Mercedes-Benz X-Class spruiked as luxury workhorse


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Australian buyers must wait for early next year for newly unveiled ute

 

Mercedes-Benz has pitched its new X-Class utility vehicle as a commercial proposition with personal applications for the Australian market.

But given that what is designated as a ‘pickup’ is under the auspices of Mercedes-Benz Vans, this commercially underpinned double focus is also a global reality.

"With the X-Class we are closing a gap in the portfolio between passenger cars and commercial vehicles," Daimler board member and Mercedes-Benz Vans Human Resources and Labor Relations director Wilfried Porth says.

"Mercedes-Benz Vans is already very successful internationally in this respect with the Vito and the V-Class.

"With the pickup, too, we have various international markets in mind. Mercedes-Benz Vans is thus becoming even more international in orientation."

The manufacturer’s global launch material runs to 13 announcements and name checks several countries and targets, including "business owners and building contractors in Australia", though New Zealand was described in ‘adventure’ terms.

Despite that, the regional message that lobbed after the global launch in Cape Town is more uniform.

"The high level of interest and anticipation in the lead up to revealing the new X-Class has been a reflection of just how engrained dual cab utes are in both the Australian and New Zealand culture," Mercedes-Benz Vans Australia and New Zealand managing director Diane Tarr says.

"The fact is we love utes and we are showing a desire to incorporate this type of vehicle into our lives in more ways than we did in the past. Not just for work, but also increasingly for private use."

With Tarr stating it can "effectively provide a solution for trade and fleet customers", the X-Class comes in three variants:

Pure – a base model actually dubbed a "workhorse"

Progressive – the mid-range offering with business and private-use attractions

Power – the "the high-end design and equipment line" aimed at urban, sports and leisure pursuits

Its telematics and IT aims to bolster the business proposition, with internet and remote connectivity through a communications module with an integrated SIM card.

Progressive  and Power get the option of the multimedia Command online system  that includes hard-disc navigation with 3D map display and route options.

The ‘Mercedes me’ account services allow for maintenance and breakdown management and accident recovery, along with vehicle set-up and monitoring services.

‘Set-up’ enables remote retrieval of the vehicle's status. This extends to obtaining information such as the tyre pressures, mileage and the levels of fuel, screen wash or brake fluid. Vehicle Set-Up Services are free of charge for the first three years.

‘Monitoring’ includes parked vehicle locator, vehicle tracker and geofencing.

Engine options are 2.3 litre four-cylinder petrol and diesel , with a six-cylinder diesel to surface mid-next year.

The ‘X220 d’ has a turbo rating of 120 kW (163 hp) and torque of 403 Nm while the ‘X250 d’ bi-turbo 140 kW (190 hp) and 450 Nm.

The X 200's petrol engine output is 122 kW (165 hp).

Pushing the paws is the engageable 4MATIC all-wheel drive with low-range gearing and optional differential lock on the rear axle.

From the middle of next year a permanent all-wheel drive will complement the portfolio.

Pricing is unclear but in Germany from November the range will start at €37,294 ($54,300) including sales tax.

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