Mercedes-Benz reveals its X-Class designed to take over the 4x4s upmarket

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Mercedes-Benz Concept X-CLASS powerful adventurer – Exterieur, Lemonaxmetallic ; Mercedes-Benz Concept X-CLASS powerful adventurer – Exterior, Lemonax metallic;

When you think of a Mercedes you probably imagine the kind of luxurious, comfortable saloons with back-massaging seats driven by company execs. 

But the German brand is planning on building a utilitarian bruiser for more burly blokes when it releases a pick-up truck next year.

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A truck with a touch of X-Class: The Concept X-Class Stylish Explorer (pictured) is the more realistic interpretation of what the production vehicle will look like of the two cars on show

 

The rear light unit is one of the standout features of the vehicle, though it's not a feature we expect to see. We would be surprised if all X-Class models weren't twin-cab
The rear light unit is one of the standout features of the vehicle, though it’s not a feature we expect to see. We would be surprised if all X-Class models weren’t twin-cab

Called the X-Class, Mercedes claims it to be the first truly premium pick-up you can buy, and this concept version points at what it will eventually look like when it hits the market in 2017.

Mercedes revealed not one but two Concept X-Class previews at an event in Stockholm, Sweden, on Tuesday.

The new flat-bed 4X4 will be based on the Nissan Navara platform – one of the most accomplished trucks on sale today – as part of the Mercedes and Renault-Nissan tie-up that has also seen the brands work together on other projects, including the recent Smart range and Renault Twingo.

It seems Mercedes will stick to a twin-cab approach, meaning the truck will also be capable of carting the family around when it’s not on work duties.

This type of vehicle is a niche product in the UK and Europe growing in popularity, but a much larger sector in the US, where makers compete to deliver the most powerful and luxurious pick-ups.

+13 The X-Class Powerful Adventurer looks more extreme than Mercedes' US military-derived G-Wagon
The X-Class Powerful Adventurer looks more extreme than Mercedes’ US military-derived G-Wagon

 

The Concept X-Class Powerful Adventurer
The Concept X-Class Powerful Adventurer

 Of the two preview cars showcased, the gold Concept X-Class Powerful Adventurer (yes, we’re not sure about the name either) is the one that stands out for sheer brutishness.

The high-riding suspension, knobbly tyres, front and rear winches and interior-cradled fire extinguisher are about as far from the stereotypical Mercedes you can get.

The silver Concept X-Class Stylish Explorer is more akin to what to expect from the vehicle that makes production.

This concept is designed to showcase the premium refinement that will stand the X-Class apart from its more agricultural rivals currently being deployed on farms, building sites and for other labour purposes.

While Mercedes has promised something in between the two concepts, both share features that could slip through to the production line.

For instance, the thin LED headlights, oversized grille with huge three-pointed star and mild bonnet bulge are realistic styling cues that could make the cut.

The enormous air intakes below the grille are unlikely to be signed off for production, or the tailgate-wrapping rear light structure.

Inside, the X-Class is expected to lift many design features, materials and components from existing Mercedes passenger cars
Inside, the X-Class is expected to lift many design features, materials and components from existing Mercedes passenger cars

 

An onboard fire extinguisher may be a step too far, but don't expect Mercedes to compromise on the interior quality of its forthcoming pick-up truck
An onboard fire extinguisher may be a step too far, but don’t expect Mercedes to compromise on the interior quality of its forthcoming pick-up truck

The on-sale version of the X-Class isn’t likely to be as luxuriously appointed as the concepts either, but Mercedes is expected to lift the dashboards and interior materials from Mercedes’ passenger car range to place it firmly in the premium bracket.

Engine and transmission details are a little fluffy at the moment, but all models will feature a six-cylinder powerplant and an updated version of the German carmakers’ 4Matic permanent four-wheel drive system to cope with off-road excursions.

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