Merc’s posh pickup due in 2018

The Star Early Edition - - MOTORING -

From Page 1 au­to­box. The flag­ship will also be avail­able with Merc’s Dy­namic Se­lect sys­tem, al­low­ing drivers to con­fig­ure the en­gine and gear­box char­ac­ter­is­tics through five se­lectable driv­ing modes, in­clud­ing one for off-road­ing.

How­ever, all 4x4 ver­sions will have low-range gear­ing and Down­hill Speed Reg­u­la­tion to fa­cil­i­tate se­ri­ous bundu-bash­ing, while a rear diff lock will be op­tional. Mercedes says the ground clear­ance on mod­els sold out­side of Europe will be 222mm.

The X-Class will have de­cent work­horse cre­den­tials too, with a pay­load of up to 1100kg, within a load­bay that’s wide enough to ac­com­mo­date a Euro-pal­let. The load area also of­fers LED il­lu­mi­na­tion to help you out when load­ing at night and there’s a handy 12-volt socket for power tools.

It may have the work ethic of a proper bakkie then, but Mercedes-Benz has gone the full lux­ury car monty in­side with pre­mium ma­te­ri­als and gad­gets that you’d nor­mally not ex­pect to find in a load-lug­ger. And there will be plenty of ways to per­son­alise the cabin as Mercedes says it will of­fer the widest se­lec­tion of ma­te­ri­als and colours in the seg­ment, in­clud­ing six dif­fer­ent seat up­hol­stery op­tions and two roof-liner colours.

The X-Class has a free-stand­ing cen­tral screen as per the V-Class, and mea­sur­ing up to 21.3cm in ve­hi­cles fit­ted with the Co­mand On­line in­fo­tain­ment sys­tem. Ver­sions equipped with this, or the Au­dio 20 CD sys­tem, will also fea­ture a con­sole-mounted touch­pad, as of­fered in the brand’s pas­sen­ger cars.

Mercedes claims that the X-Class is the most con­nected pick-up in its class, thanks to its ‘Me Con­nect’ sys­tem that al­lows cus­tomers to view ve­hi­cle in­for­ma­tion re­motely via their smart­phones or set-up door-to-door nav­i­ga­tion, al­though it ap­pears that these fea­tures will be lim­ited to Euro­pean mar­kets.

On the safety front, the X-Class boasts a full suite of ac­tive driv­ing aids in­clud­ing Ac­tive Brake As­sist, Lane Keep­ing As­sist, Trailer Sta­bil­ity As­sist and Traf­fic Sign As­sist. Fur­ther­more, it’ll be the only ve­hi­cle in its seg­ment fit­ted as stan­dard with in­ter­nally vented brake discs on all wheels.

South African spec­i­fi­ca­tions and pric­ing will be con­firmed closer to next year’s launch.

Rear sus­pen­sion has com­fier-rid­ing coil springs in­stead of leaf springs.

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