Following confirmation earlier this year that Mercedes-Benz will be competing in the lucrative and expanding dual-cab ute segment, the company has shed more light on the upcoming vehicle.
The company has indicated it will be more aligned with its premium passenger-car offerings, rather than its commercial range, according to Australian media reports.
Despite earlier confirming it will share its bones with the recently-unveiled Nissan Navara NP300, the interior and drivetrain are set to be three-pointed star all over. The latest reports have the S-Class’s 3.0-litre V6 turbo-diesel pinned as a contender. With 190kW and 620Nm, this would easily put it ahead of HiLux, Ranger and the like.
Just as well, considering the expected premium. While the use of the Navara’s chassis will keep it somewhat in their ballpark, prices are speculated to be in the $70,000-plus region, some $10,000-20,000 more than the Wildtrak, SR5, LTZ flagship rivals.
Mercedes’s desire to move into this space is understandable. Dual-cab utes are becoming more civilised and sophisticated than ever. They are slowly becoming the default family car for many, as the large sedan becomes increasingly passe`. The new utility will have four target markets, including Europe, Asia, South America and Australia. This means that like Ranger and HiLux, there is likely to be some local input and feedback for our market.
Mercedes has elected to compete in this space rather than the American truck market of Ford F-150, Chevrolet Silverado, Toyota Tundra and Dodge Ram, which is notoriously hard to penetrate.
The Mercedes ute could be a real hit and is already generating buzz, over two years from its launch in 2018. Watch this space for more information as it comes to hand.