2019 Mercedes-Benz X-Class/Z-Class ute details emerge

  • By Celene Zaghini
  • 29 Jan, 2016

New details from a top-secret Australian design forum have emerged, detailing the upcoming Mercedes-Benz ute that was spied testing this week in a Nissan Navara shell.

The private event is understood to have brought confirmation that the ute will be known as either the Mercedes-Benz X-Class or Z-Class, along with a number of other details:

Three model range (base, mid- and high-specification)
Two diesel engines (four- and six-cylinder diesel options)
Australian engineering input
B-Class-esque interior with dashtop screen for high-specification model
AMG styling kit likely, but AMG version unlikely
These details follow the sighting this week of a prototype Mercedes-Benz ute, wearing Mercedes-Benz wheels and the panels of a new-generation Nissan Navara NP300.

What we know already

Based on information released by Mercedes-Benz since the new model’s announcement, we know that the ute will occupy a premium space for the brand and will be based on the recently released Nissan Navara NP300, which has been engineered to support both a coil-sprung rear and leaf spring suspension setup.

According to Mercedes-Benz, the similarities will be few and far between, with the manufacturer admitting the decision to use the Navara platform was one based on cost.

At this month’s Detroit motor show, Daimler board member Thomas Weber told CarAdvice, “Yes, to come to an attractive price we are using a common platform, but all the rest is done by Mercedes – to design, to develop the vehicle specifically to meet Mercedes criteria,” Weber said, building on previous statements from the brand.

The ute, which was announced in July 2015, will be sold in key markets for the brand, which include Latin America, South Africa, Australia, New Zealand and Europe.

It will be built at Nissan’s plant in Barcelona, Spain, for global export. The Mercedes-Benz ute will also share its platform with the Nissan Navara NP300 and Renault Alaskan.

What we have learned

Based on a top secret design forum held in Australia late last year, we have discovered that the new Mercedes-Benz ute will be called either the Mercedes-Benz X-Class or Mercedes-Benz Z-Class. According to an attendee, the brand was leaning toward X-Class due to its off-road and rugged connotation.

In an attempt to distance itself from the Navara NP300 donor vehicle, organisers said that there would only be a dual-cab variant. The single variant would eliminate the need to engineer a single-cab or extra-cab variant.

The Mercedes-Benz ute range will be available in three specification levels: a trades-focused base model, a better-equipped mid-level option and a more lifestyle-oriented top specification.

The range will also be powered exclusively by diesel engines, one four-cylinder and one six-cylinder engine.

Powering the base and mid-specification models will be the same engine as the Navara — a 2.3-litre four-cylinder turbocharged diesel engine that produces 140kW (188hp) of power and 450Nm (332ft.lb) of torque. It will have a towing capacity limited to 3000kg.

The top-specification model will be available with both the four-cylinder diesel and a six-cylinder turbocharged diesel engine that produces 190kW (255hp) of power and 550Nm (406ft.lb) of torque. Towing capacity would be an increased 3500kg.

Both the base model and mid-specification will come with selectable four-wheel drive, with the vehicle operating in rear-wheel drive regularly. The top-specification will be a full-time four-wheel-drive.

In terms of design, the base model is likely to be built as a tradesman’s utility with basic wheels, plastic-clad bumpers and little in the way of visual enhancements.

According to an attendee, the top-specification model had an interior similar to the B-Class, with an iPad-esque screen attached to the dashboard. The top-specification model also had integrated satellite navigation and a 360-degree surround-view camera.

In terms of pricing for Australia, attendees were told that pricing would start from around $55,000 for the base model, over $60,000 for the mid-specification and close to $80,000 for the top-specification guise.

Source: caradvice.com.au

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