Mercedes-Benz has shed some insight into what we can expect from its first-ever premium pickup truck.
The head of the company’s commercial vehicles division bluntly explained that the upcoming pickup, which will most likely wear the GLT-Class moniker, will not be a “fat cowboy truck for North America.” In other, more politically-correct words, Mercedes is not aiming for the Chevrolet Silverado/GMC Sierra twins, the Ram 1500 and the hot-selling Ford F-150.
Instead, the GLT will take the form of a much smaller mid-size pickup that will be aimed at overseas markets such as Latin America, Africa and the Middle East. The GLT will be sold in Europe, too, but the pickup market on the Old Continent is relatively small. U.S. sales have been ruled out for the time being.
Mercedes will co-develop the truck with industrial partner Nissan. British magazine CAR reports that the GLT’s frame, axles and body structure will all be sourced from the new Nissan Navara, but the sheetmetal, every part of the interior and the drivetrain will be Mercedes-specific.
Although technical details are still being finalized, an anonymous source close to Mercedes confirmed that the GLT will be available with a long list of four- and six-cylinder gasoline- and diesel-burning engines sourced from the automaker’s parts bin. Both rear- and four-wheel drive models will be offered, and buyers will be asked to choose between a six-speed manual transmission and a seven-speed automatic unit. That being said, the final specifications will undoubtedly vary from market to market.
Surprisingly, the GLT will exclusively be available with a four-door body. Mercedes’ Volker Mornhinweg boldly promises that the truck will offer best-in-class passenger space in the second row and that the cockpit will be built with materials that “exceed typical pickup standards.” In short, it will be, quite literally, the Mercedes of pickup trucks.
The Mercedes-Benz GLT will be introduced in 2018 and it will begin to arrive in showrooms about a year later. It will cost roughly $30,000 in its most affordable configuration.