Illustration © Mark Stehrenberger

Mercedes Close on Decision to Produce
a Full-Size Pickup Truck

Details are 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.

The Mercedes 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.

The price 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.