Mercedes-Benz unveil the X-Class bakkie

2018 Mercedes Benz X-Class debuts in motion image

Mercedes-Benz finally unveiled its newest and first entry into the pickup truck segment-the X-Class-in a launch party in Cape Town, South Africa.

We'll drive the new X-Class in October and the first United Kingdom customers will get their cars before the end of the year but to whet our appetites, Mercedes has given us a passenger ride around a test track and over some challenging off-road terrain in its first ever pick-up truck. At the beginning of 2018 South Africa, Australia and New Zealand will follow, beginning of 2019 Argentina and Brazil'. Being an outcome of the combined development between Nissan and Mercedes-Benz, the X-Class incorporates the same chassis that the Nissan Navara and upcoming Renault Alaskan is based on. The remaining powerplants are diesel: an X 220 d rated at 161 HP/297 lb-ft and an X 250 d rated at 188 HP/332 lb-ft. By mid-2018, a 255-horse V6 turbodiesel with 406 lb-ft of torque will be added.

This post is being updated. The diesel models are available in 4Matic specs which come with selectable four-wheel drive while the six-cylinder unit has permanent four-wheel drive.

The rear of the X-Class is noticeably similar to the Navara, but Mercedes has ensured the new pick-up still features the brand's trademark grille.

For now, the X-Class is not coming to America-an interesting decision considering the vehicle's lifestyle luxury leanings seem to be the ideal fit for US consumers.

On the top-of-the-line models, the Magic Body Control suspension that debuted in the current-generation S-Class in 2013 has been further enhanced with the addition of a higher-resolution stereo camera that now works at speeds up to 180km/h and reads the road ahead to prepare the suspension for bumps, keeping the vehicle flat and the occupants in absolute comfort. The X-Class can haul a payload of up to 1.1 tonnes.

The Pure model is positioned as the workhorse of the range while still boasting comfort, while the Progressive model targets those after more comfort.

Suspension comes by way of double wishbones at the front, but at the back there's a multi-link set-up and there's also springs tuned to give a more car-like ride. A petrol motor with 165bhp will also be available and all engines will be mated to either a seven-speed automatic or a six-speed manual gearbox.

The Class X can be delivered with rear-wheel drive or 4 wheel drive.

As for the cabin, the design carries over from most Mercedes cars of today, with circular air vents, a large tablet-style multimedia screen for the dash, and a range of luxury-focused trimmings and tones.

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