. Until now! Say hello to the Mercedes-Benz X-Class – the first ever pickup from the Stuttgart-based auto giant.
Wearing the three-pointed star at the front, it also bags the tag of the world’s first premium pickup. While the concept of the X-Class was unveiled in October last year, Mercedes-Benz debuted the production-ready spec of the pickup in Cape Town, South Africa. Apart from the African nation, Mercedes-Benz will sell the X-Class in Australia, South America and Europe.
Although the front of the car looks very much in sync with the rest of the Mercedes-Benz lineup, underneath it has the chassis from a Nissan pickup. The Mercedes-Benz X-Class will be available in three trim levels – Pure, Progressive and Power. At the time of launch, which is in November 2017, it will be offered with 4-cylinder petrol and diesel engines. While the petrol-powered motor will be available in a single state of tune, producing 165PS/237Nm from a 2.0-litre displacement, the diesel-fed 2.3-litre motor will come with either a single or a twin turbo setup producing 163PS/403Nm or 190PS/450Nm respectively.
By mid-2018, Mercedes-Benz will add a V6 to the X-Class’ recipe which will produce 190PS/550Nm. The company also said that its pickup will be available with a 6-speed manual or a 7-speed automatic gearbox. While the rear-wheel drive setup will be standard, switchable all-wheel drive 4MATIC system with low-range gearing and optional locking rear differential will also be offered.
Since it is a Mercedes-Benz product, the usual list of creature comforts will be offered inside and outside the cabin. However, to tackle the rough stuff the company will also extend choices and accessories, including soft and hard tonneau covers, a bedliner, a bed divider system, bed floor rails and skid plates.
Interestingly the German car manufacturer has no plans to sell the X-Class in USA, which is one of the biggest markets in the world for pickups. After it goes on sale in South Africa and Australia in 2018, the X-Class will hit the Argentinian and Brazilian markets in the beginning of 2019.