Long Wheelbase X-Class Revealed


This is a more utility orientated version of Mercedes-Benz’s X-Class double-cab.

The German brand’s first bakkie might be aimed primarily at leisure users, but Mercedes is now realising that there is a substantial utility market to be serviced too.

In certain markets, bakkie owners use commercial vehicle specific tax exemption regulations to their advantage when purchasing a double-cab. To potential X-Class customers who desire a Mercedes-Benz double-cab with greater loadability and the potential to gain tax advantages, there is a new extended wheelbase version in the works.

The extended wheelbase X-Class was developed as a joint venture between Mercedes-Benz and Veth Automotive, a Dutch automotive coachbuilder with a history dating back to 1840. Test mules were spotted during cold weather testing last month and now more official details have been released.

Cooperating with the Mercedes-Benz van and light commercial vehicle R&D centre in Stuttgart, Veth has adhered to strict authorisation and certification for their extended X-Class project. The accompanying image shows the bodywork insert, which can be seen between the back of the cab and fuel filler cap.

Veth has reshaped the X-Class bodywork to extend its wheelbase by 90 mm, lengthened the axle spacing to 3.24 m – which should offer slight benefits in terms of ride quality and high-speed stability.

The extended wheelbase’s primary purpose, though, is enabling greater loadability and the Veth developed X-Class features a loadbin which is 2.06 m long, instead of the current X-Class double cab’s 1.72 m.

The Netherlands will serve as an initial test market for these extended wheelbase X-Class double-cabs, with the price of that additional load space calculating to R115 000. Veth will open orders by May. This larger version of Mercedes-Benz’s double-cab would have specific appeal in the world’s largest bakkie market, America, a geography where X-Class is not being sold – yet…

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