Bakkie deluxe launched
Mercedes-Benz has launched its entirely new X-Class to members of the international media this week in Cape Town. South Africa, a true ‘bakkie country’, will see the vehicles at the dealers only early 2018 but the tip of Africa is an important market for the luxurious utility vehicle.
Mercedes-Benz launched the X-Class, a brand-new pickup truck, on Tuesday night, the day where Nelson Mandela’s birthday was celebrated.
The X-Class is the first ever pickup truck that the German car manufacturer has launched and will be a luxury, yet rugged powerhouse. Its design is bold and dominant but still oozes luxury, which is to be expected of a Mercedes.
The vehicle will look to take on the Nissan Navara and the Mitsubishi L200, which are both landmarks in this class.
Mercedes look to be offering something unique by placing the X-Class firmly in the luxury car bracket, which could be its unique selling point. The company has confirmed that the X-Class will be true to Mercedes brand and offer premium comfort and driving dynamics.
The German manufacturer stated that they don’t just hope to enter the segment but “extend it” by introducing this luxury model.
Speaking at the reveal event via a video, Chairman Dr Dieter Zetsche said: “With the Mercedes-Benz pick-up, we will close one of the last gaps in our portfolio.” The five-seater pickup will come with full LED headlamps and sits on mammoth 22-inch alloy wheels. Its front-end styling is reminiscent of their GLA SUV range but is more muscular and has a more dominant stance. It’s the “supermum and superadd of cars”, added Dr Zetsche describing how the rough, rugged and practical workhorse can be used everyday and still be fun and adventurous.
Dr Zetcsche also said that the X-Class will bring intelligence to market class, alluding to its on-board technology and connectivity.
Extensive tests of the X-Class were held in extreme conditions including all weather and road surfaces with test drives taking place in the car’s core markets, to ensure it was suitable. During the launch event a point that was stressed by Mercedes is the car’s multifaceted capabilities. Phrases such as “tough meets urban lifestyle” and “luxury and leisure” were driven home to viewers during the event to emphasize the car’s versatility.
The car will be available with either rear-wheel and all-wheel-drive and a six speed manual or a seven speed automatic transmission. From its market launch, customers can choose between the common rail diesel X 220 d (120 kW/163 hp) and X 250 d (140 kW/190 hp) as well as a petrol engine (122 kW/165 hp). Later on a powerful V6 engine variant producing 250 bhp will be added to the range.
A number of driver assistance systems will be included with the car including brake assist, lane keeping asset and traffic line assist. Touchscreen infotainment systems with the latest navigation, connectivity and entertainment services will also be available on the new car. Three trim levels – Pure, Progressive and Power – will be available to chose from with the car which personalise the car’s equipment and design language. The powerful drive system and the tough ladder-type frame will make a payload of more than 1.1 tonnes and a towing capacity of up to 3.5 tonnes possible.
Prices for the new X-Class models in South Africa have not been announced yet but the entry level model will launch in Germany with a price tag of EUR 37,000.
Watch the space – and watch the official video!