The Mercedes-Benz X350d 4Matic is the most powerful bakkie in South Africa, with the Volkswagen Amarok V6 4Motion coming in a close second (be sure to read our comparative test of the two premium bakkies). However, local tuner RACE! has decided to effectively extend the X-Class V6’s lead by handing it even more power ... plus a widebody kit.

Sporting an uprated version of the standard 3,0-litre turbodiesel V6 engine, the modified X350d 4Matic’s peak outputs have been increased to 221 kW and 620 N.m of torque. For the record, as standard, the X-Class V6 churns out 190 kW and 550 N.m (the latter from as low as 1 400 r/min).

Thanks to the addition of a Brabus PowerXtra D6 package, the double-cab bakkie's performance figures have improved, too. In fact, the tuner claims four-tenths of a second have been cut off the standard model's claimed 0-100 km/h time, with the updated version registering a brisk 7,5 seconds.  

On the outside, the tuned X-Class has received various cosmetic updates, including extended carbon-fibre wheelarches that house a new set of alloys wrapped in thick BF Goodrich A/T all-terrain rubber. The standard grille has been jettisoned for a carbon-fibre item, while two rectangular faux exhaust outlets (also finished in the lightweight material) can be found at the rear bumper.

“Powered by Brabus” badging has been fitted below the double cab’s “V6 turbo” monikers on the front fenders, indicating this is not your run-of-the-mill Mercedes-Benz X350d 4Matic...