The Mercedes-Benz X-Class – the new bakkie from Mercedes – is ready for order and delivery to Namibia and South Africa in 2018, which is less six months from today. The bakkies for Namibia and South Africa, and by extension Botswana, Lesotho, Swaziland, will be manufactured at the Nissan plant in Barcelona, Spain. The Barcelona plant will also manufacture the bakkies for European and Australian markets. Mercedes’ new bakkie will be manufactured in production cooperation with the Renault-Nissan alliance, so expect the bakkie to have a lot of components that are not Mercedes.
The bakkie will be launched in two powerful and efficient four-cylinder engines to deliver spirited performance. There will be a high-torque common-rail diesel model, that come either as an X 220 d with single turbocharger capable of generating 120 kW or a bi-turbo X 250 d with capability of generating 140 kW of power. Both diesel models are available with purely rear wheel drive or with engageable all-wheel drive. However, Dubai and Morocco will only have the rear-wheel drive model due to their market requirements.
All engines are characterised by quiet, low-vibration running and excellent power delivery coupled with low consumption figures. Power is transferred via a six-speed manual transmission. But a seven-speed automatic transmission is available on request for the 140 kW X 250 d and X 250 d 4MATIC models.
A high-torque V6 diesel engine will be released mid-2018, ensuring even greater agility on and off-road. It will generate 190 kW and a maximum torque of 550 Nm. With that the X 350 d occupies a leading position in the segment. The top X-Class model will come as standard with permanent 4MATIC all-wheel drive and the seven-speed automatic transmission. The ‘7G-TRONIC PLUS’ with steering-wheel shift paddles and ECO start/stop function, and a ‘DYNAMIC SELECT’ system will be available as an optional feature for those who want maximum driving experience.
Mercedes-Benz is also planning release, later in 2018, of a 4MATIC six-cylinder engine with a permanent all-wheel drive to ensure that the X-Class delivers maximum performance and traction, even at top speed on roads. For now all all-wheel drive models will come with Downhill Speed Regulation (DSR) on board as standard.
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.
In the interior, the instrument panel has the concave trim element typical of a Mercedes, that stretches across the entire width of the instrument panel.
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 X-Class will be the only bakkie equipped with lighting in the cargo area as standard. The third brake light contains LED lights, which illuminate the whole load bed. Operation is by a switch in the centre console. As soon as the ignition is switched on, those lights turn off automatically. A 12-volt socket to power additional equipment such as compressors, for example, is also part of the standard equipment in the load bed.