More Details on Future Mercedes-Benz Pickup Emerge
Optional V-6 Diesel, Bare Bones to Luxury Trims
Last March, Mercedes-Benz announced it would build a midsize pickup in collaboration with Nissan that would based on the NP300 Navara platform. Unique styling and powertrains were promised. Australia’s CarAdvice claims to have some inside info on some of the details of the upcoming pickup. The pickup will likely be badged the X-Class for the letter’s supposed connotation of ruggedness and off-road capability. Two engines will be offered, both diesels. The base engine will reportedly be a 2.3L I-4 diesel, making 188 hp and 332 lb-ft of torque, with the top-spec engine a 3.0L V-6 making 255 hp and 406 lb-ft of torque. Whether or not the engines will be of Nissan or Mercedes remain unknown. Both companies offer 3.0L V-6 turbodiesels. The I-4 is likely a Nissan design, as the company already offers an engine fitting that displacement and power specification in its YS23DDTT I-4 diesel.
The pickup will reportedly be built in Barcelona, Spain, for export to European, African, Latin American, and Asia-Pacific markets. Export to the U.S. is unknown. Based on recent spyshots, the next-generation Frontier will likely be fundamentally similar to the global Navara and likely built at Nissan’s Canton, Mississippi, plant, the same as the current model. The truck could conceivably be built at the Canton plant. Nissan and Daimler already jointly build 2.0L I-4 GDI turbo engines in Decherd, Tennessee, for use in Mercedes-Benz and Infiniti models.
Although the U.S. pickup market is a large and potentially lucrative market, it also is fraught with pitfalls for newcomers, as Honda learned with the first-generation Ridgeline and Nissan with the Titan. However, Renault-Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn says the two companies are working on 10 shared projects currently, with “many more” to come in the near future.