Wednesday, January 31, 2018 4:14 pm
…. Set to Debut in Nigeria soon
By Daniels Elugo
The Nigerian automotive industry this year will witness a sort of royal rumble match as Mercedes Benz ix set to unveil its first pickup – the X-Class. The midsize truck comes with permanent all-wheel drive and high-torque V6 engines.
On the outside, the X-Class borrows a much of its styling cues from other vehicles in the Mercedes-Benz lineup. Its front fascia, particularly the grill, shows similarities to that of the GLS. Meanwhile, the rear remains mostly unaltered from its more mainstream sibling, the Navara, apart form the slimmer LED tail lights. The pickup’s design was penned by Filipino automotive designer, Wini Camacho
Inside, Mercedes has brought most of their design elements into the X-Class such as the round air vents and the tri-spoke multi-function steering wheel. A standard 5.4-inch or an option 8.4-inch infotainment system can be found on the dash with the central knob controls located right below the gear lever.
There are two major versions of the truck, one focused on off-road use and the other highlighting Mercedes’ premium stylings.
“With the Mercedes-Benz pickup we will close one of the last gaps in our portfolio,” said Daimler CEO Dieter Zetsche in a press statement. “The X-Class will set new standards in a growing segment.”
Both X-Class variants look unmistakably like a Mercedes-Benz (you’d know even without the badge) but come with a few differentiating features. The off-road focused model (dubbed the “Powerful Adventurer”) has a higher ride-height and ground clearance, along with extra protection on the wheel arches, an electric winch at the front, and a metal hook at the back. While the more genteel “Stylish Explorer” model has more of an SUV feel to it, with cleaner running lines, flared wheel arches, and 22-inch light-alloy wheels. Both, of course, have all the usual technological extras, including a central touchscreen display “similar to a smartphone” and “modern driver assistance.”
As a decidedly premium vehicle, the X-Class might look unusual to Nigerian consumers, but Mercedes-Benz is banking on the expanding popularity of the pick-up truck sector to drive sales. The company says truck drivers aren’t just looking for a mechanical workhorse anymore; they want a vehicle that can do duty for both “private and commercial use,” bridging the gap between urban and city use.
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.
Dr Dieter Zetsche, described the pick-up as tough, and ready for challenges and expressed Daimler’s vision to redefine the pick-up market.
It’s the “supermum and superadd of cars”, described Dr Zetsche describing how it is rough, rugged and practical workhorse that can be used everyday and still be is still 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.