The rule is though, if you’re arriving late to a party, then you’ve got to make an entrance and turn up looking hot. Which is exactly what Mercedes has done, and they’ve turned up with twins.
Ahead of an end of 2017 launch, Mercedes has unveiled two concept versions, the Concept X-CLASS powerful adventurer and Concept X-CLASS stylish explorer.
The X-Class is a four-door, five-seat mid-size pick-up with elements of the C- and V-class vehicles. It gets a top-notch finish with high-quality materials and will introduce new technology into the sector, becoming the first premium pickup when it hits the roads.
At the front, it’s unmistakably a Mercedes from its gaping grille and large central star badge to the concept's AMG bumper, which is likely to be softened when launched. At the rear, there’s a LED taillight that surrounds the drop down tail gate and Mercedes familiar integrated exhausts.
Inside the X-Class is pure Mercedes, featuring turbine air vents, a surface mounted infotainment screen, instrument binnacle and controls.
Likely to also get Mercedes latest 2.0-litre diesel engine, the firm has confirmed that the X-Class will get the 3.0-litre V6 diesel and 4MATIC permanent all-wheel drive. The engine will be capable of taking a 1.1tonne payload and will be able to tow 3.5tonne.
The 4Matic will combine with electronic traction control and two on-demand differential locks to ensure it excels off-road. It gets a five-link rear axle with coil springs to provide high levels of ride comfort, on and off-road, while Mercedes aim to give the X-Class precise steering and agile handling.
The two concepts showcase the split personality of the X-Class, on one hand, a luxurious Mercedes motor car, on the other a rugged and capable off-roader. The Concept X-CLASS stylish explorer exhibits Mercedes luxury with a single-louvre grille, normally reserved for coupes, clean lines, smart 22in alloy wheels and integrated running boards. Inside there’s brushed and polished aluminium trim, nubuck leather on the seats and dashboard which is combined with Nappa leather.
In the macho corner is the Concept X-CLASS powerful adventurer. Having exchanged fuel for testosterone, it gets a ‘come and get me if you’re hard enough’ body kit, complete with winches, matt carbon wheel arches and Mars Rover tyres. Inside, there’s black leather upholstery, body coloured panels and the obligatory concept fire extinguisher.
Mercedes has identified its key markets as USA, Europe, Latin America, South Africa and Australia.
It'll launch in Europe in late 2017 and will be built in Barcelona, Spain in partnership with Renault-Nissan. For Latin America, the X-Class will be built at Renault’s Cordoba, Argentina plant and will arrive in 2018.