Against the Mini Countryman and the future Audi Q1, Mercedes prepares a small crossover, rumoured to be named X-Class and based on the Renault Captur.
BMW has the Mini Countryman and the Paceman based on the first Mini generation and Audi will launch the small class crossover Q1 in 2016.
And Mercedes does not want to stay behind, like it happened with the GLK and with the future MLC, which were launched or will be launched 6 years later after the X3 and the X6.
Inititally, Mercedes thought that a small class SUV would fit very well in the smart brand. But a smart brand does not have so much power like the Mercedes brand and smart brand means rear wheel drive and rear positioned engine. The former smart forfour with front wheel drive and front engine was very unsuccessful.
And, more important than these contentions,there is the Daimler CEO’s statement, Dieter Zetsche.
Regarding the Smart brand, Daimler president excluded any expansion in the shape of a Mini or a Fiat 500 range, because the development of the smart is most likely to come from getting involved in more urban mobility and car sharing schemes.
Considering all these aspects, Daimler will use the Mercedes brand umbrella to launch a small class SUV.
Downsizing is crucial for these times. Audi has already officially announced that they will launch the Q1 in 2016. VW Group does not have any SUV in the small class and the Q1 will fit perfectly between the future VW Taigun and the Audi Q3. Unofficially, Audi is also planning a SUV coupe named Q2. Both the Q1 and the Q2 will be available with front wheel drive and more powerful versions will have four wheel drive for an option. Audi is also planning a Plug-In Hybrid for the Q1, with a fuel consumption of 1.5 l/100 km.
On the other side, BMW is planning no less than 10 different versions for the new Mini generation based on the new BMW front wheel drive platform. The future Countryman will also use the new generation of 3 and 4 cylinder engines.
Mercedes X-Class will compete against the future Mini Countryman and the Audi Q1
Mercedes will cooperate with the Renault partner to develop the small crossover placed under the compact GLA. The rumours speak about the X-Class name, but after the new logistics for the model names, nothing is clear.
It is clear though, that Mercedes will cooperate with Renault, which could offer the Captur platform. But Mercedes will not make the mistake from the Citan/Kangoo case again. The future X-Class or whatever the name will be, will have a different crash structure and a totally different interior. The design will be 100% Mercedes and the G-Code concept has given the first glimpse of the future small class SUV from Mercedes. Some engines will come from Renault, but like for the 1.5 dCI, taken from the compact range A and B-Class, Mercedes will modify them according to its standards.
By comparison with Audi, Mercedes does not plan an SUV coupe version and a four wheel drive. The Renault Captur does not have one and it is too expensive to develop a four wheel drive system especially for this model.
Like in case of the Audi Q1, the Mercedes X-Class will have a base price under 20,000 euros. The launch of the X-Class is estimated to happen in 2018.