Mercedes-Benz, well-known maker of sublime sedans, plans to stretch its model range to the ridiculous by the end of this decade with the addition of a pickup truck.
The manufacturer says the market for midsize pickups in Europe, Australia, South Africa and Latin America is “primed” for the first model from a premium manufacturer. We can’t speak to what a Benz truck would mean to buyers in those parts of the world, but it’s probably good the company isn’t planning to bring a pickup to North America: Lincoln and Cadillac have tried, and failed, to make upscale pickups a thing, albeit in the full-size form favoured by this continent’s truck buyers. Mercedes’ potential pickup would be built by the brand’s commercial division, which currently makes (among other things) vans like the Sprinter and Metris.
Benz says the truck would have a payload of about a metric ton (1,000 kg or 2,200 pounds), a far cry from the 2,900 kg payload the company boasts for its Sprinter chassis-cab model. A thousand kilos is a fair bit more than what Chevy’s mid-size Colorado can carry, whose payload is rated at a maximum of 721 kg. Not that it makes sense to compare this hypothetical Benz to a Chevrolet: even if Mercedes does bring a truck here, it would compete in a completely different sandbox from anything else we can buy with a pickup bed.
The rendering supplied by Mercedes’ parent company, Daimler AG, looks to us like an M-Class pickup, kind of like what Acura might do if it decided to build its own version of Honda’s Ridgeline.
If Benz goes through with this plan, we’ll look forward to whether any of its German competitors follow suit. Porsche Cayenne pickup, anyone?