Rendering VS Reality: Mercedes’ X-Class Pickup
Comparing our rendering to teaser shots of Mercedes upcoming truckby Mark McNabb, on
Mercedes is debuting its X-Class pickup truck tomorrow (July 18), and we couldn’t be more excited. And while this marks Mercedes’ first foray into building pickups, the X-Class is expected to lead in luxury and refinement, while still offering competitive capabilities inherent to a mid-size pickup. Rumors of this pickup date back more than a year, with speculation and spy shots providing hints at Mercedes’ plans. We compiled that information into a rendering back in 2016, aided by current design themes seen throughout the Mercedes lineup. Now with the X-Class teaser video online, we’re comparing how our rendering measures up with reality.
At first blush, the X-Class is already familiar thanks to use of Mercedes design themes and elements. The front end especially looks like the GLE-Class SUV, and that’s exactly where we borrowed inspiration for our rendering. However, the X-Class’ bones don’t hail from Germany, but rather Japan. Remember, Mercedes has partnered with Renault-Nissan to co-develop its pickup with the Navara NP300. The trucks will share the same body-on-frame construction and basic suspension components, but that’s about it. Mercedes has said its X-Class will be groomed to impress its discerning customers, with a more refined ride, Mercedes powertrains, and wholly Mercedes designs inside and out. So, let’s get a closer look at our rendering verses the X-Class in Mercedes’ teaser video.
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Our rendering was based largely on spy shots gathered of test mules and the Mercedes GLE SUV. The GLE’s influence is clearly seen in the front end, with the twin-bar grille and large Mercedes star. Headlights are very similar, too, along with the lower grille and side intakes. The GLE’s strong character line running along its side is also present, though modified for the X-Class. We placed this crease along the door handles rather than under them. Not only does this help distinguish the X-Class from the GLE, it also allows the character line to run rearward into the cargo bed, visually coupling the two body panels together. Unfortunately, this trait didn’t carry into reality. Looking at the side image of the X-Class, the character line is absent. The lower scallop between the wheel well is present, though.
X-Class Teaser shots
Mercedes-Benz released a teaser video a few days before the X-Class’ introduction, both to drum up excitement and to announce the debut date of July 18, 2017. In the video, short snippets of the X-Class can be seen. Though it’s hard to definitively tell, it seems our rendering is darn close to reality. Compare the front ends – only the lower fascia is somewhat different. The grille designs are basically identical with the twin horizontal bars and large Mercedes star. Even the LED daytime running lights are identical, though that’s thanks to the GLE’s influence in the design.
The teaser video also gave us a first peek at the X-Class’ taillights. Unlike our rendering, these LED taillights look borrowed from the GMC Canyon. Seen above, both taillights have a C-shape with the reverse lights centered in the middle. While Mercedes might have borrowed the styling, the X-Class’ taillight is uniquely different thanks to the thin LED light patterns.
We are genuinely excited about the Mercedes-Benz X-Class pickup, despite Mercedes saying it won’t debut for the North American market. Thankfully company executives haven’t completely axed the idea and say the automaker will continue watching the American pickup segment for signs consumer interest in a high-end, luxury pickup. That’s a head-scratching statement, with half-ton pickups getting evermore luxurious. Even the GMC Canyon now comes in the range-topping Denali trim. What more confirmation Mercedes needs is unknown. Perhaps a written request, in which case, we’d be happy to oblige.
Dear Mercedes-Benz USA,
On behalf of America, we formally request the X-Class be sold on our shores.
Read our full speculative review on the 2020 Mercedes-Benz X-Class.
Read our full review on the 2016 Mercedes-Benz X-Class Concept.
Read our full review on the 2015 Nissan NP300 Navara.