Close on Decision to Produce
a Full-Size Pickup Truck
still pretty hard to come by but PickupTruck.Com has been learning
as much as possible about plans for Mercedes Benz to sell a full
size luxury pickup in the United States by 2003.
truck is rumored to be an extended cab pickup with four doors
- similar in size and functionality to the current Toyota Tundra.
Distinctive fender flares, reminiscent of the Dodge Power Wagon
concept shown in Detroit last year, suggest that DaimlerChrysler
may build both the Power Wagon and Mercedes full size off a common
platform to save on development costs - this would be a production
first (besides the Chrysler Java concept built off the Mercedes
A-Class chassis) since the two companies merged in 1998. The move
would make sense because of Dodge's expertise in trucks and the
ability of Mercedes to cater to the rapidly growing upscale truck
niche. Mercedes would also be able to take advantage of Lincoln's
efforts to open up this market with its Blackwood pickup - scheduled
to go on sale in late 2000.
No word yet
on the powerplant but don't be surprised to find Mercedes's 5.5L
V-8 which produces 342hp and 376ft-lb of torque. This engine has
proven itself to be quite competent in the M-Class SUV.
for a full size Mercedes pickup would probably begin around $40,000
- less than the cost of a Blackwood because there would possibly
be only two full size doors instead of the four found on the Lincoln.
The Mercedes truck would most likely be produced at the same plant
in Alabama where the M-Class SUV is built.