Coming Soon: Mercedes-Benz X-Class pickup
Mercedes-Benz cant stop tinkering with its Nissan Navara-based X-Class.
A new player to the dual-cab ute scene, Mercedes-Benz has only just put its debutant out into the wild. But it seems the German maker might be getting ready to take on an even bigger challenge with this X-Class update.
What is it?
Spotted testing almost one year ago in Europe, the X-Class extended-tray test mule is back, this time with much less camo and showing a clearer indication of the changes made by the German maker. Sporting a longer wheelbase rather than a longer rear overhang, the model will offer a more practical tray for tradespeople - something like the upcoming Ssangyong Musso long-wheelbase with a bigger cargo bed but also the potential to take on the US pickup market.
Volkswagen already offers something similar with its Amarok XXL which can be classified as a commercial truck in European markets for tax benefits.
What will it look like?
Modifications to the body are between the cab and tray, extending the wheelbase by appoximately 400mm. The test mule carries the V6 Turbo badge and wears most of the same kit – 18-inch alloys, chrome highlights, and silver roof rails. Inside is the familiar Nissan bottom, Mercedes top interior fit out. But things could get more interesting if Mercedes decides to take its bigger ute to the huge US market.
Model-specific enhancements might make for a tougher-looking ute that could bring a new grille and face tweaks, lifted ground clearance, plenty of bling and interior cabin tweaks.
However, the V6 turbo diesel engine might not make the cut in the US, with the potential for a new petrol motor to enter the fray. Options are wild, with Mercedes engineers telling Drive last year that everything from a 4.0-litre V8 petrol motor to a V12 engine could make it in.
“We surely can make it happen, it’s just a question of what V8 you want to put in. You can put the 6.0-litre in, yeah, but so far there is no plan," they said.
“A ute like that’s a different size of vehicle, it is very limited to the US really - they will have their own market.”
What’s on the wish list?
Perhaps finally, an AMG ute. Yanks love creating the ultimate off-roader, and the country’s huge market demand for tough trucks might see the modified X-Class get pumped-up to take on the Ford F-150 Raptor and Ram 1500 Rebel TRX. The latter, due to launch later in 2019, gets the same 6.2-litre V8 Hemi Hellcat engine used in the Dodge Challenger SRT producing around 530kW and 880Nm of torque. It puts even the 335kW/690Nm high-output 3.5-litre V6 turbo Raptor to shame.
Given the calibre of power from rivals, a 4.0-litre bi-turbo AMG V8 will fit the bill nicely, with forged alloy wheels, massive all-terrain tyres, bigger dampers under a revised coilover rear-end and plenty of bush busting armour. And, if we’re lucky, it might make its way to Australia.
When is it coming?
The Germans are keeping quiet on what they’re up to, but news for at least the European market can be expected by the end of 2019.