New Mercedes-Benz X-Class ‘is more than a reskinned Nissan Navara’
Revealed last week in concept form, the X-Xlass keeps the ladder-frame chassis; five-link live rear axle and McPherson strut from the suspension set-up of the Nissan Navara but Mornhinweg said of the chassis: “We knew what had to be done. A hell of a lot of work, but we learned from our SUV experience.” He added that you can “hardly feel the difference between off-road and on-road. I wanted a precise line through corners, and it has crisp handling – you can feel what the car is doing.”
Also aiding the vehicle’s improved road behaviour, is a wider track compared to the Navara’s – this boosts stability and grip while reducing body roll. Lead engineer Klaus Benzinger says that Mercedes gave up using its original set of benchmark comparators because their dynamics were no longer relevant to the X-Class, such has been the progress made with it.
Refinement has also been a priority; this is not usually an area of excellence for pick-ups. Morninhinwg added that “a lot of work” had been focused on this.
The X-Class will start to appear in showrooms in the UK towards the end of 2017, and will be available only via Mercedes’ commercial vehicle network. It will be offered in two and four-wheel drive forms with four and six-cylinder petrol and diesel engines, and with a wide range of Mercedes-engineered options and accessories. Britain will only be offered the diesel versions.