Mercedes-Benz is luring ute lovers closer to the edge of their chairs with an X-Class teaser launched less than two weeks before the premium pick-up’s public debut that hints at some cooling of previous styling ideas.
The X-Class – the third model in Mercedes’ commercial line-up after the Vito/V-Class range and Sprinter – was shown in a teaser video ahead of its July 18 launch that will, initially at least, be done online.
In the latest tease, the supposedly production-ready X-Class is shown speeding on a rain-sodden city freeway at night – clearly, or not so clearly – showing that there have been some changes made to the two concepts shown side-by-side in Stockholm in October last year.
The first is that it has a two-bar grille and the second is the lack of wheel-arch extensions. The street-ready version of the concept had no extended wheel arches but it had a single-bar grille, copying a C-Class sedan.
The "adventure" concept shown in Stockholm had the two-bar grille and add-on arches, together with a more dramatic dashboard fitted with extra gauges, handles and different seats.
Now it appears Mercedes has gone cool on the mucho-macho version and will take the middle road, offering a distinctive and even attractive ute that stands up to the company’s claim as being "the world’s first premium pick-up".
For Australians, the ute will be in showrooms in the first half of next year but there is no word on the model range or prices.
The Mercedes V6 diesel could be short lived as the company changes to in-line six-cylinder designs from next year.
Production will be by Nissan employees at the Nissan factories and will spawn a third variant – the Renault Alaskan – next year.
The initial offerings will be a 190kW/620Nm 3.0-litre Mercedes V6 turbo diesel, plus the Nissan 140kW/450Nm four-cylinder turbo-diesel, and a four-cylinder petrol from Mercedes C-Class (up to 180kW/370Nm) or Nissan’s 2.5-litre at 122kW/238Nm.
But the Mercedes V6 diesel could be short lived as the company changes to in-line six-cylinder designs from next year.
Transmissions include a nine-speed automatic with a two-speed reduction box for the 4WD V6 diesel, and possibly either a six-speed manual or seven-speed (Nissan) automatic for the four-cylinder 2WD and 4WD versions.
If the Mercedes 2.0-litre petrol engine is used, it could be mated to a nine-speed automatic or six-speed manual gearbox.