Mercedes-Benz Dealer Intercounty Truck & Van chose the appropriately stunning surroundings of an historic country house hotel and sporting estate to launch the first premium brand pickup.
More than 80 established and prospective Mercedes-Benz customers joined the Dealer’s 25-strong team at magnificent Stapleford Park, near Melton Mowbray, Leicestershire. Lined up and waiting for them to put through their hugely impressive paces were no fewer than 18 immaculately presented examples of the ground-breaking X-Class.
Following a hearty breakfast, and a welcome by Intercounty Managing Director Simon Elliott, the guests were split into groups, which would swop places later in the day. Half began with presentations on the comprehensive Mercedes-Benz Vans range from Sales Manager Justin Boon and on the Dealer’s customer-focused back-up from After Sales Director Brian Patterson. The other half boarded a luxury Mercedes-Benz coach for the short trip to March House Farm, where a demanding off-road course had been laid out.
Under the expert guidance of 4x4 driving specialists, guests negotiated a succession of steep inclines and heavily rutted tracks, and forded deep, water hazards – the broad grins as they emerged confirmed that Intercounty had achieved its goal of staging an event which, as well as being informative, was also great fun.
Recent winner of the inaugural Professional Pickup of the Year award, the X-Class combines robustness, functionality and off-road capability, with the classical characteristics – design, comfort, driving dynamics and safety – for which Mercedes-Benz is renowned.
Customers can choose from three equipment lines – PURE, PROGRESSIVE and POWER – and between two four-cylinder diesel engines, a 163 hp unit as employed in the X 220 d, and the X 250 d’s 190 hp version; a range-topping 258 hp V6 arrives later this year.
Intercounty has taken a number of orders for X-Class models from guests who attended the event, among them Peterborough-based chartered surveyor Amos Barber.
“I was looking for a comfortable vehicle that I can drive for the majority of the time on road, but which I can also take onto the rough sites I sometimes need to access for my work, and use to tow my horsebox,” he explained.
“I’ve had a variety of 4x4 vehicles in the past, but the X-Class tops them all. It’s well-appointed, exceptionally nice to drive, and surpassed my expectations in terms of off-road performance – I’ve attended driving days as a guest of other manufacturers and one or two would have been quite chuffed to get their own vehicles around Intercounty’s off-road course. Yet our Mercedes-Benz did so while shod with road tyres!”
Mr Barber continued: “The X-Class also offers a very practical 1.0-tonne payload and a 3.5-tonne towing capacity which a lot of its competitors can’t match. It’s ‘top of its class’ as far as I’m concerned.”
Ed Wheeler is Group Managing Director of Eurotank, a specialist contractor to the petroleum industry, which operates from headquarters in Stoke-on-Trent and runs a fleet of 35 vans, many of them by Mercedes-Benz. The owner of a nine-seat Vito Tourer, he was joined on Intercounty’s launch event by his father Geoff. Both were equally impressed.
“The off-road course was certainly challenging but the X-Class took everything in its stride,” recalled Ed Wheeler.“The ride quality on the road is very good, while the fact that it’s classified as a commercial vehicle means that not only is it tax-efficient for use as a company car, but it also benefits from the after sales support of the
Mercedes-Benz Vans Dealer Network.”
Nisha Tosar’s animal physiotherapy business, Paws and Hooves, is based in Milton Keynes. She joined her brother Neville, the Managing Director of Mercedes-Benz Sprinter operator Icon Graphics, of Bletchley, and his wife Seema, at Stapleford Park.
“The X-Class is awesome and, as my work sometimes entails treating horses, would be
a great vehicle in which to visit owners’ yards and farms,” enthused Nisha. “The Intercounty team were great hosts, too, and looked after us very well. I also won some Mercedes-Benz wine- stoppers, an umbrella and a cap – what a great day!”
Intercounty’s Simon Elliott concluded: “We were keen to showcase the many and varied talents of the awesome X-Class at an event which reflected the premium values of the product and the manufacturer we’re privileged to represent.
“We paid a great deal of attention to detail and, from the opening dinner and overnight stay we hosted for a select group of VIP customers, through to the delight on guests’ faces as they returned to their own cars to find they’d been valeted, we achieved on all counts. It was an amazing day, which set the Dealer event bar to a new high.”