Mercedes-Benz built a ute - and it's very pretty

On Tuesday, Mercedes-Benz gave the public their first look at the company’s upcoming “pickup truck” in the form of the new X-Class Concept.

In Australia, that’s known as a “ute”, but because there’s been no confirmation it will be available Down Under, we’ll stick with “pickup truck”.

According to Mercedes-Benz, the new X-Class will be the world’s first true “premium” pickup truck.

Introduced in a ceremony in Stockholm, the new X-Class marks Mercedes’ official entry into what is perhaps the most competitive, territorial, and lucrative segment in the automotive market.

“With the Mercedes-Benz pickup, we will close one of the last gaps in our portfolio,” Daimler chairman and head of Mercedes-Benz Dr Dieter Zetsche said in a statement. “Our target: we want to offer customers vehicles matching their specific needs. The X-Class will set new standards in a growing segment.”

In the US, the midsize pickup segment, where the X-Class will compete, is growing at more than 20% a year. At the same time, the midsize pickup also dominate in Argentina, Australia, and Brazil. Unfortunately, Mercedes-Benz does not plan to offer the X-Class for sale in the US when it enters production late next year. Or perhaps fortunately for Mercedes, as the US pickup market is dominated by the Detroit Big Three.

Instead, Mercedes is expected to offer the X-Class in Europe, Latin America, South America, and Africa. No official pricing information for the X-Class has been released.

Here’s a closer look at the Mercedes-Benz X-Class pickup.

On Tuesday, Mercedes' Van division debuted two versions of the Concept X-Class.

Mercedes-Benz

One is a concept intended to show off Mercedes' design and luxurious appointments: the Stylish Explorer.

Mercedes-Benz

Then there's Powerful Adventurer, which is designed to display the truck's rugged side.

Mercedes-Benz

The Stylish Explorer rides on 22-inch wheels and features a full-crew cab with a compact cargo bed. In addition, the tailgate features a continuous LED light strip.

Mercedes-Benz

Inside, the Stylish Explorer is tasteful and understated while maintaining the luxurious feel expected of a Mercedes-Benz product. The interior features open-pore smoked oak with aluminium accents.

Mercedes-Benz

The Powerful Adventurer is less understated. The truck's rugged pretensions are evident in its interior, which comes complete with fire extinguisher.

Mercedes-Benz

At the same time, the black nappa leather seats offer comfortable accommodations for five.

Mercedes-Benz

On the outside, the Powerful Adventurer offers exceptional ground clearance and rides on chunky off-road tyres.

Mercedes-Benz

Power for the X-Class is expected to come from a turbocharged diesel V6 engine paired with a 4Matic permanent all-wheel-drive system. In addition, the X-Class will be equipped with a transfer case with reduction gear and two differential locks to get through tough terrain.

Mercedes-Benz

The X-Class will be built on a proper truck chassis with a ladder frame. In addition, the X-Class will feature the latest in driver assistance technology in the form of radar, cameras, and ultrasonic sensors.

Mercedes-Benz

The Mercedes-Benz X-Class is expected to enter production in late 2017. The X-Class, developed in conjunction with the Nissan-Renault Alliance, will be assembled at Nissan and Renault plants in Europe and South America.

Mercedes-Benz

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