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Mercedes-Benz is preparing a Toyota Hilux-punching midsize pickup truck

In a surprise announcement, Mercedes-Benz has confirmed that it is in the early stages of designing its first-ever midsize pickup. The yet-unnamed truck is being developed primarily for Europe, Latin America, South Africa and Australia.

Mercedes has put its Vans division in charge of designing the truck. Early reports suggest that it will be roughly the same size as the popular Toyota Hilux and that it will boast a 2,200-pound payload in its most capable configuration. Power is expected to come from gasoline- and diesel-burning engines sourced from the company’s parts bin.

The Stuttgart-based automaker explains that its future truck will be aimed at both commercial users looking for a reliable work horse and individuals who need a versatile vehicle that can keep up with their active lifestyle. Buyers will likely be able to pick from a few different body styles including a single cab, a crew cab and a cab-chassis aimed largely at aftermarket upfitters.

Related: 2016 Mercedes-Benz GLE-Class revealed

Mercedes has high hopes for its pickup, and it likens the truck to the original M-Class that was introduced in 1997. The SUV has become an integral part of its lineup and it has spawned a wide number of competitors over the years. Like the first M, the pickup will be offered with all of the comfort and safety features typically associated with Mercedes’ passenger cars.

More information about Mercedes’ upcoming mid-size pickup will emerge in the coming months. The truck is scheduled to land in showrooms before the end of the decade but a more precise timeframe was not given.

There is currently no indication that Mercedes will add the pickup to its lineup of commercial vehicles in the United States. However, rival Volkswagen said essentially the same thing a few years ago when it introduced the Amarok yet it has recently hinted that the next-gen model stands a good chance of being sold on our shores. All told, we wouldn’t be surprised if Mercedes changes its mind a few years into the truck’s production run.