A roadster version of the AMG GT R is in the cards, as is...the pickup truck!

The word “expansion” is being thrown around loosely in the auto industry these days as more and more automakers are pushing to beef up their model lineups. Aston Martin is doing it. McLaren is doing it. And apparently, so is Mercedes-Benz. Autocar is reporting that the German automaker is once again looking to add more new models to its lineup in 2017 and, if the report is true, we could see at least nine new vehicles with Silver Arrow badges hitting dealerships in the next calendar year.

The most prominent of these models appears to be the Mercedes-AMG GT C, the long-rumored roadster version of the GT R sports car. Since the GT Rjust made its debut in June 2016, a drop-top version arriving in rapid order seems to be part of a well-orchestrated plan to crown the AMG GT lineup with not one, but two range-topping versions.

In addition to the AMG GT C, Mercedes’ is also reportedly releasing the next-generation E-Class Coupe, a facelifted GLA that will likely be called the GLA Coupe, and the high-riding E-Class Estate All-Terrain that will be lined up directly against the Audi A6 Allroad. All four models are being prepared to make their respective debuts in the first half of 2017 together with the AMG GT R.

The latter half of 2017 will also see a number of Mercedes models hitting dealerships, headlined by no less than the facelifted version of the S-Class. The next-generation E-Class Cabriolet is also part of the schedule, as is the facelifted version of the AMG GT, and the long-rumored, yet-to-be-named Mercedes-Benz pickup truck that we think will eventually be called the GLT.

And if anybody’s keeping score, two Smart models are also on the schedule, namely the cabriolet all-electric ForTwo EV and the Forfour EV.

It looks like Mercedes is once again poised to have another busy year when the calendar flips to 2017.

Keep reading for the rest of the story

What it Means

To be clear, it’s not uncommon for an automaker as big as Mercedes to have new models on the table every year. But the lineup that was revealed in this document suggests that the German automaker has plenty of surprises for 2017, not the least of which is the convertible version of the AMG GT R. It’s worth noting that the just-unveiled coupe model will also make its debut next year, so if the convertible version really is on the docket, expect Mercedes to put some months between the two cars’ unveiling. That, or it can just launch both of them side-by-side at the same time. That should save some time and money for Merc, even though it wouldn’t make sense from a brand strategy and marketing standpoint.

The other models scheduled to be released next year aren’t that surprising. In fact, most of them are already expected like the facelifted S-Class and the next-generation E-Class models. The other oddball in this group is the pickup truck, something that the German automaker has never built before. But, since pickups are pretty popular these days, it’s not surprising that Mercedes is jumping in on that bandwagon. The company is developing the pickup in conjunction with Nissan, which explains the spy photos that were taken of what appears to be a Nissan Navara doing some test runs. But like my colleague and truck savant Mark McNabb has repeatedly pointed out, that Navara test mule is a Mercedes underneath. His full coverage on the Mercedes pickup is found in our Trucks section.

If this leaked document is accurate, there’s no getting around the fact that Mercedes will be having a very busy year next year with plenty of highly anticipated debuts and a few surprising ones at that. Is it too early then to start calling for a SLS-AMG-succeeding supercar at some point? Seems like “surprises” have become synonymous with Mercedes these days.

Source: Autocar

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