Mercedes-Benz unleashes new 190kW X-Class V6: Here's all you need to know about the most powerful SA-bound Mercedes bakkie

<i>Image: Mercedes-Benz</i>
<i>Image: Mercedes-Benz</i>

Mercedes-Benz has debuted its most powerful version of its luxury bakkie yet - the X-Class V6. The new six-cylinder bakkie is headed for South Africa.

The X-Class is powered by a six-cylinder engine, 7G-tronic plus automatic transmission and sports 4Matic permanent all-wheel drive.

The tough performance bakkie completes a 0-100km/h sprint in 7.5 seconds. Permanent all-wheel drive ensures high levels of driving stability and handling dynamics both on and off the road – even on wet and wintry asphalt.

The perfect blend

The new X-Class flagship model develops 190kW and a peak torque of 550Nm.

DRIVEN: Mercedes-Benz performance X-Class V6 – the most expensive, powerful Merc bakkie yet

A choice of engine and transmission response levels, from comfortable to sporty, is at the driver's fingertips. The X350 therefore offers the perfect blend of sportiness and practicality – for an agile life packed with variety.

The top-of-the-range model can be ordered in either Progressive or Power equipment lines in Europe.

The Mercedes of pickups offers outstanding off-road capability, high payload and immense pulling power as well as ride comfort and handling dynamics on the road.

                                                                        Image: Mercedes-Benz

3.0-litre V6

The 3.0-litre six-cylinder diesel engine with common-rail direct injection impresses with its sheer assertiveness; Its maximum torque of 550Nm is available over a wide engine speed range from 1400 to 3200rpm.

This means that high torque is already available from low engine speeds.

                          Image: Mercedes-Benz

Its special features include lightweight design, a single-stage turbocharger with variable turbine geometry and innovative Nanoslide cylinder liner coating also used in Formula 1.

The 7G-Tronic automatic transmission included as standard, complete with steering wheel paddles-shifts.

                                                                        Image: Mercedes-Benz

Dynamic Select

With the Dynamic Select system, fitted as standard, the X-Class features a driving mode switch that has seldom been available in the bakkie segment to date.

With a choice of five driving modes, the driving characteristics can be changed by fingertip control – from relaxed and comfortable to sporty and dynamic. These modes modify the engine response, the automatic transmission's shift points, and the eco start/stop function:

1. Comfort: This mode is activated automatically when the engine starts. It provides comfort-emphasising, harmonious accelerator characteristics as well as early shift points. 

2. Eco: 7G-TRONIC PLUS changes the gears at particularly low engine speeds.

3. Sport: The engine responds more immediately to throttle input. The automatic transmission makes use of the entire engine speed range to change gears, and shifts at higher engine speeds. 

4. Manual: The automatic transmission can be manually operated using the gearshift paddles on the steering wheel. This leads to far shorter shift times than in the Comfort and Eco programs. 

5. Off-road: This mode is suitable for driving on challenging terrain. It offers higher shift points and a flatter, and therefore more precisely adjustable, accelerator characteristic curve. 

Wide track

With 1632mm at the front and 1625mm at the rear, the X-Class has a wider track than most competitors. At 3150mm, the wheelbase is also longer than in many midsize bakkies. This reduces vibrations during the journey and makes for smooth and reliable straight-line stability.

                                                                       Image: Mercedes-Benz

The robust ladder-type frame forms the basis for heavy-duty transport loads and tough off-road assignments. The comfort suspension is designed in such a way that it achieves a high level of vehicle dynamics and ride comfort on a par with Mercedes-Benz passenger cars on the road, while also delivering maximum off-road capability in conjunction with all-wheel drive system. 

Image: Mercedes-Benz

                                                                            Image: Mercedes-Benz

During normal driving on flat roads and when driving slowly off-road, the system responds softly. With a sporty driving style or sudden evasive manoeuvres, the dampers become stiffer for good driving stability.

Thanks to precision suspension tuning, specific structural reinforcements on the frame and bodyshell, and a comprehensive sealing system, the X-Class offers its passengers a level of refinement on a par with the V-Class people carrier.

                                                                        Image: Mercedes-Benz

Comprehensive range of safety equipment

The X-Class features a comprehensive array of comfort and safety features seldom seen in this segment. The basis for the high level of occupant protection is provided by the particularly robust bodyshell with its high-strength passenger cell, plus a structure whose front and rear sections are able to absorb energy by specific deformation.

For passive safety, the standard equipment includes seven airbags and the i-Size attachment system for two child seats. With Active Brake Assist and Traffic Sign Assist, two driver assistance systems are at the ready to simultaneously increase active safety and comfort.

                                                                        Image: Mercedes-Benz

Additionally X350 d – as the top variant of the X-Class – has the Active Lane Keeping Assist. Further there is ESP trailer stabilisation, a tyre pressure monitoring system, an emergency call system, cruise control, and LED headlamps that deliver the brightest light output in the segment thanks to six LEDs respectively.

A reversing camera or a 360-Degree Camera are available as options. Given this extensive level of equipment, the X-Class fulfils the requirements placed on a modern family and lifestyle vehicle.

Two equipment lines for the X-Class

The X350 d is available in the equipment lines Progressive and Power, both of which set new standards for comfort and perceived value in the midsize pickup segment.

They differ in design, level of equipment, and functionality. In both lines, the X-Class flagship model features Keyless-go and two-zone thermotronic air conditioning as standard.

The Progressive line includes the following as standard: 17" 6-spoke light-alloy wheels, air vents in electroplated silver chrome, leather-lined steering wheel and parking brake, seats in black Posadas fabric (optionally Artico man-made leather/Dinamica microfibre), the infotainment system Audio 20 USB, and an eight-speaker system.

Standard features in the high-end equipment line Power include a simulated, chrome-plated underride guard in the front bumper, a chrome-plated rear bumper, 18" 6-spoke light-alloy wheels, LED High Performance headlights, dashboard with large trim element in a matt black pixel look and with upper section in Artico man-made leather, seats in Artico man-made leather/Dinamica microfibre (optionally black or nut brown leather), electrically adjustable seats, and the infotainment system Audio 20 CD with a multi-functional touch-pad. 

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