Published on Wednesday 01 June 2016 in Pickup Truck News
The first ever pickup truck from Mercedes is due to be unveiled at the Paris Motor Show in October this year. It's expected to be called either the X-Class or GLT. Advanced testing of the new vehicle is underway, with spy shots of it already on the Internet.
Taking the lead from the Nissan NP300 Navara
Based on the new Nissan NP300 Navara, following Daimler's partnership with Renault-Nissan, the X-Class or GLT will have seating for five, plus a huge 3,500kg towing capacity. It's yet to be confirmed if the Mercedes pickup will provide different body styles and match the Navara with King-Cab and Double-Cab models.
The Navara uses a single 2.3-litre diesel engine and the Mercedes pickup will come with four and six-cylinder petrol and diesel engines, paired with manual and automatic transmissions. There's even a petrol-hybrid variant being considered as Mercedes attempts to secure top billing in the pickup truck sector.
You can expect luxury and comfort from Mercedes
Mercedes will offer two completely different versions of the pickup for separate markets. There will be high-spec option suitable for drivers seeking car-like capabilities. In terms of comfort, the interior design will share key similarities with Mercedes' range of SUVs like the GLE and GLE Coupe, with leather and wood trim.
The second version will be more traditional and cover those with commercial needs. This pickup truck will sit alongside the existing Mercedes-Benz light commercial vehicle range of the Sprinter, Vito and Citan vans.
Breaking into the competitive pickup market
The new pickup will not only widen Mercedes' passenger car and commercial model ranges, but it will also allow the German manufacturer to take a share of the lucrative pickup market which currently accounts for 2.3 million global sales.
Volkswagen's decision to enter the pickup sector with the Amarok in 2010 forced Mercedes to take action. The Amarok set new standards in terms of class and cleverly taps into a growing trend of buyers wanting pickups with more car-like features.
Get ready for a new workhorse from Mercedes
Volker Mornhinweg, Mercedes Vans CEO, confirmed Mercedes will launch a pickup by the end of 2017 to rival the Amarok. Official sketches were released earlier this year, showing the pickup with familiar styling such as the three-bar grille, swept-back headlights and curved wings.
Mixing luxury with ruggedness
The new pickup is expected to focus on comfort and luxury, yet still offer strong off-road capabilities and ruggedness which is essential for any pickup.
The debut of this vehicle is set to cause plenty of interest and it will be a year until after the launch in Paris before you can get behind the wheel of it. It'll surely be worth the wait.