The ute-based camper is not a new idea, but Mercedes-Benz are set to give it a new twist, following the release of concept camper bodies based on the new X-Class dual cab.
The concepts, from Dutch firm Tischer and German camper specialists VanEssa mobilcamping, were unveiled at the CMT caravan and touring show in Stuttgart in January.
Along with examples of the Marco Polo camper vans, the camper concepts for the X-Class presented at CMT came just two months after the ute’s official European launch.
Tischer’s camper for the X-Class follows on from similar units produced for the Ford Ranger, Nissan Navara and other models. It features a 150cm wide alcove sleeping system and internal headroom of almost two metres. A kitchen area with a 3-burner gas stove and seating for three converts to a second bed, while an integrated bathroom includes a fold-away wash basin, swivelling toilet and enough room for a shower. Tischer adds that the sandwich design on the body of their camper ensures both stability and excellent sound/temperature insulation.
VanEssa mobilcamping’s concept offered no accommodation, but instead presented a full pull-out kitchen module for the X-Class’s tray that holds a fridge, cooking, washing up and storage facilities. A second module offers more storage space.
A timber-look tonneau cover for the kitchen fitout can propped up on special pneumatic struts, and also serve as the base for a roof-mounted tent.
The new X-Class concepts and expanded Marco Polo camper van range come in response to a growing market in Germany that saw almost 38,000 new camper vans registered in ten months last year; a 15 per cent increase on the same period in 2016.
The X-Class ute makes its Australian debut in April, priced from $45,450 for the RWD and $50,400 for the AWD base ‘Pure’ model.
Australian-delivered X-Class utes will be fitted with a 2.3-litre turbo diesel engine and a choice of 6-speed manual or 7-speed auto transmission. A 3.0-litre t/d V6 is expected before the end of the year.