Mercedes is using the grand stage of the 88th Geneva Motor Show to make the world premier of an X-class with a V-6 and permanent all-wheel-drive. It’s called the X 350d 4MATIC and Mercedes promises its just at home on the streets as it is off-road. Powered by a diesel engine pumping out 258-horsepower and 405 pound-feet of torque through 3.0-liters, the X-Class certainly has some oompf, but will that be enough to woo global customers?
The X-Class comes with a driving mode switch, something you don’t see much in pickup trucks. Drivers can select from Comfort, Eco, Sport, Manual and Off-road modes. The different modes change the shift behavior of the 7G-Tronic Plus automatic transmission. Mercedes says the X-Class can go zero to 60 in under eight seconds.
The 4MATIC permanent all-wheel-drive splits up the torque between the front and rear axles with 40 percent to the front and 60 percent to the rear. There are three different all-wheel-drive modes, none of which change that torque delivery percentage. But the modes do control the differential locking in order to optimize traction depending on driving conditions.
The X 350d 4MATIC is the top-of-the-line model in the X-Class. Mercedes expects the pickup truck to make its debut in Europe in mid-2018. In Germany the model will go on sale for a little over $65,000. I’m not sure that having different driving modes is going to be enough to convince pickup truck owners to give Mercedes a chance.
It should be noted that Mercedes plans to bring the X-Class to South America, Australia and Africa after its European launch. As of right now, the U.S. market is not on that list. That could be a good thing as Mercedes can use the other pickup markets to tweak its special sauce before potentially coming to the U.S. Of course, there is no guarantee that we’ll ever see the X-Class on the road here in the states.