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New bakkies for SA: X-Class, Amarok, Navara and more on the way

2016-10-27 11:59

FIRST PREMIUM GERMAN BAKKIE: Mercedes-Benz revealed its X-Class bakkie globally. Expect the X-Class to arrive in SA in 2018. Image: Ferdi de Vos

Cape Town - The highly-anticipated Mercedes-Benz bakkie has finally been revealed - heralded by two nearly production-ready concepts of the X-Class.

The X-Class reveal follows the launch of SA's current bakkie king, Toyota's next-generation Hilux, launched in February. The new Hilux was the first major bakkie lauch in 2016.

The next pick-up to arrive in SA was  Fiat's new Fullback, launched in June 2016. In its first month (June 2016) the Fullback managed to make the top 10-list of best-selling bakkies in SA. 

Mercedes-Benz new X-Class

According to Mercedes-Benz, the X-Class is the world’s “first premium bakkie” and will combine the best of two worlds, as demonstrated by two design variants of the concept model; The Stylish Explorer and Powerful Adventurer.

The concept X-Class “powerful adventurer” illustrates that the future X-Class will possess all the strengths of a traditional bakkie - “tough, functional, strong, and with off-road capability”.

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The top-of-the-range model will be powered by a V6 diesel in combination with 4Matic permanent all-wheel drive. The all-wheel-drive system will combine an electronic traction system, a transfer case with reduction gear, and two differential-locks. The traction system and the electrically operated differential- locks channel the power to where traction is best. 

Production for the European, Australian and South African markets will start at the Nissan factory in Barcelona, Spain, in 2017.

New bakkies on the way

Fiat and Mitsubishi's partnership has resulted in two new bakkies for SA - the aforementioned Fullback and the next-generation Triton.

Nissan will also unveil a new bakkie in the form the highly-anticipated Navara, while Renault's Alaskan concept is also a possibility for SA. A facelift of the VW Amarok is also headed for SA in 2017.

What's headed for SA?

Volkswagen Amarok

The facelifted Volkswagen Amarok will receive a facelift in 2017. 

The big news, of course, is the addition of a new 3.0-litre V6 turbodiesel model (which VW has not yet been confirmed for SA).

However, Volkwagen South Africa has verified the facelifted model with the 2.0-litre TDI and BiTDI engines will arrive during the second half of 2017.

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Dubbed as a premium bakkie

The automaker has revealed details on the power outputs of the two V6 variants. The engine will be available in Europe in two versions: a 165kW/500Nm and a de-tuned 150kW version.

According to the automaker, the Amarok measures in at 5.25m in length and a width of 2.23m (side-mirrors included).

Mitsubishi Triton

Mitsubishi's fifth-generation Triton bakkie should arrive in South Africa later in 2016 or early in 2017 though given the weak state of the Rand, the launch could be delayed.

The new Triton, says Mitsubishi, is the automaker's most advanced bakkie yet. The Triton uses a new-generation 2.4-litre turbo diesel engine which produces 133kW/430Nm (up by 2kW/30Nm) and can be mated to either a six-speed manual or five-speed automatic. 

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Inside, it's roomier and quieter than its predecessor with higher quality interior finishes and a new full colour display.

The 4x4 doublecab variants use the Super Select II all-wheel-drive system borrowed from the Pajero and Pajero Sport. 

Nissan Navara

Nissan's flagship Navara bakkie is set to arrive later in 2016. 

The Navara will be available in two power outputs, 120kW and 140kW, and the range-topping version introduces twin turbocharging technology, a first for Nissan. The 2.3-litre can be mated to a standard six-speed manual or a seven-speed auto. A four-wheel drive variant will be available.

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The 3.0-litre V6 diesel looks likely to continue leading the range.

An altered version of the outgoing Navara's all-wheel system features a rotary switch that allows for shifting between between 2WD and 4WD at speeds of up to 100 km/h. Low range is also on offer.

Renault's Hilux-fighter: New Alaskan bakkie

Renault’s new bakkie, the Alaskan, has been revealed and will be the automaker’s attempt at taking on light commercial vehicle (LCV) stalwarts such as the Toyota Hilux and Ford Ranger.

Renault South Africa says "nothing has been confirmed as to whether the bakkie will be available locally"  though the automaker adds that its Alaskan will be up for discussion as to whether it will suit the local market.

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The Alaskan will be available with both petrol and diesel options. The 2.5-litre petrol engine is set to deliver 120kW and the 2.5-litre diesel engine 140kW. Both engine types will be make use of turbo technology and will be mated with either a six-speed manual gearbox or a seven-speed auto.

Power of a Fullback

Fiat's bakkie has a single 2.4-litre petrol option that produces 97kW/202Nm. The 2.5-litre turbodiesel is available in two power outputs: in the 4x2 model it produces 100kW/324Nm, and in 4x4-guise that power rises to 131kW/400Nm.

Want to know what the new Fullback is like to drive in SA? Read our driving impressions here.

A photo posted by Wheels24 (@wheels24_sa) on


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