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( A merc pickup? )
http://www.autoweek.com/article.cms?articleId 2318
Automotive DNA - Benz Test Bed: Mercedes ponders a move into the truck biz GREG KABLE
Published Date: 5/9/05
Mercedes-Benz has become somewhat of a master in the art of identifying emerging markets and adjusting its lineup accordingly-look no further than the addition of such models as the A-, B- and M-Class to the traditional C-, E- and S-Class portfolio.
Add the emergence of the CLK, SLK, CLS and SLR in recent years and you begin to appreciate how far the folks in Stuttgart have gone in diversifying a range that a mere decade or so ago included just six model lines. The rate of growth has been staggering, with worldwide sales rocketing to more than 1 million annually as a result.
Mercedes isn't done yet-signs are its new model expansion is just beginning. The biggest leap? That would be the automaker's plans to produce a full-blown pickup truck.
Reports out of Germany suggest Mercedes is considering spinning a large, double-cab pickup off the upcoming G-Class (AW, April 11). We know this may sound ludicrous, but Cadillac has proven with the Escalade EXT that the demand for such a vehicle exists, even if it is limited to the North American market and is fairly small by comparison to other emerging segments. The Mercedes-Benz R-Class goes on sale in the fall.
The idea, according to our traditionally well-informed sources, is to combine the cargo and hauling capabilities of a full-size, short-bed pickup truck with the luxurious inte-rior appointments and general sophistication of a high-end Mercedes-Benz sport/utility vehicle. Is there a higher-end SUV than the coming next-generation G-Wagen?
Among the engines under consideration for the Mercedes' pickup are a range of new four-valve V8s, including a 330-hp 4.6-liter and a 388-hp 5.5-liter, both channeling drive permanently to four wheels via Stuttgart's seven-speed 7G-Tronic automatic transmission.
Also a possibility is the new 6.3-liter V8 that is under development at AMG as a replacement for today's supercharged 5.4-liter V8. The new powerplant is rumored to produce 504 hp in production trim, trumping the Escalade's 6.0-liter V8 by a country mile.
What else does Mercedes have up its sleeve? At the recent New York auto show the company showed the production R-Class that goes on sale this fall. Based on the same four-wheel-drive underpinnings as the second-generation M-Class and the next G-Class (they will be built side-by-side-by-side with the pickup at the Mercedes plant in Tuscaloosa, Alabama), this six-seat luxury sportwagon is a clear reaction to a trend in which buyers are abandoning traditional high-end sedans for roomier luxury SUV offerings and, if our sources are right, luxury Mercedes pickups.
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What's wrong with the Unimog?
DAS
For direct contact replace nospam with schmetterling
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I would get one but :
1) No auto 2) Only two seats 3) Inadequate interior volume
Easily fixed if DaimlerChrysler saw the need for a genuinely spacious fuel efficient SUV.
I may have to compromise by converting a Sprinter to 4x4 ( since they do not sell the 4x4 option in the USA ).
A pickup built off the G class platform seems incongruous with the brand.
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There is a stronger movement to continue the W461/W463 G-Class production past its 'expiry date'. Steyl-Puch wanted to evict the G-Class production to make room for other popular models. Henceforth, engineering the next generation G-Class to be produced along with M- and R-Class in Alabama.
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Not enough HARRUMPHHH!
Would love to get one; lower it and put on rubber band tires and hydraulics... yeh, that'd rock!
cp
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This is the unimog we're allowed here, it's sold by Freightliner:
http://www.unimogtrucks.com /
cp
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Ok, so it's missing the star, but the rest seems similar.
My point is that it is an "extreme off-roader". http://www2.mercedes-benz.co.uk/content/unitedkingdom/mpc/mpc_unitedkingdom_website/en/home_mpc/unimog/home/products/new_unimog0/extreme_offroader.html
And because it is so versatile I am sure one can fit a bigger cab...
DAS
For direct contact replace nospam with schmetterling
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