Mercedes-Benz to Enter the Pickup Market

By now you have probably caught wind of the big news this week. Mercedes-Benz is going to produce a pickup. These teaser releases are effective for wetting appetites, but frustratingly short on specifics. They do however always include the one bit of information we don’t want to read––as great as this new truck is, it isn’t coming to America. At least not right away.

There had been some scuttlebutt about a Benz pickup last year, but it wasn’t until now that substantial beans had been spilled. The new truck called the X-Class will in fact arrive in late 2017 in select global markets which include the usual truck-loving countries of Australia, South Africa and a few South American markets like Argentina where Mercedes sold their first and only pickup, the La Pickup in 1970.

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What we do know about the new X-Class is that it is going to be produced in a joint project with the Renault-Nissan Alliance with resources in Spain and Argentina. It will employ a V6 diesel engine tucked within a traditional body on frame platform with coil springs, full-time all-wheel-drive, and a generous payload capacity of 2,000 pounds. In other words, it will be a legitimate truck able to hold its own in a competitive field.

Like all concept trucks, the styling elements have most likely been embellished a tad, but should the final product retain just a hint of those elegant aesthetics it will win instant success. Early rumors suggest the X-Class will be offered in two variants, one slated for more brawny off-road duties, the other more well-appointed. With even domestic trucks surpassing the MSRP and refinement of some models of Cadillacs, the upmarket X-Class doesn’t seem too far fetched.

Before we dispare at the thought of being left out once again, there has been some hopeful indications that Mercedes will eventually bring a pickup to America, but it will have to navigate our unfortunate 25-percent import truck tariff. With our election looming and pundits foaming at the mouth, wouldn’t it be nice if one of them made irradiating that tax a priority? – CN

 

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Christophe Noel is a journalist from Prescott, Arizona. Born into a family of backcountry enthusiasts, Christophe grew up backpacking the mountains and deserts of the American West. An avid cyclist and bikepacker, he also has a passion for motorcycles, travel, food and overlanding.

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