Expected to be known as the X-Class or Z-Class, the German marque’s answer to compatriot Volkswagen and its Amarok ute will share much of its architecture and components with the new Nissan Navara range.
According to UK website Auto Express, sources have confirmed that a concept version of the new ute is set to appear "near the end of the year".
The report adds that the UK won’t get its first deliveries of the so-called X-Class/Z-Class until 2018 at the earliest, which lines up with expectations for the Australian market.
As previously reported, the upcoming ute will be based on the recently released Nissan Navara NP300. Don’t expect a mere rebadged Nissan, however. Mercedes-Benz stresses that the similarities will be few and far between.
At the Detroit motor show earlier this year, Daimler board member Thomas Weber told CarAdvice that the company used the Navara platform “to come to an attractive price”, however “all the rest is done by Mercedes - to design, to develop the vehicle specifically to meet Mercedes criteria”.
Rumoured powerplants for the German load-lugger include the Navara’s 2.3-litre four-cylinder turbo-diesel, along with a six-cylinder turbo-diesel engine.
Considering that 4x4 utes alone accounted for 11.6 per cent of the Australian new car market in 2015, the ‘X-Class’ could become the most desirable and luxurious pick-up truck on sale in Australia, redefining a segment known for ruggedness and load capacities.