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The Mercedes-Benz X-Class Pickup: The First Pickup from a Premium Manufacturer

As well as bringing the progressive design of the acclaimed Concept X-CLASS largely unchanged to standard production, the new Mercedes-Benz X-Class is uniquely versatile in terms of its area of application – it can be used as a rugged, all-terrain pickup but also as a vehicle for urban lifestyles and families. The X-Class pushes the boundaries of the classic pickup. It complements the prized strengths of a mid-size pickup with the typical Mercedes-Benz characteristics of driving dynamics, comfort, design, safety, connectivity and an extensive scope for individualisation. With this Mercedes-Benz meets the changing customer requirements and opens up the segment to new customer groups. There are three design and equipment variants to choose from as well as four or six-cylinder engines, rear-wheel drive and engageable or permanent all-wheel drive, a six-speed manual transmission and a seven-speed automatic transmission. In addition there are six different seat covers, including two leather variants, three sets of cockpit trim parts and a diverse range of accessories developed by Mercedes-Benz. These allow the X-Class to be modified to suit personal tastes and requirements like no other pickup, both visually and in terms of functionality. The market launch in Europe is scheduled for November 2017. At the beginning of 2018 South Africa, Australia and New Zealand will follow, beginning of 2019 Argentina and Brazil.

The Mercedes-Benz X-Class has been developed with the changing requirements of the international pickup markets in mind. The demand for mid-size pickups with typical passenger car characteristics and comfort features has been steadily on the rise for years. At the same time, the number of pickups for private use is increasing. They are no longer viewed purely as workhorses. As the first premium manufacturer, Mercedes-Benz is taking these changes into account – based on its comprehensive experience and competence in developing commercial and off-road vehicles, such as the Unimog and the G-Class for tough operation, vehicles which are equally suitable for work or leisure, such as the V-Class and Vito, and passenger cars that uniquely stand for modern luxury and driving pleasure around the world.

Robust character with dynamic charisma

With its progressive design, the Mercedes-Benz X-Class manages the fine balance between being both tough and stylish. The pickup embodies the enhanced Mercedes-Benz design philosophy of sensual purity. By emphasising the surfaces and featuring stripped-down, extremely precise elements, the purist design draws attention to the basic virtues of a pickup in an emotionally appealing way – combined with almost unlimited functionality. The X-Class can haul a payload of up to 1.1 tonnes. That is enough to transport 17 full 50-litre barrels of beer in the cargo area. Able to tow up to 3.5 tonnes, it can also pull a trailer containing three horses or an eight-metre yacht.

Powerful and commanding front with three different characters

The front has the masterful looks of one of the brand’s typical SUVs – with the centrally positioned star, twin-louvre radiator grille, high and powerfully honed bonnet and headlamps extending far into the wings. The front apron emphasises width and has its own distinct character depending on the chosen design and equipment line. On the PURE basic variant it is unpainted and with the PROGRESSIVE design and equipment line it is painted in the vehicle colour. The POWER high-end model variant likewise has a bumper painted in the vehicle colour and also comes with a chromed underbody panelling. There are nine attractive exterior colours and a variety of exclusive 17, 18 or 19-inch rims to choose from across the three design and equipment lines.

New benchmark in comfort and quality feel

In the interior, the X-Class elevates comfort and quality feel to a new level within the segment for mid-size pickups. The instrument panel has the concave trim element typical of a Mercedes. It stretches across the entire width of the instrument panel – a novel feature in this vehicle segment. It creates an open feel and purist modernity. There are three trim variants to choose from for the X-Class POWER: a pixelated look in matt black, an aluminium effect with longitudinal grain and a brown matt woodgrain effect. To complement the high-quality feel, the upper section of the cockpit is available with ARTICO man-made leather in either black or nut brown. The characteristic round ventilation outlets add a sporty touch. Depending on the design and equipment line, these come in either high-gloss black or silver shadow, creating a high-end cool touch effect. With the PROGRESSIVE and POWER design and equipment lines, the centre console is also prominently framed by a decorative trim in silver shadow. The large door handles are also finished in silver shadow. The cool touch effect is reinforced by the freestanding central display, which is familiar from the V-Class. In conjunction with the COMAND Online multimedia system it has a screen diagonal of 8.4 inches, making it the biggest display in the segment. With a resolution of 960 x 540 pixels and the high-contrast IPS technology (In-Plane Switching), it offers a brilliant display that markedly increases the image quality of the 360-Degree Camera and the navigation maps.

The control and display concept shows the familiar high levels of convenience and ergonomic comfort. The instrument cluster consists of the large, analogue round dials from the C-Class and V-Class. In the X-Class PROGRESSIVE and POWER they are tubular. A 5.4-inch colour multimedia display is nestled between the round dials. Thanks to the push-buttons on the standard-fit three-spoke multifunction steering wheel, the settings on the colour display can be controlled without drivers having to take their hands off the steering wheel. The steering wheel with its 12 buttons in total is height-adjustable, thereby improving ergonomic posture and allowing a relaxed seating position. In the X-Class PROGRESSIVE and POWER, the steering wheel, shift lever knob and handbrake lever are also covered in leather. In conjunction with the Audio 20 CD and COMAND Online multimedia systems, and in addition to the central control unit, the X-Class contains the multifunction touchpad familiar from the passenger car model series – the multifunction touchpad is another novelty in this segment. It is located in an ergonomic position on the centre console and, like a smartphone, it can be controlled using gestures or by entering letters and characters.

Made-to-measure individualisation – Style Packages and an extensive range of accessories

Optional equipment as well as a specific Style Package for each of the PROGRESSIVE and POWER lines enable further individualisation. For example, side running boards and an electrically opening rear window can be added to the X-Class. What’s more, Mercedes-Benz had an in-house team of designers and developers create an extensive range of accessories. These allow the X-Class to be modified even more to suit personal tastes and requirements – in respect to design, functionality and off-road capability. For example, there is a choice of styling bar, side bar, soft tonneau cover, hard tonneau cover and roll cover, as well as a canopy which makes the pickup look like an SUV. The canopy continues the X-Class’s lines perfectly, merging with the vehicle body to create a distinctive silhouette. Other items available include a bed liner, a bed divider system, load-securing rails in the floor and a technical underguard.

Dynamic and comfortable driving enjoyment on a par with Mercedes-Benz passenger cars

The X-Class is the first pickup to deliver both excellent off- and on-road performance. The wide track, long wheelbase and comfortable spring and damping tuning typical of a Mercedes open up a new world of driving enjoyment and driving dynamics on the road – without resulting in compromises when off-road. A special feature in this segment: coil springs are used both at the front and the rear, which contributes to a harmonious suspension comfort. The comfort suspension is designed in such a way that it achieves a high level of driving dynamics and ride comfort on the road, while also delivering maximum off-road capability in conjunction with 4MATIC all-wheel drive. The elaborately designed comfort suspension consists of a double wishbone front axle and a rear multi-link solid axle that is ideal for transporting heavy loads and has good articulation capability. This combination ensures that the suspension is comfortable and the handling is safe given any permitted load condition.

The first intelligently connected mid-size pickup

The X-Class is the first mid-size pickup to feature a communications module with an integrated SIM card. This makes it possible to use the extensive Mercedes me connect services and to access the vehicle by smartphone. Thus X-Class drivers in 21 European markets can, for example, call up useful information such as fuel level and tyre pressure, and find out the X-Class’s location when it is parked or being driven by someone else. In addition, with the Mercedes me app complete door-to-door navigation is possible. Further Mercedes me connect services include the Mercedes-Benz emergency call system and the standard services Breakdown Management, Accident Recovery and Maintenance Management as well as Remote Vehicle Diagnostics.

In addition to this, control and display systems – that have already been used successfully in the Mercedes-Benz passenger car model series – are being introduced in the mid-size pickup segment for the first time: these include the multifunction touchpad and fully integrated COMAND Online multimedia system with hard-disk navigation, LINGUATRONIC voice control and internet access via smartphone. Other than COMAND Online, the proven Audio 20 USB and Audio 20 CD audio systems are also available.

By: Mercedes | Photos Courtesy of: Mercedes

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