After announcing back in April 2015 that it was working on a pickup truck, Mercedes-Benz has unveiled two concepts that previews the upcoming model. It will be called X-Class.
Based on the Nissan NP300 / Navara, the so-called Mercedes-Benz X-CLass Powerful Adventurer and X-Class Stylish Explorer concepts are two versions of one truck, the former aimed at those who like off-road adventures and the latter directed at those who put luxury and a refined ride above all else.
As such, the Adventurer evokes a traditional pickup with a focus on off-road capabilities and rugged styling, while the Explorer goes for a more upscale look with a white metallic paint and 22-inch chrome wheels.
The exterior will be toned down a bit for the production X-Class, while premium interior will feature high-quality materials and borrow components from the C-Class and V-Class.
Mercedes has confirmed that the top spec models will be powered by a V6 diesel engine paired with the company’s 4Matic all-wheel drive system and should be able to tow up to 7,000 pounds.
Volker Mornhinweg, head of Mercedes-Benz Vans, stated:
“Our future X-Class will be a pickup that knows no compromise. Ladder-type frame, high-torque six-cylinder engine, and permanent all-wheel drive are compulsory for us.”
The latest Navara is offered with several four-cylinder engines, so we wouldn’t be surprised if the German automaker gives the X-Class a four-banger or two.
The Mercedes-Benz X-Class goes on sale by the end of 2017 and will be available in Argentina, Brazil, Australia, New Zealand and Europe. Mercedes hasn’t announced whether the model will come to the United States and Canada.
Toyota FT-AC Adventure Concept Is Rugged And Exciting, Eyes Jeep
At the 2017 Los Angeles Auto Show, Toyota unveiled a rugged ‘Adventure Concept’ that could spice up the company’s high-riding lineup at bit if it were to be produced.
Not only is the Toyota FT-AC Concept exciting and rugged, but it also takes direct aim at Jeep. The rugged look comes in the way of front and rear skid plates, unpainted fenders and bold yellow tow hook.
Toyota’s designers also added LED auxiliary lights above the windshield, a shallow cargo tray with tie-down rings, and a retractable bike rack.
Infrared cameras on the side mirrors can be used to record trail accomplishments, and along with the fog lights, can be removed and mounted on other objects to capture other adventures.
A production Toyota FT-AC could be offered with a hybrid powertrain for competitive fuel efficiency and improved all-wheel-drive performance on challenging terrain.
According to Toyota, the Adventure Concept is a “design experiment,” but — to our eyes –its design looks tame enough to be viable for production. Would you want one?
Mazda Kai Concept Looks Amazing, Previews New Mazda3
The current Mazda3 is a great looking hatchback, and if the Mazda Kai concept is anything to go by, the new Mazda3 will be even more attractive.
Unveiled at the 2017 Tokyo Motor Show, the Mazda Kai progresses Mazda’s current Kodo design language, strongly hinting at what the fourth-generation Mazda3 will look like. It oozes masculinity, power and sportiness.
The driver-focused interior has a very minimalistic design, featuring an infotainment system that’s integrated into the dashboard for a much sleeker look than the infotainment system in the current Mazda3.
The Kai concept is based on the company’s new Skyactiv-vehicle architecture and powered by its next-generation Skyactiv-X engine, a remarkable piece of technology that will be the first compression-ignition engine to hit the market.
The Skyactiv-X engine will not only be between 20-30 percent more efficient than Mazda’s current engines, but will also have up to 30 percent more torque.
Gorgeous looks and revolutionary technology aside, we can also expect great handling. I have high hopes of the new Mazda3.
Toyota GR HV Sports Concept Is A Toyota 86 Hybrid
Of the handful of new or redesigned models and concepts Toyota debuted at the 2017 2017 Tokyo Motor Show, the Toyota GR HV Sports concept is one of the most interesting. The sports car is essentially a hybrid Toyota 86.
Instead of the 2.0L boxer engine found under the hood of the 86, GR HV is powered by a performance-focused hybrid powertrain benefiting from technology refined for Le Mans racing. Power is sent to the ground via an automatic transmission that can be switched into an automated manual mode with H-pattern shifting. Park, reverse and neutral functions have been moved to buttons on the center console.
Toyota’s engineers improved performance by positioning the hybrid battery in the center of the car.
Visually, the GR HV sets itself apart from the regular 86 with a pointier nose boasting more angular LED headlights, as well as a modified rear end with new taillights and a rear diffuser. The biggest difference, however, is he addition of a targa top that pays tribute to Toyota’s first sports car — the Sports 800 — and the Supra.
Do you like what you see, and should Toyota make it? Let us know in the comments below.