Mercedes has revealed pictures of its new X-Class pickup, surely the classiest addition to the genre from the premium German manufacturer.
While Volkswagen has its Amarok, the X-Class beats rivals Audi and BMW in the race to sell cars that cover every possible niche on the market.
A Mercedes pickup?
It does seem strange, but it somehow works. While the new truck does promise to be utilitarian enough to get work done, Mercedes has said that it is clearly positioning the vehicle as a luxury offering.
The X-Class features a number of car-like firsts that you won't yet find on similar models, such as smartphone connectivity. You can keep track of where your truck is, check on the fuel levels and seamlessly navigate from door to door. Good times.
Mercedes hasn't done all of the work itself though – engineering for the new pickup comes from a tie-up with Renault-Nissan, and the structural bits are the same as those found on the Alaskan/Navara respectively from those two car makers.
The X-Class takes styling cues from the GLS SUV at the front end, and at 5.3m long is able to offer a five-seat cabin as well as a hefty load bay, which is 1.6m long and has a maximum load rating of 1,042kg. Mercedes says that it will carry 17 full 50-litre barrels of beer and that it can tow a trailer containing three horses or an eight-metre yacht. That's weirdly specific, but someone pass us an application form for the Mercedes research division.
What does it look like inside?
The interior of the X-Class is familiar from other models in the range – the instrument panel is carried over from other parts of the range, and the floating tablet-style 8.4-inch display will be well known to A-Class drivers. That's as well as a 5.4-inch screen that sits between the instrument dials.
Electrically adjustable seats with lumbar support and room in the back for three people make the X-Class fairly desirable as family accommodation, not just as a day-to-day industrial workhorse.
The cabin has numerous colour and accessory options available for personalisation should you really want to make the X-Class interior feel like home – there are six different seat covers and three sets of cockpit trim parts. There are three different specification levels – Pure, Progressive and Power – each aimed at emphasising a different side of the X-Class's character.
There are tech features pulled over from other areas of the Mercedes range too – the X gets Lane Keeping Assist, Active Brake Assist and Traffic Sign Assist on the options list, leaving the driver free to wolf-whistle at passing ladies.
What about the engines?
From the outset, the Mercedes-Benz X-Class will be available with 220d and 250d diesel engines, which use the same 2.3-litre Diesel engine with single and twin-turbochargers respectively to produce 165hp and 190hp. Both diesels are available with rear-wheel drive or engageable all-wheel drive.
In 2018 the new pickup will be available with a range-topping 258hp V6 diesel option. There's a 165hp petrol engine available in certain markets – Dubai and Morocco initially – but that won't be making its way to the UK.
Permanent all-wheel drive will also be available as an option from next year, along with a locking differential on the rear axle, somewhat boosting the X-Class's rugged credentials.
Transmission-wise, you can choose from a six-speed manual or a seven-speed automatic.
The new truck will be built at Nissan's factory in Barcelona, and goes on sale in November 2017, starting from around £33,000 with UK prices to be confirmed.