It was around this time last year that Mercedes confirmed its first pick-up truck, and early this year we had seen spy shots of a prototype disguised to look like a Nissan. Now, our photographer has spotted a fully camouflaged test mule doing the rounds in Germany.
Expected to be called the GLT, the mid-size pick-up truck is the result of a joint venture between Mercedes-Benz and Nissan, and will be based on the latter’s new NP300 Navara truck. So most of the fundamentals like the ladder frame chassis and the axles will be shared with the rugged Japanese truck, and the prototype seen here still looks very much like the Nissan. But the final production version will have a completely different body, which will likely be akin to the official sketch with a distinctly Mercedes face and a more muscular profile. The interior of the test car is also fully disguised, suggesting a totally redesigned cabin that’s understandably much more premium than the one in the Navara.
To be built at Nissan’s factory in Barcelona, Spain, and alliance partner Renault’s plant in Cordoba, Argentina, the pickup will feature a double cab, and according to Mercedes, will be targeted both at commercial clients as well as “personal-use” customers. Stuttgart says its primary target markets for the truck are Europe, Australia, South Africa and Latin America, so a four- or six-cylinder diesel engine is likely to be the main powertrain option, but we hope a petrol variant will also be built and will eventually make its way into our region as well.
Once launched, this will be the only premium badged pick-up truck in the one-tonne category, with the other main players being Ford’s Ranger, Toyota’s Hilux, Volkswagen’s Amarok and partner Nissan’s Navara.
Mercedes has stated that production of the trucks at the two plants will start only by the end of the decade, but these spy shots suggest a near production-ready concept could be shown at one of the major auto shows later this year.