6 May 2005

Mercedes-Benz has confirmed it will produce a compact 4x4 to take on BMW’s X3 and Land Rover’s Freelander. The junior off-roader was scooped by Autocar last year, and X-class or MLK are the strongest possibilities for its name. The vehicle will be built at Mercedes’ Bremen factory, which currently assembles the C-class saloon, CLK, SLK and SL models. It is therefore likely to share much of its layout with the upcoming C-class, including the 4matic four-wheel-drive system offered in Europe. There could be AMG versions in the pipeline as well — the names X55 and X63 have been registered. It’s unlikely the new 4x4 will arrive before 2007.

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