Mercedes-Benz has confirmed it will be entering the pick-up market with the X-Class, which goes on sale next year.
The new vehicle was previewed yesterday in the form of two concepts, one to demonstrate its off-road prowess and another to highlight the luxury intentions the brand is keen to employ in the market.
A production version should be ready before the end of 2017 and the X-Class will be based on the same platform as the Nissan Navara and upcoming Renault Alaskan.
Volker Mornhinweg, head of Mercedes-Benz Vans, said: "We will open up and change the segment of mid-size pickups – with the world's first true premium pickup for the modern urban lifestyle.
"Our future X-Class will be a pickup that knows no compromise. Ladder-type frame, high-torque six-cylinder engine, and permanent all-wheel drive are compulsory for us. As an added value we bring safety, comfort, agility, and expressive design – in other words, everything that distinguishes vehicles bearing the Mercedes star. We will thus appeal to new customers who have not considered owning a pickup before."
Mercedes-Benz said the X-Class will set new standards in the segment with regard to connected life. A communication module with on-board SIM card means it will be possible to use the Mercedes me connect services.
Drivers can connect with their pickup by smartphone, tablet or PC at any time and from anywhere. For example, to send navigation destinations to the vehicle or query where the pickup is parked and how much fuel is in the tank. In addition to these optional remote online services, standard services such as accident recovery, maintenance management and breakdown management will also be available.
Under the skin top-of-the-line models will be powered by a V6 diesel in combination with 4MATIC permanent all-wheel drive. When coupled with the ladder-type frame it will carry a payload of more than 1,100kg and have a towing capacity of up to 3,500kg.
Ride comfort is also a priority for the X-Class and it has ditched the conventional leaf-spring suspension that is most commonly used in pick-ups in favour of independent five link suspension.
As the vehicle is still in concept stage, there is no pricing or emissions data to report yet.