Hold onto your Hat, Jed Clampett: Mercedes nearly built a pickup truck

hold onto your hat jed clampett mercedes nearly build a pickup truck nissan titan
The fated Mercedes-Benz pickup would have delighted Jed Clampett of Beverly Hillbillies fame.

Mercedes-Benz was going to build and sell pickup truck. In fact, let me restate that: Mercedes-Benz was going to build and sell two pickup trucks.

That’s right. The minds at Mercedes had planned to rebadge both the Nissan Titan full-size pickup and the mid-size Frontier and sell them both as Mercedes luxury trucks both in North America and around the globe. The larger unit was to be destined for American shores while the smaller Frontier-based variant would have been sold in Australia, South America, and Asia.

The Mercedes pickups weren’t just an idea floating around a drab office in Germany either. Set for a 2016 launch date, designers were already working to re-sculpt the front fascia of the trucks and raise interior NVH to levels suitable for the Mercedes buyers.

The deal only recently fell through when Mercedes insisted it needed the capability to fit the trucks with a slew of powertrain options, including gasoline, diesel, hybrid, and plug-in hybrids. Nissan, however, simply didn’t provide a platform flexible enough to support such wide ranging drivetrain configurations. So the Germans backed out.

According to Road & Track, the idea for a Nissan-based luxury pickup hasn’t yet gone the way of the polar bear. Infiniti, Nissan’s arm of opulence, has adopted the idea for itself.

This isn’t the first swapping of steel between Mercedes and Renault/Nissan. The recently unveiled Infiniti Q30 is underpinned by the all-new Mercedes-Benz A-Class architecture and the next-gen Smart cars are built on the Renault Twingo chassis.

Frankly, we’re not sure what to think of a Mercedes-Benz pickup. If designers had given it the nose of the G Wagon, we would have loved it. Give it the face of the GL, though, and it very well could have given small children PTSD. Sadly, we’ll never know either way.

Emerging Tech

Michigan’s former transportation chief has some advice for wannabe smart cities

After 31 years as Michigan’s transportation director, Kirk Steudle has seen it all, particularly with smart city projects. He spoke with Digital Trends recently about what makes smart cities work, and offers advice along the way.

From Rolls-Royce to Lamborghini, these are the most expensive cars in the world

If you recently discovered an oil reserve in your backyard, you probably have some extra cash to spend. Look no further, because we’ve rounded up the most expensive cars in the world.

Where are you going this weekend? These 5 off-road vehicles say 'anywhere'

The body-on-frame SUV is going extinct, but there are still several options for buyers looking to skip the asphalt. To help you sort the good from the bad, we've rounded up the best off-roaders currently available.

The best cheap-but-awesome PS4 game deals under $20

The PlayStation 4 has hit its stride in recent years and is now more affordable than ever. If you have a PS4 or are thinking of buying one, we’ve collected some must-have games. The best part? Each of these is just $20 or less.

Our favorite fuel-efficient cars are as frugal as they are fun

You don't need to opt for a hybrid or an all-electric ride in order to achieve good fuel economy. These vehicles pack both performance and style, whether you're in the market for a luxury sedan or a game-changing pickup truck.

Out of juice? Learn how to jump-start a car with this quick guide

Jumping a car is a simple procedure, but not everyone knows how to properly do so. To make things easier, we've put together a quick-hit guide on how to fire up your vehicle using jumper cables and a second power source.

Many adults believe fully self-driving cars are already traversing U.S. highways

The American Automobile Association tested cars with features such as lane-keeping and adaptive cruise control and found them lacking in real-world conditions. Forty percent of surveyed U.S. adults think self-driving cars exist now.

Born to run (forever): The most reliable cars you can buy right now

We all dread the thought of our car turning into a money pit, but choosing a dependable vehicle from the start can help us rack up countless care-free miles. Here, we've rounded up some of the most reliable cars available.

Prep your car for the coming snow and sleet with these cold weather tips

Driving in the winter, whether downtown or across the country, is rarely easy. Luckily, we've put together a quick rundown of a few things you should do to winterize your car before the snow officially hits.
Digital Trends Live

DT Daily: Waymo’s driverless cars, ‘Fallout 76’ tips, and Racella

In today's episode of DT Daily, we discuss Waymo's foray into the ridesharing sector, along with various tips for making the most of the recently launched Fallout 76. We also sit down with singer Racella to chat about her new EP, Waves.

Want to keep connected on the road? Here are 5 ways to add Bluetooth to your car

The best way to make an old ride feel young again is to bring it up speed with the 21st century. Here's how to properly add Bluetooth to your vehicle, via independent kits, vehicle adapters, or aftermarket head units.

Jeep’s outdoorsy Gladiator pickup truck bares it all ahead of schedule

Jeep will introduce the long-promised Wrangler-based pickup truck at the 2018 Los Angeles Auto Show. Named Gladiator, the model was designed to conquer the great outdoors, not for the construction site.

The hamster-friendly 2020 Kia Soul will rock out at the Los Angeles Auto Show

Kia has released a teaser image to preview the next Soul. Scheduled to make its debut at the 2018 Los Angeles Auto Show, the 2020 Soul will keep the outgoing model's boxy proportions but it will wear a sharper design.

2020 Toyota Corolla sedan aims to offer sharper handling, better tech

The 2020 Toyota Corolla sedan gets the same upgrades as the recently-introduced Corolla hatchback, including a firmer foundation, new engine, and more tech features. Will that be enough to keep the long-lived Corolla nameplate relevant?