Possible Mercedes Pickup Mule Caught Testing
Mercedes has previously confirmed its new pickup truck will share its platform with the next-generation Nissan NP300 Navara thanks to a partnership with Renault-Nissan. Both Mercedes and Nissan agreed to collaborate on the truck’s development, making it a truly joint venture.
Well, our spy photographer has snagged several photos of the Nissan-badged truck running around, but with odd fender extension at each corner to cover a widened track. This suggests Mercedes is truly working on a separate version of the truck with a widen track and a Mercedes-Benz styling. The German automaker has already said its truck will be specifically designed for customers in Europe, Australia, South Africa, and Latin America. To our knowledge, Mercedes is still conduction research on the U.S. market before it announces whether the truck would be sold here.
There’s no hard evidence or conformation on which automaker – if either at all – will develop the powertrain for the truck. Each version could carry brand-specific engines and transmissions. In that case, expect the truck to offer Mercedes-developed four- and six-cylinder engines in both gas and turbodiesel variants. A V-8 version wouldn’t be unlikely as a range-topping engine should Mercedes bring the truck stateside. Expect a seven-speed automatic transmission with the optional 4MATIC AWD system. Additionally, we’ve heard rumors Mercedes will name the truck the GLT.
Again, there is no conformation, but we expect Mercedes to debut the GLT sometime in late 2017 as a 2018 model.
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Why It Matters
Though Mercedes has not confirmed whether it will bring its pickup to the U.S., its availability here could go either way. In other words, if Mercedes decides to make the truck a workhorse, bringing it Stateside would be a mistake. Americans see the Mercedes-Benz brand as a status symbol rather than the average taxi running around Europe with a fare in the back seat. Introducing a “sub-Mercedes” truck to the States wouldn’t likely go over too well and would only dilute the brand. A higher-end luxury truck, on the other hand, would likely sell well in the U.S. as wealthier families look at the growing mid-size truck category as see nothing that appeals to them. Well, perhaps the GMC Canyon Denali…
We’re keeping a close eye on Mercedes’ pickup in hopes that it will be a truly global seller and offer something to the truck market that doesn’t already exist. Stay tuned!
Read our full review on the 2020 Mercedes-Benz Pickup Truck here.