Skip to main content

Mercedes-Benz says its upcoming mid-size premium truck will not be for ‘fat cowboys’

Mercedes-Benz GLT-Class sketch
Image used with permission by copyright holder
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.

Editors' Recommendations

Ronan Glon
Ronan Glon is an American automotive and tech journalist based in southern France. As a long-time contributor to Digital…
Mercedes is finally bringing an electric van to the U.S.
Front three quarter view of the 2024 Mercedes-Benz eSprinter electric van.

Mercedes-Benz might be known for luxury cars, but it also makes vans, and it's finally bringing an electric van to the United States.

Scheduled to start production this summer, the 2024 Mercedes-Benz eSprinter is an all-electric version of the Sprinter full-size cargo van that's already a favorite of delivery services like FedEx and Amazon, as well as camper van converters. While the automaker has been selling electric vans in Europe since 2010, the new eSprinter is the first one aimed at the U.S. market.

Read more
Mercedes EV charging hubs are coming to North America by the end of the decade
What a future Mercedes-Benz EV charging hub might look like.

You can't have more electric cars without more charging stations, so Mercedes-Benz is building a global charging network covering North America, China, Europe, and other major markets to support its goal of going all-electric by the end of the decade where market conditions allow.

Announced at CES 2023, the network should be in place by the end of the decade in line with Mercedes' electrification goal. It's a bold move by the automaker, which has mostly relied on third-party charging networks until now.

Read more
2023 Mercedes-Benz EQE SUV preview: The EV lineup grows again
Front three quarter view of the 2023 Mercedes-Benz EQE SUV.

As Mercedes-Benz has steadily expanded its EQ range of electric cars, the lineup has become a bit like the late stages of a Tetris game. It’s mostly complete, but with a few gaps still left. And the 2023 Mercedes-Benz EQE SUV is the piece that perfectly fits one of them.
Mercedes recently launched two other electric SUVs at opposite ends of the price spectrum. The EQS SUV is positioned as the lineup’s flagship, while the EQB is the entry-level model. The EQE SUV slots between those two in size and, presumably, price. The latter hasn’t been confirmed yet, and likely won’t be until the EQE SUV’s planned March 2023 on-sale date.

As the name says, the EQE SUV is a utility-vehicle version of the EQE sedan, which will likely beat it to showrooms by a few months. Mercedes did the same thing with the EQS, which is available in both SUV and sedan body styles.
With its tall, upright profile, the EQE SUV definitely looks like a proper SUV compared to the low-slung EQE sedan. Park it next to an EQS SUV, though, and you’ll have to get out a measuring tape to spot the differences.
The EQE SUV is 0.6 inch narrower and 1.2 inches lower than the EQS SUV, but the most significant difference is in length. The EQE SUV is 10.3 inches shorter than the EQS SUV, with a 2.1-inch shorter wheelbase. And while the EQS SUV has three-row seating, the EQE SUV has two rows. Based on our experience with the EQS SUV’s third row, that’s not a big loss.
The interior design theme carries over from other Mercedes EQ models, with an expansive sloping dashboard designed to accommodate many screens, and multicolor ambient lighting that should look pretty dramatic at night. However, leatherette upholstery is standard, rather than real leather, which Mercedes is now spinning as a vegan option.

Read more