Mercedes-Benz Unveils Its First Luxury Pickup Truck
The auto brand hopes to capitalize on the growing market for premium utility vehicles
Pickup truck sales surged in the first quarter of 2016, which left many auto manufacturers scrambling to keep up with the demand. While pickup truck sales have dipped slightly, Mercedes-Benz is banking on the popularity of luxury pickup trucks to be a long-lasting trend with the release of its first luxury pickup truck. With well over a century in the car business, Mercedes-Benz unveiled its first luxury pickup truck late last month. The midsize truck comes with permanent all-wheel drive and high-torque V6 engines, and is set to be available in Europe, South America and Australia in late 2017. The sleek pickup called the X-Class, is hoping to set new standards in a growing auto segment.
With a signature Mercedes-Benz look the X-Class will have two major versions, one that is orientated for off-road use and the other highlighting Mercedes’ premium stylings.
The off-road focused model, called the Powerful Adventurer has a high ride-height and ground clearance coupled with extra wheel arch protection, an electric winch at the front of the truck and a metal hook at the back of the truck. The slick Stylish Explorer has more of a SUV feel to it featuring cleaner running lines, flared wheel arches and 22-inch light-alloy wheels. Both trucks will have integrated technology with a touchscreen display and modern driver assistance.
Mercedes Benz is hoping their premium vehicle will appeal to a growing segment of truck drivers who aren’t just looking for a mechanical workhorse but rather a truck that can do double duty for both private and commercial use, bridging the gap between rural and city use.
While a luxury pickup is new for Mercedes-Benz, the company isn’t new to trucks. It has been selling large trucks all over the world for years and was also the first luxury manufacturers to enter the luxury crossover SUV market in the 1990s.
Currently there are no plans for the X-class to be sold in the United States. With gas prices and interest rates still low, pickups remain relatively affordable for U.S. buyers. With more families in the United States choosing crossovers and pickups over passenger cars, Mercedes-Benz might want to consider the U.S. market in the near feature for the X-Class.