by Adrian-Liviu Dorofte

RUMOR: Mercedes-Benz X-Class anyone?

A new speculation now travels across the automotive industry: Mercedes-Benz will likely further consolidate its position in the premium compact market segment with the advent of an all new class beginning with 2018 - the X-Class.

According to German publication Autobild, the X-Class lineup will be developed in cooperation with Renault and will consist of two different models: the Cross and the Van. The first is a hatchback with higher ground clearance that features a "wannabe SUV" styling meaning plastic covers for the bumpers and wheel arches, a redesigned metal shield visible from underneath the car and bespoke alloy wheels. The second choice is a small, van-like hatchback with chich factor placed just beneath the A-/B-Class and priced under 20,000 euros.

It is very important to mention the X-Class Van reaches a total length of just 4 meters, while the X-Class Cross is as long as the A-Class measuring 4.2 meters, with both cars sitting on the front-driven MFA modular platform. While the X-Class Van, at least according to the rendition, boasts a unique design, the X-Class Cross is in fact a redesigned A-Class targeting Volkswagen CrossPolo. No wonder it could be released around 2018, when the facelift of the W 176 series will already be on the market.

Engines and equipment will come from the bigger siblings. In addition, the partnership with Renault will also spawn some extra frugal, small displacement powerplants to be used specifically on the X-Class, so expect some impressive performance when it comes to fuel economy and CO2 emission level.

Analyzing the latest reports and inside information, it may well surprise everybody that Daimler's boss Dr. Dieter Zetsche initially denied Mercedes-Benz is not interesting in mastering any sub A-Class models. By contrary, these speculations about the future X-Class portfolio and the 4-meter GLG clearly highlight the intention of Germans to become a striking presence in the over-crowded cities of the future with these attractive, lifestyle vehicles that should look and perform very well.

Related articles:

- REPORT: The "baby G-Class" - one step closer to production

- Dr. Zetsche: No city car planned for the Mercedes-Benz premium brand

- PREVIEW: New trademark filings paint an interesting future for Mercedes-Benz

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