Mercedes-Benz X-Class ute 2018: spy shots

18 May 2017
 by 
, GoAutoMedia

Spy shots have emerged of the highly anticipated Mercedes-Benz X-Class ute testing on public roads in Spain, with the heavily camouflaged Nissan Navara-based pick-up giving punters some idea of how the production version may look when it lands in Australian showrooms in 2018.

The disguised headlight design suggests it will take the form of the oval-shaped lights seen on passenger models such as the GLE, E- and C-Class, and probably won’t share the more angular style of the Concept X-Class pair revealed in Sweden in October last year.

There is also room for a hulking central grille as seen on the concept, while the test mule has been decked out in large, 10-spoke alloy wheels complemented by muscular, flared wheelarches.

The spy shots also show the X-Class towing a trailer, and given the Nissan Navara boasts a 3500kg braked towing capacity, the same figure can be expected from the Benz version, especially on the higher-end variants which are to be mated to a 3.0-litre turbo-diesel V6.

The reveal of the X-Class is scheduled for the third quarter of this year, likely before the Frankfurt motor show.

When it arrives in Australia next year, the X-Class will be offered with a mix or four- and six-cylinder engines in petrol and diesel guise, with the top-spec variants likely to be powered by the oil-burning V6.

There is also the possibility of the X-Class using Mercedes’ recently revealed in-line six-cylinder turbo-diesel engine further down the line, which will make its local debut in November under the bonnet of the updated S-Class.

In the refreshed luxury sedan it is offered in two states of tune – 210kW/600Nm on the 350d and a whopping 250kW/700Nm on the 400d – which would blow rival utes, including Volkswagen’s 165kW/550Nm Amarok V6 diesel, out of the water in terms of power output.

Entry-level variants of the X-Class will likely come with the 2.1-litre turbo-diesel four-cylinder offered in various states of tune across the Mercedes passenger range, while petrol variants will probably come in the form of turbocharged 2.0-litre four-cylinder and 3.0-litre V6 engines.

Any petrol-hybrid versions have been ruled out for the Australian market.

The reveal of the X-Class is scheduled for the third quarter of this year, likely before the Frankfurt motor show.

Production will begin in Europe late this year, with a European on-sale date following soon after.

Key markets such as Australia, South Africa and South America will follow into 2018.

It is highly likely that the X-Class will end up being the most expensive mid-size pick-up on the Australian market.

While the X-Class will come with a variation in powertrains, it will only be offered in dual-cab guise, and at this stage will only come as a tub-style pick-up. A tray-backed cab chassis version could possibly be introduced at a later date, however it is far from a certainty.

For now, Mercedes customers looking for a cab chassis ute will have to settle for the single-cab utilitarian G300 CDI Professional, priced at a hefty $119,900 before on-roads.

Mercedes-Benz Vans Australia PR and corporate communications manager Blake Vincent said different variants of the X-Class will be marketed as workhorses and luxury offerings.

While pricing structures are yet to be confirmed, it is highly likely that the X-Class will end up being the most expensive mid-size pick-up on the Australian market.

Mercedes has remained tight-lipped on sales targets, but will be looking to make a mark in the lucrative Australian ute market which is currently dominated by the top-selling Toyota HiLux and Ford Ranger, and is contested by rivals such as the Holden Colorado, Isuzu D-Max, Mazda BT-50, Volkswagen Amarok, Mitsubishi Triton and aforementioned Navara.

Will the Mercedes-Benz X-Class encourage other premium manufacturers to release pick-ups in Australia? Tell us what you think in the comments below.

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