Daimler says Mercedes-AMG will not work on the pickup truck.
Speaking with CarAdvice at the New York Auto Show, Daimler board member Ola Källenius said the Mercedes-Benz pickup will be both a workhorse and a lifestyle vehicle. He went on to specify it will be offered in several commercial versions and it will get more passenger-oriented editions as a move to broaden its appeal.
Borrowing some of the underpinnings from the Nissan Navara NP300, the Mercedes pickup will allegedly be called “X-Class” or “Z-Class.” It’s being developed by Daimler’s van division and according to Källenius it will have just about the same philosophy as the Volkswagen Amarok by offering versions at either end of the budget. He promised it will be a true Mercedes by providing the same high level of quality and finish you would expect from a model wearing the three-pointed star logo.
He ruled out the possibility of an AMG version, be it a warm V6-powered “43” or the full-blown V8-powered “63.” The reasoning behind this decision is logical, with Källenius saying demand for such versions is virtually inexistent. On the other hand, he admitted the pickup will likely get an AMG styling package bringing a slightly more aggressive look, without the extra punch.
The Daimler official mentioned the new model will be a direct adversary for the Amarok and its main markets are going to be South America, Australia, Africa, and “a little bit” of Europe. As far as U.S. availability is concerned, that won’t be the case as Källenius said the pickup will be “too small” for that market.
Even though it will utilize many components from the Navara, Daimler’s representative says it will be a true Mercedes “through and through” and won’t feel anything like the Nissan. The engineers are hard at work to make sure it will be a true Mercedes and that it will follow the brand’s philosophy in terms of safety.
It’s unclear at this point when the X-Class / Z-Class will be launched, but a recent report indicated Mercedes will introduce a concept this October in Paris before a production version due late 2017 / early 2018. However, Mercedes officially said a while back it’s due before the end of the decade, so chances are it will be out around 2019.