By Mxolisi Mhlongo
Kaya 959 was invited by Mercedes Benz South Africa in Cape Town for the international X-Class launch. This is Mercedes’s first ever pick up truck, otherwise known as a bakkie in South Africa. So before we go into details about the car, let’s understand the difference between a pickup truck and a bakkie. The Oxford dictionary defines a pickup truck as a light duty truck having an enclosed cab and an open cargo area with low sides and tailgate.
The word ‘pick up’ in automotive language means an act of collecting a person or goods, especially in a vehicle. So the Americans call these vehicles trucks and South Africans call them bakkies. It’s pretty much the same thing, to be honest with you. At the X-Class launch, Mercedes Chairman Dr. Dieter Zetsche said, “Our target is to offer customers vehicles matching their specific needs.”
The X-Class has a variety of active and passive safety systems including a lane-keep assist, autonomous emergency braking and traffic sign recognition. It will also work with Mercedes’s connected-car services, so owners will be able to locate or otherwise check up on their trucks remotely. This connectivity will also permit door-to-door navigation.
The X-class will have three model variants which are:
Pure– This is very basic and would be regarded as the workhorse, this will be typically used on contraction sites and warehouses.
Progressive- This is a bit more refined and will be used for both work and leisure.
Power- This is the high-end sporty version which is fit for family and lifestyle use.
The design of the vehicle embodies wildness, lifestyle, adventure and the finesse of Mercedes. The X-class did not deviate from its concept which had everyone worried about its practicality. The X-Class is the result of a parts-sharing deal between Mercedes and the Renault-Nissan Alliance, hence it is based on the Navara and Renault Alaskan. The X-Class will share factories with the Alaskan in Barcelona, Spain and Cordoba, Argentina.
Engine & Transmission
The X-Class engine line-up is based on 4 and 6-cylinder diesel motors. The X 220d (161bhp) and X 250d (188bhp) use the same 2.3-litre four-cylinder diesel in single and twin-turbo form respectively. Both these engines get a six-speed manual gearbox as standard but a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic is offered as an option on the higher-powered unit.
According to Mercedes-Benz, the X-class will be available in Germany from €37,000 and when converted into Rands it is estimated at the price tag equivalent to R555318.20
The vehicle will be available from 18 April 2018 in South Africa.
|Dimensions of the X-Class|
|Vehicle length||5340 mm|
|Vehicle width||1920 mm|
|Vehicle height||1819 mm|
|Load bed length||1587 mm|
|Load bed width||1560 mm|
|Load bed height||474 mm|
|Maximum payload capacity||1042 kg|
|Braked towing capacity (depending on engine and equipment)||1650–3500 kg|
Standard equipment includes:
- Front bumper painted in the vehicle colour
- Chromed visual underbody panelling in front bumper
- Chromed rear bumper
- 18-inch six-twin-spoke light-alloy wheels
- LED High-Performance headlamps and part-LED tail lamps
- Electrically adjustable, heated and folding outside mirrors
- Windscreen made of heat insulating glass
- Rain sensor
- Instrument panel with upper section in ARTICO man-made leather including contrasting topstitching and a large trim element with a matt black pixelated look
- Ventilation outlets galvanised in silver shadow