Mercedes-Benz will join fellow German carmaker Volkswagen in building a new one-tonne pickup truck for various markets.
Previewed as a dual-cab clay model in Germany, the new pickup will likely offer a vast combination of rear- and four-wheel-drive, petrol and diesel engines and single and dual-cab configurations.
The Mercedes-supplied artist’s sketch (top of page) shows styling lines inspired by the carmaker’s current range of SUVs, with a body that otherwise conforms to the proven formula for pickup trucks.
Four- and six-cylinder engines have been confirmed, along with both leather and chrome-filled luxury models and hose-out workhorses to cover plenty of buyer bases.
But the new model will still wear the three-pointed star with pride, described by the carmaker as the “first premium brand” pickup.
Mercedes cites a shift in pickup trucks worldwide from tough and dependable workhorses with little regard for passenger comfort (or safety), to an extension of the current SUV craze; with features such as climate control and sat-nav increasingly becoming the norm.
It’s a booming market in Australia - and a growing one worldwide - and Benz wants a slice of it.
The carmaker is playing its cards close to its chest for now by keeping a lid on specific mechanical details and timing for the new model - only saying that we can expect to see “large numbers” of the new pickup within the next five years.
Add to that the fact that Volkswagen’s Amarok was outsold only by the Golf in VW’s local line-up last year, and you can bet Mercedes’ local office has previously sent a ‘yes please’ memo to HQ in Stuttgart.
And it appears HQ was listening, with Australia (and New Zealand) on the list of markets to see the new model in local showrooms from launch, along with South Africa, Latin America and parts of Europe.
No Asian or Middle-Eastern nations have been mentioned as future target markets at this stage - nor has the US.
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