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Mercedes-Benz shows pickups can be camper vans

Presents two aftermarket concepts for the X-Class

Mercedes-Benz is marketing the X-Class as a lifestyle vehicle, not as a utility one. PHOTO FROM MERCEDES-BENZ

Everyone was surprised when Mercedes-Benz came out with its first-ever pickup truck. The X-Class, based on the Nissan Navara platform, has polarized customers and observers alike since its launch. Fans welcome the new pickup and appreciate the brand’s efforts to expand its product line. Critics are scratching their heads and wondering why the German luxury carmaker felt the need to release a vehicle type known for its utilitarian nature.

Unfazed, Mercedes-Benz continues to market the X-Class as a lifestyle vehicle. At the upcoming Caravan/Motor/Touristik show in Stuttgart, Germany, the company is displaying the pickup with a pair of “camper van” concepts for outdoorsy individuals.

The X-Class carries a demountable cabin from coachbuilder Tischer. PHOTO FROM MERCEDES-BENZ

The first is a demountable cabin from a coachbuilder called Tischer. Picture a mobile bedroom if you will—a 150cm-wide alcove with a 2m headroom and a portable kitchen consisting of a three-burner stove and three seats. Said kitchen is convertible into a second bed.

The aftermarket cabin also has a foldaway washbasin, a swiveling toilet and an integrated bathroom spacious enough for a quick shower.

VanEssa lets you replicate your home kitchen in the woods. PHOTOS FROM MERCEDES-BENZ

The second concept is courtesy of a company called VanEssa, which specializes in mobile camping solutions. It’s a “heavy-duty, pull-out module with a fully equipped kitchen.” The teak wood cover is water-resistant. There is an option to add a roof tent if the intent is to commune with nature for more than a day.

We have no doubt the X-Class is already versatile in stock form, but with these camping modifications, the vehicle’s array of possible uses becomes nearly limitless. If only the tax exemption for pickups also covered the lifestyle models.

Vernon B. Sarne

Vernon is the founder and editor-in-chief of VISOR. He has been an automotive journalist for 26 years. He became one by serendipity, walking into the office of a small publishing company and applying for a position he had no idea was for a local car magazine. God has watched over him throughout his humble journey. He writes the ‘Spoiler’ column.