The ultimate ute? Six-wheel Mercedes X-Class concept revealed
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Not only did double-cab utes dominate New Zealand's sales charts this year, but they also dominated Driven's list of most read-about new vehicles.
As we've waxed lyrical about in the past, the ute market is a changing one. More and more buyers are entering the market to buy utes either as family cars or as gravel toys, and products like the Mercedes-Benz X-Class illustrate the change perfectly.
Mercedes have made utility vehicles for years now, but the X-Class was still a bit of a surprise. Nonetheless they've proven popular in some other markets (us Kiwis have some catching up to do), and some tuning companies have even added the X-Class to their roster.
Brabus is the most well known and obvious of these tuners. They have a long history crafting aftermarket packages for the three-pointed star's products. Behind them, Carlex Design are probably next in line.
Over the course of the year, the Polish tuning group have revealed several weird and wacky X-Class designs. But the latest has to claim the prize as the most extreme, most ambitious, most ... totally insane ... of the bunch.
Pictured above and below, it's called the EXY Monster X Concept. And, as you can probably tell, there's quite a lot to dissect here.
For one, it's got six wheels. Each of them gets power, too, making this a genuine six-wheel drive like the AMG G63 6X6 and the Chevrolet Silverado Hennessey Goliath. The bodywork is also worth a mention — being formed almost completely out of carbon fibre.
The lightweight weave would ordinarily be extreme enough for most taste palettes, but it's outshone (literally) by the bright yellow rear bed. It's a protective paint that's assumedly designed to protect the carbon fibre underneath in case one of these things somehow falls into the hands of a tradie throwing tools in the back. Flashes of yellow appear elsewhere, too, including on the front winch and brake calipers.
Other factoids of note include the widened arches, Bridgestone Potenza rubber (painted tyres are the greatest, aren't they?), and the tailgate that's formed in an 'X' shape. There is no reference to powertrain upgrades, but you'd assume at least that such a silly vehicle would utilise the 190kW V6 X-Class engine at the very least.
For those waiting for the 'but...', here it is — the Monster X Concept is just a concept. That's not surprising, but know that Carlex do plenty of customised vehicles for nit-picky customers.
If a dozen of them bombard the company with emails about 'that crazy 6-wheeled thing' today followed by the words 'I want to buy one', well ... the X could transfer from far-fetched concept to far-fetched reality in an instant.