Skip to main content

X-Class concept previews Mercedes’ first pickup truck, coming in 2017

Yes, Mercedes-Benz really is building a pickup truck. After announcing this unlikely plan last year, Mercedes unveiled a concept version of its upcoming pickup at an event in Stockholm. The production version goes on sale in late 2017, but it may not come to the United States.

Confirming previous rumors, the truck will be called the X-Class. It’s a midsize pickup that will actually be sold under the Mercedes-Benz Vans division when it goes into production. The styling mixes traditional truck boxiness with some elements borrowed from Mercedes’ SUVs. Mercedes showed two versions of the X-Class concept: the “stylish explorer” features a more car-like look, with big wheels and a clean exterior, while the “powerful adventurer” is an off-road model, with a jacked-up ride height, fender flares, and a winch.

Read more: Nissan’s Navara EnGuard concept is a high-tech rescue vehicle

On the inside, design elements like round air vents and infotainment screens propped up atop the center stack tie both versions of the X-Class to Mercedes’ current cars and SUVs. The designs hint that the X-Class will be more of a luxury vehicle than a spartan workhorse. Mercedes promises connected services that will allow owners to track their vehicles’ locations and import navigation destinations from phones, among other features. The production X-Class will also feature “modern driver assistance systems based on cameras’ radar, and ultrasound sensors,” Mercedes says.

The X-Class features old school body-on-frame construction, with a version of the 4Matic all-wheel drive system used in other Mercedes models. Mercedes was light on technical details, only saying that the top-of-the-line version will have a V6 diesel engine. The X-Class was developed with help from the Renault-Nissan Alliance, and will be built at Renault and Nissan plants, meaning it could share components with the Nissan NP300 Navara and Renault Alaskan trucks, which it does resemble somewhat.

But why build a pickup truck at all? It may seem like a stretch for a manufacturers of luxury cars, but Mercedes has plenty of experience with commercial vehicles and off roaders, as the military-bred G-Class, Unimog, and Sprinter and Metris vans demonstrate. Speaking at the X-Class concept’s Swedish launch, Dieter Zetsche, head of Mercedes parent Daimler, cited anticipated growth in the midsize truck market, and the increasing use of pickups as “lifestyle vehicles” by urban professionals as reasons for Mercedes’ big leap into the market.

The X-Class will launch late next year in Europe, Australia, and South Africa, and a South American launch will follow sometime after that. A Mercedes statement noted that “while a pickup is under consideration for the U.S. market at some point, no timeline is available for a decision to be made.”

Editors' Recommendations

Stephen Edelstein
Stephen is a freelance automotive journalist covering all things cars. He likes anything with four wheels, from classic cars…
2022 Mercedes-Benz EQB first drive review: An EV better than its gas sibling
Front three quarter view of the 2022 Mercedes-Benz EQB.

Mercedes-Benz aims to go all-electric in at least some markets by 2030 but to do that it will need to launch electric equivalents of each of its many gasoline-powered models. The 2023 Mercedes-Benz EQB fits that description to the letter.

Where the EQS sedan aims to fill a similar role to the S-Class without directly copying it, the EQB is literally an electric version of an existing Mercedes crossover SUV — the GLB-Class. It uses the same body shell as the GLB, even retaining that model’s optional third-row seats.

Read more
Mercedes-Benz GLC-Class takes a subtle approach to tech
2023 mercedes benz glc class preview

Mercedes-Benz isn’t afraid of bold design, but not every luxury car shopper wants a vehicle that looks like a spaceship. Some Mercedes models are meant to be trendsetters, but the GLC-Class SUV is aimed at people who don’t need to be early adopters.

The GLC is a small SUV of the type that’s become the default for many buyers. So while the redesigned 2023 Mercedes-Benz GLC-Class gets notable features like a redesigned infotainment system, “transparent hood” camera system, and mild-hybrid powertrain, it’s all packaged in a way that looks familiar.

Read more
Mercedes-Benz Vision EQXX concept is a luxury EV with a 621-mile range
The Mercedes-Benz Vision EQXX concept in motion.

Ahead of CES 2022, Mercedes-Benz unveiled an electric concept car that pushes the limits of efficiency and range.

The Vision EQXX boasts a claimed range of over 1,000 kilometers (621 miles), or about 100 miles more than the current range champ, the 520-mile Lucid Air. Mercedes didn't achieve that by simply using a bigger battery pack. In fact, at 100 kilowatt-hours of usable capacity, the concept car's pack is close in size to the Air's. Instead, Mercedes focused on making every part of the Vision EQXX — from tires to batteries — as efficient as possible.

Read more