October 26, 2016 @ 06:58 PM

Mercedes-Benz picks up some posh

No self-respecting contractor will be caught without the concept X-Class when working the properties of the rich and famous

The body style battle between Mercedes-Benz and BMW has seen the love children of some pretty unexpected shapes being penned and even the creation of classes we never knew we needed. One route the premium carmakers haven’t attempted to navigate yet is the pick-up truck but Mercedes-Benz is about to scratch that off its to-do (to ruin?) list.

If you’re hyping up the boardroom during working hours but need to haul crates of caviar home for that weekend soiree, Mercedes-Benz has got you covered with the concept X-Class; the pick-up for the posh.

The X-Class will be based on the same platform as the current Nissan Navara, meaning independent rear suspension in the form of coilovers, for premium ride and handling that is becoming of a Mercedes-Benz. Utilising the Navara’s platform stems from a parts and technical sharing deal with the Renault-Nissan Alliance; itself now one-stronger with the acquisition of Mitsubishi.

A ladder-frame will underpin the X-Class and support its projected payload of 1.1-tonnes and haul the 3.5-tonnes towing capacity; all pretty much par for course in the one-tonne pick-up category.

Mercedes-Benz being themselves however, had to reveal two very different concepts that went by the name of ‘powerful adventurer’ and ‘stylish explorer.’

The later is more Mercedes-Benz than truck with the incorporation of luxurious features and creature comforts more accustomed to passenger sedans than workhorses. All the prerequisite design signatures are present and comprise a power-dome hood, a gaping single-louvre grille, LED brakelight that runs the entire length of the tailgate and bulging wheel arches that do their utmost best to hide 22-inch wheels.

Inside is where Mercedes-Benz went to town; Mayfair that is. A brown and white Nappa leather combination lends the interior a cosy and plush ambience with the usual smatterings of polished aluminium trim.

Over to the powerful adventurer then. This is definitely more truck than Mercedes-Benz with an unabashedly rugged exterior. Monstrous 35x11.5 tyres gifts it ground clearance that just about clears the regulations for car parks and carbon arches extend the already bulbous fenders to cover the rubber.

There’s also an electric winch at the front and rear but given that the concept packs a locking rear and inter-axle differential, scaling some trippy terrain shouldn’t shake it up too much. A proper truck in the traditional sense this is then.

The matte yellow finish works its way into the cabin as well, joining forces with black nappa and faux-carbon black embossed leather for a striking contrast. A fire extinguisher is tied to the dash to complete the look.

Although the two concepts are precisely just that, concepts, Mercedes-Benz looks set to enter the pick-up market with the X-Class circa 2017 although we can’t say for sure the rather in-your-face exterior will make the transition from prototype to production.

That’s all secondary though because the burning question carving a hole in the back of everyone’s mind is, “Will AMG get their grubby hands on the X-Class?” Given that their influence is increasingly spreading through the entire line-up, a mega-horsepower pick-up with the tri-star badge on the front doesn’t really seem like the drunken banter it would have been passed off for just a couple of years ago.

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