The SUV craze that has taken over the world right now doesn’t seem to be slowing down. A number of factors lead to this outburst that had some manufacturers like Mitsubishi, for example, completely drop sedans from their lineups. Others are building cars that we never expected them to build and such an example is Mercedes-Benz with its upcoming X-Class pickup model.
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When I first heard about the possibility of Mercedes launching a pickup I have to admit I scoffed a little. However, in my defense, that happened a long time ago and the SUV craze hadn’t taken over the world yet. The thing is, as time went by, I started to understand why it would make sense and why there may be a strong possibility that BMW would follow suit. However, there are some interesting differences between the two companies that might make a rival from Munich for the X-Class nothing more than a bedtime story.
The X-Class makes sense for Mercedes-Benz because they will have all the tools needed to put in production. It will basically be a mix between the Nissan Navarra and the Mercedes GLE-Class, featuring the same underpinnings as the Japanese model with the interior and exterior design coming from Stuttgart. Being built at the Nissan plant in Spain, Mercedes will only have to provide some of the features and technology such a car would need, making it quite profitable on the long run.
If BMW were to follow suit though, they’d have to develop the car from the ground up. It would be based on the CLAR architecture and would most likely be using BMW X5 underpinnings but the intricacies of making it a proper pickup would require some heavy investments. Sure, in recent years, we got used to saying never say never as manufacturers like Porsche, for example, are selling more SUVs than their traditional offerings. However, the chances of BMW coming up with a pickup in the following years are slim, at most.
Even so, were the Bavarians to launch such a proposition, to battle Mercedes on every possible front, would you be interested in a BMW pickup? Of course, that’s if they do it properly and create a car that actually has some off-roading capabilities. Built atop the X5 platform, it could also be a looker and a best seller in the US, where customers are more interested in owning a pickup, no matter if it will be actually used for its intended purposes. Given the price is also right, could it be tempting enough to set aside the brand preconceptions that don’t let us sleep at night?