So Just What The Hell Is Happening With That New Mercedes-Benz Truck?

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Fresh info on the truck too cool for the United States.

Many automakers made noise about new trucks in 2015, including Mercedes-Benz. However, the automaker has been pretty quiet as of recent regarding its new pickup. What we knew was that it would essentially be a prettied-up Nissan Navara NP300 (aka a Frontier) and would not be available in America. Now thanks to Australia's CarAdvice we know a bit more about this forbidden fruit. For starters, it's going to be a Frontier in platform only. CarAdvice spoke with Daimler board member Thomas Weber at Detroit and he made that point clear.

"Yes, to come to an attractive price we are using a common platform, but all the rest is done by Mercedes – to design, to develop the vehicle specifically to meet Mercedes criteria," Weber told the Australian outlet. One way Mercedes plans to differentiate its truck from Nissan's is by only offering a dual-cab (a crew cab) version. Another is with trims. CarAdvice reports that a secret design forum was held in Australia last year, and out of it came three trims. The base one is for actually doing truck stuff. The second is a bit higher class and the third is oriented for those who want a Mercedes first and a truck second. The other news that came out of the design forum involved the truck's name, said to be either the X-Class or the Z-Class.

Powering the truck will be a 2.3-liter turbo-four diesel engine good for 188 horsepower and 332 lb-ft of torque. The towing capacity of the truck will be about 6,600 pounds. A beefier turbocharged six-cylinder diesel is also said to be on offer. It will reportedly offer 255 horsepower and 406 lb-ft of torque along with a towing capacity of 7,700 pounds. Take a lot of this news with a grain of salt as it hasn't been confirmed by Mercedes, at least the engine, naming and trim level stuff. What has been confirmed by the automaker is that there won't be an AMG version available. David McCarthy, Mercedes-Benz Australia's senior manager of public relations, product and corporate communications told CarAdvice that AMG wouldn't be fiddling with the engine.

"Certainly an AMG styling kit, as such, that's entirely possible. Anything beyond that, it would mean that our development engineers at AMG are used to developing cars and SUVs. A ute is an entirely different thing."

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