With a high-interest vehicle like the Mercedes-Benz X-Class, we thought it best to get some answers from German company’s top brass. The X-Class will go into production quite soon so Mornhinweg was less cagey about some of the details of the newcomer and gave great insights to what is set to become one of the first true “luxury” bakkies in South Africa. While pricing was nowhere near decided for the local model, it’s unlikely you’re going to get much change from a million rand, especially if you want something more powerful than anyone else’s bakkie. And let’s face it, if you want a Benz bakkie, you’re in for the whole 9 yards. We hope to drive the bakkie before it goes on sale in the domestic market to bring you more detail.
The X-Class may ride on the Nissan’s platform, but Benz merely sourced the ladder frame from the Japanese firm and will manufacturer the rest itself. Even the acclaimed 5-link rear suspension of the Navara may not even make an appearance on the X-Class; this is to distinguish the bakkie as a distinct product – not just a Navara with a Tri-Star badge. Our initial look inside the X-Class Concept did reveal a fair amount of Nissan switchgear, however. Mercedes is likely to add its own touches there when the final product is revealed later this year. The concept model was also clad in voluptuous velour seats, showcasing Benz’s intention to take the X-Class upmarket beyond Ranger, Navara, Amarok et al.
Mercedes will not use the plant in Rosslyn, which builds the Navara, to co-produce its X-Class. Instead, it will be built in Barcelona and at a plant in Argentina, with our model coming from the former. These plants have more capacity to build the X-Class than Nissan’s local plant in Rosslyn