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Found 30 results

  1. The Jeep Gladiator is new. While it is based on older underpinnings and a somewhat dated interior, the Ford Ranger is the second newest truck in the U.S. market. Behind that is the just-refreshed but still on an older chassis Toyota Tacoma, that is getting a new platform in a few years. Behind that is the Honda Ridgeline. Behind that are the GM twins of Colorado and Canyon which came out in 2012. And finally, behind those two, the oldest small/midsize truck is the Nissan Frontier, trucking on since 2004 without a major redesign. Put into some perspective, the current Nissan Frontier is only one year younger than the previous generation of Colorado and Canyon. As far as the automotive industry goes, that is ancient, but Frontier buyers don't seem to mind. Nissan sold nearly 79,646 Frontier trucks in 2018, a 7.1% increase over 2017. That's with all the new competition coming on the market and without any major incentives. That makes it the brands third best seller in the crossover/truck segment after Rogue and Murano. People wanting something a bit fresher from Nissan still have about 18 months to wait. The next Frontier, sold as a 2021 model, should arrive in dealerships in the Fall of 2020. People who have seen previews of the truck describe it as "futuristic" and "Modern, but still looks like a truck". It will get a new 300 horsepower V6 engine replacing the current 4.0 V6 and the 5-speed automatic will be upgraded to a 7-speed. However, unlike the Tacoma, which is moving to an all new platform in a few years. The Frontier will get a heavily revised version of its current frame. Nissan opted not to go with their global Navara truck platform primarily because it is too small to compete with the likes of the Ranger and Gladiator. It also uses a more expensive coil spring rear suspension instead of the traditional leaf springs. With the Ford Ranger and Jeep Gladiator now entering the market, Nissan wants to catch up and be the newest kid on the block, if only for a little while.
  2. The Jeep Gladiator is new. While it is based on older underpinnings and a somewhat dated interior, the Ford Ranger is the second newest truck in the U.S. market. Behind that is the just-refreshed but still on an older chassis Toyota Tacoma, that is getting a new platform in a few years. Behind that is the Honda Ridgeline. Behind that are the GM twins of Colorado and Canyon which came out in 2012. And finally, behind those two, the oldest small/midsize truck is the Nissan Frontier, trucking on since 2004 without a major redesign. Put into some perspective, the current Nissan Frontier is only one year younger than the previous generation of Colorado and Canyon. As far as the automotive industry goes, that is ancient, but Frontier buyers don't seem to mind. Nissan sold nearly 79,646 Frontier trucks in 2018, a 7.1% increase over 2017. That's with all the new competition coming on the market and without any major incentives. That makes it the brands third best seller in the crossover/truck segment after Rogue and Murano. People wanting something a bit fresher from Nissan still have about 18 months to wait. The next Frontier, sold as a 2021 model, should arrive in dealerships in the Fall of 2020. People who have seen previews of the truck describe it as "futuristic" and "Modern, but still looks like a truck". It will get a new 300 horsepower V6 engine replacing the current 4.0 V6 and the 5-speed automatic will be upgraded to a 7-speed. However, unlike the Tacoma, which is moving to an all new platform in a few years. The Frontier will get a heavily revised version of its current frame. Nissan opted not to go with their global Navara truck platform primarily because it is too small to compete with the likes of the Ranger and Gladiator. It also uses a more expensive coil spring rear suspension instead of the traditional leaf springs. With the Ford Ranger and Jeep Gladiator now entering the market, Nissan wants to catch up and be the newest kid on the block, if only for a little while. View full article
  3. In the most recent five-year plan for Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, Ram Trucks revealed that it planned to have a new midsize truck by 2022. Thanks to a new report from Automotive News, we have some tantalizing details. According to supplier sources, the new Ram truck will be built at FCA's Toledo, Ohio plant - home to the Wrangler and upcoming Wrangler pickup. Half of the plant has been shutdown since April for retooling to make way for the Wrangler pickup. The line regularly built more than 230,000 JK Wranglers per year before undergoing the retooling process. FCA is not expecting the Wrangler truck to sell in high numbers, leaving a fair amount of capacity ready for another vehicle. Hence where the Ram midsize comes in. This also reveals that the midsize truck will be body-on frame. We've heard previously that Ram was considering unibody construction. The truck is expected to debut in 2020 as a 2021 model. Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required)
  4. In the most recent five-year plan for Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, Ram Trucks revealed that it planned to have a new midsize truck by 2022. Thanks to a new report from Automotive News, we have some tantalizing details. According to supplier sources, the new Ram truck will be built at FCA's Toledo, Ohio plant - home to the Wrangler and upcoming Wrangler pickup. Half of the plant has been shutdown since April for retooling to make way for the Wrangler pickup. The line regularly built more than 230,000 JK Wranglers per year before undergoing the retooling process. FCA is not expecting the Wrangler truck to sell in high numbers, leaving a fair amount of capacity ready for another vehicle. Hence where the Ram midsize comes in. This also reveals that the midsize truck will be body-on frame. We've heard previously that Ram was considering unibody construction. The truck is expected to debut in 2020 as a 2021 model. Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required) View full article
  5. The midsize truck class has been seeing a bit of resurgence over the past couple of years thanks to GM's all-new midsizers (Chevrolet Colorado and GMC Canyon) and Toyota doing a refresh to the Tacoma. Even the Nissan Frontier, a truck that hasn't changed since its redesign back in 2005 saw its sales increased by 47 percent last year. But when compared to the current crop of trucks, the Frontier lacks many of the features and touches other models have. But that could be changing. “The Frontier has a future. Trucks are in our DNA, we’ve been doing them for a long time,” said Christian Meunier, senior vice president at Nissan North America during a roundtable discussion with reporters. A possible candidate is the Nissan Navara, sold elsewhere in the world. But Meunier put a stop to this idea. “We’ll do something better than the Navara,” he said, adding that the Navara is a bit more of a lifestyle vehicle, “like a Honda Ridgeline.” “We like real trucks.” (Author's Note: We're wondering if anyone at Nissan North America has driven the Navara as many of the reviews we have been reading about say it is a real truck in terms of ride and capability. -WM) Meunier also said that with the recent acquisition of Mitsubishi could play a role with the new Frontier. Like Nissan, Mitsubishi has a fair amount of expertise with midsize trucks and the two could collaborate with developing a new model. One item still up in the air is when we could see a new Frontier. Meunier didn't give a timeframe during the discussion. Source: AutoGuide View full article
  6. The midsize truck class has been seeing a bit of resurgence over the past couple of years thanks to GM's all-new midsizers (Chevrolet Colorado and GMC Canyon) and Toyota doing a refresh to the Tacoma. Even the Nissan Frontier, a truck that hasn't changed since its redesign back in 2005 saw its sales increased by 47 percent last year. But when compared to the current crop of trucks, the Frontier lacks many of the features and touches other models have. But that could be changing. “The Frontier has a future. Trucks are in our DNA, we’ve been doing them for a long time,” said Christian Meunier, senior vice president at Nissan North America during a roundtable discussion with reporters. A possible candidate is the Nissan Navara, sold elsewhere in the world. But Meunier put a stop to this idea. “We’ll do something better than the Navara,” he said, adding that the Navara is a bit more of a lifestyle vehicle, “like a Honda Ridgeline.” “We like real trucks.” (Author's Note: We're wondering if anyone at Nissan North America has driven the Navara as many of the reviews we have been reading about say it is a real truck in terms of ride and capability. -WM) Meunier also said that with the recent acquisition of Mitsubishi could play a role with the new Frontier. Like Nissan, Mitsubishi has a fair amount of expertise with midsize trucks and the two could collaborate with developing a new model. One item still up in the air is when we could see a new Frontier. Meunier didn't give a timeframe during the discussion. Source: AutoGuide
  7. Previous Page Next Page Mercedes-Benz has unveiled two concept versions of the upcoming X-Class pickup. The X-Class Stylish Explorer is likely a preview of the production model that we'll be seeing next year. It features a massive Mercedes-Benz grille, flared-out wheel fenders, 22-inch wheels, and a set of sporty bumpers. The X-Class Powerful Adventurer comes with a raised ride height, winches on the front and rear bumpers, meaty off-road tires, and interesting design for the tailgate. The interior features a lot of design ideas and pieces from other Mercedes models such as the vents for the HVAC system and protruding screen from the center stack. The Powerful Adventure features a fire extinguisher as well because why not. The concepts feature a V6 turbodiesel engine and Mercedes' 4Matic all-wheel drive paired with a transfer case with low gears and two differential locks - this combination will be available on higher trims. Lower trim trucks will get turbodiesel four-cylinders and the choice of either rear or all-wheel drive. Under the skin, the X-Class is based on the Nissan Navara and uses the same chassis, albeit with some slight changes. “With the X-class, we will close one of the last gaps in our portfolio. Our target is to offer customers vehicles matching their specific needs. The pick-up will set new standards in a growing segment,” said Mercedes-Benz chairman Dieter Zetsche in a statement. The X-Class will be built alongside the Navara and Renault Alaskan in factories in both Spain and Argentina. Sales are expected to begin next year in Europe, with other key markets such as Australia and South Africa following thereafter. A decision on whether or not the U.S. will get the X-Class is still up in the air at the moment. Source: Mercedes-Benz Press Release is on Page 2 Mercedes-Benz Vans expands product range: Mercedes-Benz Concept X-CLASS – First outlook on the new pickup bearing the three-pointed star Product range expansion for sustainable global growth Market launch in late 2017 Key markets Europe, Latin America, South Africa, and Australia Investments in the high nine figures Two design variants, one message: the first true premium pickup The X-Class: powerful engine, high ride comfort, and exemplary safety Stockholm/Stuttgart – With the Concept X-CLASS, Mercedes-Benz Vans gives a concrete outlook on its new pickup, the X-Class, in Stockholm. The first premium pickup will combine the best of two worlds. This is demonstrated impressively by Mercedes-Benz with two design variants of the concept car. The Concept X-CLASS powerful adventurer illustrates that the future X-Class will possess all the strengths of a classic pickup – tough, functional, strong, and with off-road capability. The Concept X-CLASS stylish explorer goes a step further and shows what will distinguish the pickup bearing the Mercedes star. The X-Class will be a true Mercedes from the hallmark brand design and comfort to the driving dynamics and safety. This will make Mercedes-Benz the first premium manufacturer to account for the changing customer requirements in the global segment of mid-size pickups, and it will make the tough one-ton pickup with seating for up to five persons the first to be attractive as an urban lifestyle and family vehicle. With the pickup, Mercedes-Benz Vans will expand its product range with a fourth model series. At the same time, the brand bearing the three-pointed star will become the first premium manufacturer to occupy the promising segment of mid-size pickups. Daimler AG will make investments in the high nine figures (euro) in the new model series by the time of the market launch. It will be launched in late 2017 under the name Mercedes-Benz X-Class. The key markets will be Argentina, Brazil, South Africa, Australia with New Zealand, and Europe. Dr Dieter Zetsche, Chairman of the Board of Daimler AG and Head of Mercedes-Benz Cars: "With the Mercedes-Benz pickup, we will close one of the last gaps in our portfolio. Our target: we want to offer customers vehicles matching their specific needs. The X-Class will set new standards in a growing segment." "We will open up and change the segment of mid-size pickups – with the world's first true premium pickup for the modern urban lifestyle", says Volker Mornhinweg, Head of Mercedes-Benz Vans. "Our future X-Class will be a pickup that knows no compromise. Ladder-type frame, high-torque six-cylinder engine, and permanent all-wheel drive are compulsory for us. As an added value we bring safety, comfort, agility, and expressive design – in other words, everything that distinguishes vehicles bearing the Mercedes star. We will thus appeal to new customers who have not considered owning a pickup before." Changing segment: Mercedes-Benz first premium manufacturer of a pickup Worldwide the market for mid-size pickups is undergoing a radical change. Gone are the days when they were bought as mere "workhorses". Instead, they are becoming increasingly popular as versatile vehicles for a simultaneous private and commercial use and as vehicles for a strictly private use. The percentage of privately used pickups has been growing steadily for years. Accordingly, the double cab has emerged as the dominating body style, because it offers room for up to five persons. More and more private and commercial customers ask for vehicles with the characteristics and comfort features of a passenger car. A similar development took place in the segment of off-road vehicles some 20 years ago. Back then, Mercedes-Benz was the first premium manufacturer to launch a sport utility vehicle (SUV), the M-Class, and completely redefined the off-road segment – with lasting success. "The Concept X-CLASS design variants interpret the hallmark brand design idiom of our SUVs in a most expressive form, and embody the dichotomy of our design philosophy: they are hot and cool", says Gorden Wagener, Head of Design at Daimler AG. "With its progressive design the powerful adventurer expresses cool modernity and thirst for adventure, while the stylish explorer on the other hand uses pure emotion to provide a tangible experience of modern beauty." Concept X-CLASS stylish explorer: progressive design with SUV looks The Concept X-CLASS stylish explorer, painted in a cool elegant white metallic, impressively demonstrates how the Mercedes-Benz pickup will make a decidedly stylish statement in its segment and in the urban environment. The contrast of emotionally appealing and yet purist surface treatment ("hot") and technically precise, innovative and clever details ("cool") reinterprets the design philosophy of Mercedes-Benz. The athletic design lends the concept car a markedly expressive and dynamic appearance. The distinctive front represents an evolution of the hallmark SUV face of the brand – with a more massive powerdome on the bonnet and headlamps extending far into the wings. The classic SUV front apron and the strongly flared wheel arches put even more emphasis on the sense of width, and give the vehicle an even more solid stance on the road. At the same time, the front cites the single-louvre grille with centrally positioned Mercedes star, the face of the elegant Mercedes-Benz coupés. The flared front and rear wings make room for a wide track and large tyre/wheel combinations for tough off-road use. 22-inch light-alloy wheels with a contrasting anthracite chrome finish give the Concept X-CLASS stylish explorer a towering and superior stance. The running boards are integrated into the bodywork and emphasise the athletically sculpted body. Depending on the angle of the incoming light, the paintwork developed specifically for this concept car lends the urban pickup a look that gives the athletic profile even more emotional appeal. The extremely short front overhang, the very long rear overhang and two long lines stretching along the side amplify the focus placed on driving dynamics. The rear of both concept cars sports the hallmark chromed SUV trim at the lower edge, and, as a distinctive feature, a continuous LED light strip in a slim chrome surround on the tailgate. It points to the unique character of the future pickup. Stylish interior with a high level of operating and display comfort The interior of the Concept X-CLASS stylish explorer is an equally emotional and stylish statement – characterised by an intriguing contrast of warm and cool colours, as well as by high-quality materials. The world of colours and materials translates the Mercedes-Benz design philosophy of sensual purity. The sensual touch and feel of the brown, very natural nubuck leather on the seats provides a cosy feel. This warm colour, which is also found on the dashboard, is combined with cool white nappa leather. The trim made of open-pore smoked oak contrasts with the brushed and polished aluminium trim elements. The world of modern luxury is realised in a highly stylish fashion. The modern flair is further boosted by round air vents, the free-standing high-resolution central display as well as the central controller and multifunctional touchpad. Similar to a smartphone, all telematics functions can be controlled with the touchpad by using gestures or by entering letters and characters. Mercedes-Benz thus introduces the most modern control and display concept in the segment of mid-size pickups. At the same time, the characteristics and functionalities typical in the pickup segment have been retained, such as the handbrake in the centre console. Concept X-CLASS powerful adventurer: the redefinition of toughness Complementing the Concept X-CLASS stylish explorer, the second concept car focuses on the classic traits of a pickup. The Concept X-CLASS powerful adventurer with a lemonax metallic paint finish stages toughness, durability, and off-road capability. As a result, it impressively underscores the fact that the future Mercedes-Benz pickup will combine comfort and style with the basic virtues of this vehicle category. The Concept X-CLASS powerful adventurer towers above it all with a height of 1.90 metres. Large tyres of size 35x11.50, the huge ground clearance, and the athletic design instil respect even at first glance. The brand's hallmark SUV radiator grille with two louvres, front and rear underride guard, wing claddings, and matte carbon wheel arches additionally underscore the superior off-road aesthetics. An electric winch at the front and a metal hook at the rear are further indications of the toughness and power of the future pickup. With its progressive design the concept car exudes independence and thirst for adventure in their purest forms. This feel continues in the interior. Matte carbon elements in the exterior and interior, metallic brushed surfaces, and a bold colour scheme lend the vehicle a sense of power. The lemonax metallic exterior paint finish is perfectly tailored to the interior colour highlights. The colour and material concept underscores the outdoor look with glossy black nappa leather and the use of carbon-style black embossed leather surfaces. To ensure the seats provide lateral support in all handling situations and in any terrain, the seat side bolsters are trimmed with black leather that offers extremely good grip and has a pleasantly soft touch and feel. The X-Class: powerful engine, high ride comfort, and exemplary safety As is the norm for Mercedes-Benz, customers of the X-Class will be able to choose from different equipment scopes to customise the exterior and interior. In addition, the premium brand will develop a special range of accessories for the pickup, for example bed covers and various styling elements. Thanks to the tried and proven modular strategy, a host of interior components that customers know and appreciate from the C-Class and V-Class will be found in the X-Class – from the perfectly finished high-quality materials and the infotainment system to the ergonomic seating comfort. As a result, the pickup will offer the "welcome home" feeling typical of the brand, and define a new level of comfort and value appeal in the segment of mid-size pickups. The X-Class will also set new standards in the segment with regard to connected life. Thanks to the communication module with on-board SIM card, it will be possible to use the extensive Mercedes me connect services. Drivers can connect with their pickup by smartphone, tablet or PC at any time and from anywhere. For example, to send navigation destinations to the vehicle or query where the pickup is parked and how much fuel is in the tank. In addition to these optional remote online services, standard services such as accident recovery, maintenance management and breakdown management will also be available. Variety will likewise distinguish the engine range. The top-of-the-line model will be powered by a V6 diesel in combination with 4MATIC permanent all-wheel drive. The high-torque engine will provide high driving dynamics on the road and off the road. The all-wheel-drive system will combine an electronic traction system, a transfer case with reduction gear, and two differential locks. The traction system and the electrically operated on-demand differential locks channel the power to where traction is best. Under extreme off-road conditions, the rear differential and the inter-axle differential can be locked. This will make it possible to safely master difficult obstacles and inclines. The powerful drive system and the tough ladder-type frame will make a payload of more than 1.1 ton and a towing capacity of up to 3.5 tons possible. Enough power for transporting some four cubic metres of firewood on the pickup bed and a sail boat hooked up to the trailer coupling, for example. At the same time, the specially constructed suspension with wide axles, a five-link rear axle with coil springs, and a precisely calibrated spring/damper set-up will ensure a high ride comfort – on the road and off the road. The pickup bearing the three-pointed star will impress with precise steering, a comfortable ride, and agile cornering. It will absorb bumps in a superior fashion, making it a perfect fit for the urban environment. Like all Mercedes vehicles, the pickup will be distinguished by exemplary safety. Modern driver assistance systems based on cameras, radar and ultrasound sensors will support and relieve the driver in many situations, and in so doing equally enhance safety and comfort. A host of assistance systems will already come as standard. The Mercedes among pickups: focus on five customer groups The X-Class will combine the strengths of a pickup with the value appeal, comfort, driving fun, and safety that distinguish the vehicles bearing the Mercedes star. As a result, the Mercedes-Benz pickup will bridge the gap between commercial and private and between urban and rural use. It will consequently appeal not only to pickup owners wishing for more car-like characteristics, performance, safety, and comfort, but also and above all to people who drive a passenger car, SUV or van. Extensive market research studies conducted by Mercedes-Benz with potential customers in the target markets bear this out. Mid-size pickups currently have the largest share of the total vehicle market in Australia with 14.1 percent. Argentina comes close behind with 11.6 percent. This means that in these countries, one out of every eight registered vehicles is a pickup in the one-ton category. In Brazil, mid-size pickups have a share of almost five percent of the total vehicle market. That figure is 0.5 percent in Germany, 1.3 percent in Great Britain, 1.4 percent in Turkey, and 0.8 percent in Russia. Based on its market research studies, Mercedes-Benz has identified five customer groups for the X-Class, which are of different relevance in the individual countries. One important target group is constituted by families with an active lifestyle and an affinity to premium products. They use the pickup mostly for commuting to work, for shopping, taking the kids to school or sports activities, for weekend trips, and vacation. The key markets are Brazil, Argentina, Australia, and South Africa. Another target group for the X-Class are successful adventurers, who live in an urban environment and participate in outdoor sports such as skiing or riding jet skis, or have their own boat. They need a comfortable premium vehicle for everyday use that at the same time offers sufficient cargo space and towing capacity for their recreational equipment. The top markets are Australia, South Africa, Brazil, Great Britain, and Germany. In addition, the Mercedes-Benz pickup will have the potential to inspire trend-conscious individualists with an affinity to premium products. They lead an independent lifestyle and want a vehicle outside the mainstream that underscores their personality and status with a unique design. Independent individualists use the pickup as an "everyday vehicle" in the city, for evening and weekend activities, and for sporting events. The key markets for this target group are Germany, Great Britain, South Africa, and Brazil. The fourth customer group comprises business owners such as building contractors, architects, and service providers who want to use their pickup for commercial and private purposes: that is as a comfortable company car for customer meetings, which is equally perfect for transporting customers and employees as well as tools and building materials, as an "everyday vehicle", and as a vehicle for weekend activities. Significant markets for business owners are Germany, Great Britain, Australia, and Argentina. Landowners, such as cattle ranchers in Argentina, soy bean farmers in Brazil or vintners in South Africa, also use their pickup for commercial and private purposes. They need a vehicle that on the one hand takes them through unpaved terrain and has sufficient cargo and towing capacity. On the other hand, it must be suitable for driving to customer and supplier meetings as well as for use as an "everyday vehicle" for the family. Production cooperation with Renault-Nissan The market launch of the Mercedes-Benz X-Class in Europe will begin in late 2017. The new model series will be positioned in the segment at an attractive price. The pickup will be manufactured in a production cooperation with the Renault-Nissan Alliance. Production for the European, Australian and South African markets will start at the Nissan plant in Barcelona, Spain, in 2017. The X-Class for the Latin American market will roll off the assembly lines at the Renault plant in Cordoba, Argentina, starting in 2018. With the X-Class, Daimler AG and the Renault-Nissan Alliance expand their strategic cooperation which began six years ago. This affords Mercedes-Benz fast and cost-efficient entrance to the fast-growing segment of mid-size pickups. In addition, both companies benefit from optimal utilisation of the production capacity. Nissan is the second-largest manufacturer of mid-size pickups with a payload of one ton in the world, and can look back on more than 80 years of experience in producing and marketing these types of vehicles. Previous Page Next Page
  8. Previous Page Next Page Mercedes-Benz has unveiled two concept versions of the upcoming X-Class pickup. The X-Class Stylish Explorer is likely a preview of the production model that we'll be seeing next year. It features a massive Mercedes-Benz grille, flared-out wheel fenders, 22-inch wheels, and a set of sporty bumpers. The X-Class Powerful Adventurer comes with a raised ride height, winches on the front and rear bumpers, meaty off-road tires, and interesting design for the tailgate. The interior features a lot of design ideas and pieces from other Mercedes models such as the vents for the HVAC system and protruding screen from the center stack. The Powerful Adventure features a fire extinguisher as well because why not. The concepts feature a V6 turbodiesel engine and Mercedes' 4Matic all-wheel drive paired with a transfer case with low gears and two differential locks - this combination will be available on higher trims. Lower trim trucks will get turbodiesel four-cylinders and the choice of either rear or all-wheel drive. Under the skin, the X-Class is based on the Nissan Navara and uses the same chassis, albeit with some slight changes. “With the X-class, we will close one of the last gaps in our portfolio. Our target is to offer customers vehicles matching their specific needs. The pick-up will set new standards in a growing segment,” said Mercedes-Benz chairman Dieter Zetsche in a statement. The X-Class will be built alongside the Navara and Renault Alaskan in factories in both Spain and Argentina. Sales are expected to begin next year in Europe, with other key markets such as Australia and South Africa following thereafter. A decision on whether or not the U.S. will get the X-Class is still up in the air at the moment. Source: Mercedes-Benz Press Release is on Page 2 Mercedes-Benz Vans expands product range: Mercedes-Benz Concept X-CLASS – First outlook on the new pickup bearing the three-pointed star Product range expansion for sustainable global growth Market launch in late 2017 Key markets Europe, Latin America, South Africa, and Australia Investments in the high nine figures Two design variants, one message: the first true premium pickup The X-Class: powerful engine, high ride comfort, and exemplary safety Stockholm/Stuttgart – With the Concept X-CLASS, Mercedes-Benz Vans gives a concrete outlook on its new pickup, the X-Class, in Stockholm. The first premium pickup will combine the best of two worlds. This is demonstrated impressively by Mercedes-Benz with two design variants of the concept car. The Concept X-CLASS powerful adventurer illustrates that the future X-Class will possess all the strengths of a classic pickup – tough, functional, strong, and with off-road capability. The Concept X-CLASS stylish explorer goes a step further and shows what will distinguish the pickup bearing the Mercedes star. The X-Class will be a true Mercedes from the hallmark brand design and comfort to the driving dynamics and safety. This will make Mercedes-Benz the first premium manufacturer to account for the changing customer requirements in the global segment of mid-size pickups, and it will make the tough one-ton pickup with seating for up to five persons the first to be attractive as an urban lifestyle and family vehicle. With the pickup, Mercedes-Benz Vans will expand its product range with a fourth model series. At the same time, the brand bearing the three-pointed star will become the first premium manufacturer to occupy the promising segment of mid-size pickups. Daimler AG will make investments in the high nine figures (euro) in the new model series by the time of the market launch. It will be launched in late 2017 under the name Mercedes-Benz X-Class. The key markets will be Argentina, Brazil, South Africa, Australia with New Zealand, and Europe. Dr Dieter Zetsche, Chairman of the Board of Daimler AG and Head of Mercedes-Benz Cars: "With the Mercedes-Benz pickup, we will close one of the last gaps in our portfolio. Our target: we want to offer customers vehicles matching their specific needs. The X-Class will set new standards in a growing segment." "We will open up and change the segment of mid-size pickups – with the world's first true premium pickup for the modern urban lifestyle", says Volker Mornhinweg, Head of Mercedes-Benz Vans. "Our future X-Class will be a pickup that knows no compromise. Ladder-type frame, high-torque six-cylinder engine, and permanent all-wheel drive are compulsory for us. As an added value we bring safety, comfort, agility, and expressive design – in other words, everything that distinguishes vehicles bearing the Mercedes star. We will thus appeal to new customers who have not considered owning a pickup before." Changing segment: Mercedes-Benz first premium manufacturer of a pickup Worldwide the market for mid-size pickups is undergoing a radical change. Gone are the days when they were bought as mere "workhorses". Instead, they are becoming increasingly popular as versatile vehicles for a simultaneous private and commercial use and as vehicles for a strictly private use. The percentage of privately used pickups has been growing steadily for years. Accordingly, the double cab has emerged as the dominating body style, because it offers room for up to five persons. More and more private and commercial customers ask for vehicles with the characteristics and comfort features of a passenger car. A similar development took place in the segment of off-road vehicles some 20 years ago. Back then, Mercedes-Benz was the first premium manufacturer to launch a sport utility vehicle (SUV), the M-Class, and completely redefined the off-road segment – with lasting success. "The Concept X-CLASS design variants interpret the hallmark brand design idiom of our SUVs in a most expressive form, and embody the dichotomy of our design philosophy: they are hot and cool", says Gorden Wagener, Head of Design at Daimler AG. "With its progressive design the powerful adventurer expresses cool modernity and thirst for adventure, while the stylish explorer on the other hand uses pure emotion to provide a tangible experience of modern beauty." Concept X-CLASS stylish explorer: progressive design with SUV looks The Concept X-CLASS stylish explorer, painted in a cool elegant white metallic, impressively demonstrates how the Mercedes-Benz pickup will make a decidedly stylish statement in its segment and in the urban environment. The contrast of emotionally appealing and yet purist surface treatment ("hot") and technically precise, innovative and clever details ("cool") reinterprets the design philosophy of Mercedes-Benz. The athletic design lends the concept car a markedly expressive and dynamic appearance. The distinctive front represents an evolution of the hallmark SUV face of the brand – with a more massive powerdome on the bonnet and headlamps extending far into the wings. The classic SUV front apron and the strongly flared wheel arches put even more emphasis on the sense of width, and give the vehicle an even more solid stance on the road. At the same time, the front cites the single-louvre grille with centrally positioned Mercedes star, the face of the elegant Mercedes-Benz coupés. The flared front and rear wings make room for a wide track and large tyre/wheel combinations for tough off-road use. 22-inch light-alloy wheels with a contrasting anthracite chrome finish give the Concept X-CLASS stylish explorer a towering and superior stance. The running boards are integrated into the bodywork and emphasise the athletically sculpted body. Depending on the angle of the incoming light, the paintwork developed specifically for this concept car lends the urban pickup a look that gives the athletic profile even more emotional appeal. The extremely short front overhang, the very long rear overhang and two long lines stretching along the side amplify the focus placed on driving dynamics. The rear of both concept cars sports the hallmark chromed SUV trim at the lower edge, and, as a distinctive feature, a continuous LED light strip in a slim chrome surround on the tailgate. It points to the unique character of the future pickup. Stylish interior with a high level of operating and display comfort The interior of the Concept X-CLASS stylish explorer is an equally emotional and stylish statement – characterised by an intriguing contrast of warm and cool colours, as well as by high-quality materials. The world of colours and materials translates the Mercedes-Benz design philosophy of sensual purity. The sensual touch and feel of the brown, very natural nubuck leather on the seats provides a cosy feel. This warm colour, which is also found on the dashboard, is combined with cool white nappa leather. The trim made of open-pore smoked oak contrasts with the brushed and polished aluminium trim elements. The world of modern luxury is realised in a highly stylish fashion. The modern flair is further boosted by round air vents, the free-standing high-resolution central display as well as the central controller and multifunctional touchpad. Similar to a smartphone, all telematics functions can be controlled with the touchpad by using gestures or by entering letters and characters. Mercedes-Benz thus introduces the most modern control and display concept in the segment of mid-size pickups. At the same time, the characteristics and functionalities typical in the pickup segment have been retained, such as the handbrake in the centre console. Concept X-CLASS powerful adventurer: the redefinition of toughness Complementing the Concept X-CLASS stylish explorer, the second concept car focuses on the classic traits of a pickup. The Concept X-CLASS powerful adventurer with a lemonax metallic paint finish stages toughness, durability, and off-road capability. As a result, it impressively underscores the fact that the future Mercedes-Benz pickup will combine comfort and style with the basic virtues of this vehicle category. The Concept X-CLASS powerful adventurer towers above it all with a height of 1.90 metres. Large tyres of size 35x11.50, the huge ground clearance, and the athletic design instil respect even at first glance. The brand's hallmark SUV radiator grille with two louvres, front and rear underride guard, wing claddings, and matte carbon wheel arches additionally underscore the superior off-road aesthetics. An electric winch at the front and a metal hook at the rear are further indications of the toughness and power of the future pickup. With its progressive design the concept car exudes independence and thirst for adventure in their purest forms. This feel continues in the interior. Matte carbon elements in the exterior and interior, metallic brushed surfaces, and a bold colour scheme lend the vehicle a sense of power. The lemonax metallic exterior paint finish is perfectly tailored to the interior colour highlights. The colour and material concept underscores the outdoor look with glossy black nappa leather and the use of carbon-style black embossed leather surfaces. To ensure the seats provide lateral support in all handling situations and in any terrain, the seat side bolsters are trimmed with black leather that offers extremely good grip and has a pleasantly soft touch and feel. The X-Class: powerful engine, high ride comfort, and exemplary safety As is the norm for Mercedes-Benz, customers of the X-Class will be able to choose from different equipment scopes to customise the exterior and interior. In addition, the premium brand will develop a special range of accessories for the pickup, for example bed covers and various styling elements. Thanks to the tried and proven modular strategy, a host of interior components that customers know and appreciate from the C-Class and V-Class will be found in the X-Class – from the perfectly finished high-quality materials and the infotainment system to the ergonomic seating comfort. As a result, the pickup will offer the "welcome home" feeling typical of the brand, and define a new level of comfort and value appeal in the segment of mid-size pickups. The X-Class will also set new standards in the segment with regard to connected life. Thanks to the communication module with on-board SIM card, it will be possible to use the extensive Mercedes me connect services. Drivers can connect with their pickup by smartphone, tablet or PC at any time and from anywhere. For example, to send navigation destinations to the vehicle or query where the pickup is parked and how much fuel is in the tank. In addition to these optional remote online services, standard services such as accident recovery, maintenance management and breakdown management will also be available. Variety will likewise distinguish the engine range. The top-of-the-line model will be powered by a V6 diesel in combination with 4MATIC permanent all-wheel drive. The high-torque engine will provide high driving dynamics on the road and off the road. The all-wheel-drive system will combine an electronic traction system, a transfer case with reduction gear, and two differential locks. The traction system and the electrically operated on-demand differential locks channel the power to where traction is best. Under extreme off-road conditions, the rear differential and the inter-axle differential can be locked. This will make it possible to safely master difficult obstacles and inclines. The powerful drive system and the tough ladder-type frame will make a payload of more than 1.1 ton and a towing capacity of up to 3.5 tons possible. Enough power for transporting some four cubic metres of firewood on the pickup bed and a sail boat hooked up to the trailer coupling, for example. At the same time, the specially constructed suspension with wide axles, a five-link rear axle with coil springs, and a precisely calibrated spring/damper set-up will ensure a high ride comfort – on the road and off the road. The pickup bearing the three-pointed star will impress with precise steering, a comfortable ride, and agile cornering. It will absorb bumps in a superior fashion, making it a perfect fit for the urban environment. Like all Mercedes vehicles, the pickup will be distinguished by exemplary safety. Modern driver assistance systems based on cameras, radar and ultrasound sensors will support and relieve the driver in many situations, and in so doing equally enhance safety and comfort. A host of assistance systems will already come as standard. The Mercedes among pickups: focus on five customer groups The X-Class will combine the strengths of a pickup with the value appeal, comfort, driving fun, and safety that distinguish the vehicles bearing the Mercedes star. As a result, the Mercedes-Benz pickup will bridge the gap between commercial and private and between urban and rural use. It will consequently appeal not only to pickup owners wishing for more car-like characteristics, performance, safety, and comfort, but also and above all to people who drive a passenger car, SUV or van. Extensive market research studies conducted by Mercedes-Benz with potential customers in the target markets bear this out. Mid-size pickups currently have the largest share of the total vehicle market in Australia with 14.1 percent. Argentina comes close behind with 11.6 percent. This means that in these countries, one out of every eight registered vehicles is a pickup in the one-ton category. In Brazil, mid-size pickups have a share of almost five percent of the total vehicle market. That figure is 0.5 percent in Germany, 1.3 percent in Great Britain, 1.4 percent in Turkey, and 0.8 percent in Russia. Based on its market research studies, Mercedes-Benz has identified five customer groups for the X-Class, which are of different relevance in the individual countries. One important target group is constituted by families with an active lifestyle and an affinity to premium products. They use the pickup mostly for commuting to work, for shopping, taking the kids to school or sports activities, for weekend trips, and vacation. The key markets are Brazil, Argentina, Australia, and South Africa. Another target group for the X-Class are successful adventurers, who live in an urban environment and participate in outdoor sports such as skiing or riding jet skis, or have their own boat. They need a comfortable premium vehicle for everyday use that at the same time offers sufficient cargo space and towing capacity for their recreational equipment. The top markets are Australia, South Africa, Brazil, Great Britain, and Germany. In addition, the Mercedes-Benz pickup will have the potential to inspire trend-conscious individualists with an affinity to premium products. They lead an independent lifestyle and want a vehicle outside the mainstream that underscores their personality and status with a unique design. Independent individualists use the pickup as an "everyday vehicle" in the city, for evening and weekend activities, and for sporting events. The key markets for this target group are Germany, Great Britain, South Africa, and Brazil. The fourth customer group comprises business owners such as building contractors, architects, and service providers who want to use their pickup for commercial and private purposes: that is as a comfortable company car for customer meetings, which is equally perfect for transporting customers and employees as well as tools and building materials, as an "everyday vehicle", and as a vehicle for weekend activities. Significant markets for business owners are Germany, Great Britain, Australia, and Argentina. Landowners, such as cattle ranchers in Argentina, soy bean farmers in Brazil or vintners in South Africa, also use their pickup for commercial and private purposes. They need a vehicle that on the one hand takes them through unpaved terrain and has sufficient cargo and towing capacity. On the other hand, it must be suitable for driving to customer and supplier meetings as well as for use as an "everyday vehicle" for the family. Production cooperation with Renault-Nissan The market launch of the Mercedes-Benz X-Class in Europe will begin in late 2017. The new model series will be positioned in the segment at an attractive price. The pickup will be manufactured in a production cooperation with the Renault-Nissan Alliance. Production for the European, Australian and South African markets will start at the Nissan plant in Barcelona, Spain, in 2017. The X-Class for the Latin American market will roll off the assembly lines at the Renault plant in Cordoba, Argentina, starting in 2018. With the X-Class, Daimler AG and the Renault-Nissan Alliance expand their strategic cooperation which began six years ago. This affords Mercedes-Benz fast and cost-efficient entrance to the fast-growing segment of mid-size pickups. In addition, both companies benefit from optimal utilisation of the production capacity. Nissan is the second-largest manufacturer of mid-size pickups with a payload of one ton in the world, and can look back on more than 80 years of experience in producing and marketing these types of vehicles. Previous Page Next Page View full article
  9. The recently announced alliance between Mitsubishi and Nissan is already starting to bear some fruit out. Speaking with CarAdvice, Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn said there was a possibility of the two companies of sharing a platform for their next-generation midsize trucks - the Mitsubishi Triton and Nissan Navara. “[it’s] very possible that we are going to use the same platform, but we’re going to develop the cars differently because the customers are not the same,” said Ghosn. “But instead of two different platforms we can have them on the same platform but be completely different products. The cost of development and purchasing will be lower. A common platform, but different developments.” It is unclear if the two companies will jointly develop a new platform or if Mitsubishi will license one from Nissan. But don't expect new models to come anytime soon. Both Mitsubishi and Nissan have recently launched new versions of their trucks, and it will be awhile before we see new ones. Source: CarAdvice.com.au
  10. The recently announced alliance between Mitsubishi and Nissan is already starting to bear some fruit out. Speaking with CarAdvice, Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn said there was a possibility of the two companies of sharing a platform for their next-generation midsize trucks - the Mitsubishi Triton and Nissan Navara. “[it’s] very possible that we are going to use the same platform, but we’re going to develop the cars differently because the customers are not the same,” said Ghosn. “But instead of two different platforms we can have them on the same platform but be completely different products. The cost of development and purchasing will be lower. A common platform, but different developments.” It is unclear if the two companies will jointly develop a new platform or if Mitsubishi will license one from Nissan. But don't expect new models to come anytime soon. Both Mitsubishi and Nissan have recently launched new versions of their trucks, and it will be awhile before we see new ones. Source: CarAdvice.com.au View full article
  11. Sergio Marchionne isn't the only person who is interested in doing a midsize truck for Ram. Speaking with The Detroit News, Jeep and Ram Trucks' CEO Mike Manley says he sees an opportunity. “I think there’s opportunity there in the U.S. if you look at what’s happened in the mid-size segment here – significant growth last year. I think that space is big enough, certainly, to have two offerings there,” said Manley. One of the two offerings is the upcoming Jeep Wrangler pickup due next year. Manley said he doesn't believe there will be overlap in terms of buyers who want the Jeep or a possible Ram truck. Manley admitted that Ram could use a Fiat platform for a new midsize truck. A possible candidate for this is the new Fiat Toro pickup sold in South America, although it is quite small. The Toro is about 20 inches shorter than the Chevrolet Colorado. Source: The Detroit News
  12. Sergio Marchionne isn't the only person who is interested in doing a midsize truck for Ram. Speaking with The Detroit News, Jeep and Ram Trucks' CEO Mike Manley says he sees an opportunity. “I think there’s opportunity there in the U.S. if you look at what’s happened in the mid-size segment here – significant growth last year. I think that space is big enough, certainly, to have two offerings there,” said Manley. One of the two offerings is the upcoming Jeep Wrangler pickup due next year. Manley said he doesn't believe there will be overlap in terms of buyers who want the Jeep or a possible Ram truck. Manley admitted that Ram could use a Fiat platform for a new midsize truck. A possible candidate for this is the new Fiat Toro pickup sold in South America, although it is quite small. The Toro is about 20 inches shorter than the Chevrolet Colorado. Source: The Detroit News View full article
  13. With the midsize truck market on the rebound, FCA is considering whether or not to do a midsize for Ram. “We’re looking into it. I have a keen interest in getting it done. The big question is whether it should be body on frame,” said Marchionne to reporters at the Geneva Motor Show. Previously, Ram was considering doing a midsize truck on a unibody platform. But this idea was tossed out due to problems with getting decent fuel economy and pricing the model at an affordable point while still making a profit. Marchionne says the biggest hurdle for a Ram midsize truck is trying to make a business case for it. When Marchionne looks at GM's midsize trucks - Chevrolet Colorado and GMC Canyon -, he assumes the profit margins are less than the full-size trucks due to pricing. Still, Marchionne believes there is a place for a midsize truck. “I think it’s a good place to be. Ram needs to expand its lineup.” Source: Motor Trend
  14. With the midsize truck market on the rebound, FCA is considering whether or not to do a midsize for Ram. “We’re looking into it. I have a keen interest in getting it done. The big question is whether it should be body on frame,” said Marchionne to reporters at the Geneva Motor Show. Previously, Ram was considering doing a midsize truck on a unibody platform. But this idea was tossed out due to problems with getting decent fuel economy and pricing the model at an affordable point while still making a profit. Marchionne says the biggest hurdle for a Ram midsize truck is trying to make a business case for it. When Marchionne looks at GM's midsize trucks - Chevrolet Colorado and GMC Canyon -, he assumes the profit margins are less than the full-size trucks due to pricing. Still, Marchionne believes there is a place for a midsize truck. “I think it’s a good place to be. Ram needs to expand its lineup.” Source: Motor Trend View full article
  15. Earlier this year, we reported that Mercedes-Benz was going forward on a midsize truck for certain markets towards the end of decade. We also reported that the U.S. arm wants the truck. "We said to Stuttgart, 'We are open, and let us assess the market.' If that leads to us saying 'green light,' then we will bring it," said Steve Cannon, CEO of Mercedes-Benz USA. So has a decision been made for the U.S. getting a midsize truck from Mercedes? According to Cannon, that decision has been pushed back by eight to ten months. The decision was expected to come down at the end of this year. "The product is still very fluid. We've got time to make this decision, so we're not hurrying with it. We want to make sure the product fits this market's needs. If it doesn't, we're not bringing it -- I can tell you that," said Cannon to Automotive News at the Frankfurt Motor Show. There wasn't a reason given as to why the decision was pushed back. Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required)
  16. Earlier this year, we reported that Mercedes-Benz was going forward on a midsize truck for certain markets towards the end of decade. We also reported that the U.S. arm wants the truck. "We said to Stuttgart, 'We are open, and let us assess the market.' If that leads to us saying 'green light,' then we will bring it," said Steve Cannon, CEO of Mercedes-Benz USA. So has a decision been made for the U.S. getting a midsize truck from Mercedes? According to Cannon, that decision has been pushed back by eight to ten months. The decision was expected to come down at the end of this year. "The product is still very fluid. We've got time to make this decision, so we're not hurrying with it. We want to make sure the product fits this market's needs. If it doesn't, we're not bringing it -- I can tell you that," said Cannon to Automotive News at the Frankfurt Motor Show. There wasn't a reason given as to why the decision was pushed back. Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required) View full article
  17. You would think that with the introduction of the Chevrolet Colorado/GMC Terrain and refreshed Toyota Tacoma, the likes of Ford and Ram would be getting in the midsize truck action. But Ram boss Bob Hegbloom can't make it work for the brand. The problem according to Automotive News is the price of higher fuel economy. Hegbloom explained that back in the heyday of midsize trucks - the 1980's - consumers bought them because they were considerably smaller, less expensive, and boasted impressive fuel economy. Although midsize trucks had less capability than their full-size compatriots, consumers didn't mind. "When you look at those four factors, that's truly what a midsize pickup customer is looking for. I've been able to develop a strategy to come up with three of the four -- and even with what's out there on the market today, I haven't seen anyone who can deliver on all four," said Hegbloom. To Hegbloom, a midsize truck from Ram would have to achieve 35 MPG on the highway. The Ram 1500 EcoDiesel can achieve 29 MPG on the highway. "If full-size now is pushing 30 [mpg], you're going to expect a midsize to be at least at 35. You're also going to expect it to be significantly less expensive. But to bring the technology in to deliver on 35 mpg, then you're going to raise the price," said Hegbloom. Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required) View full article
  18. You would think that with the introduction of the Chevrolet Colorado/GMC Terrain and refreshed Toyota Tacoma, the likes of Ford and Ram would be getting in the midsize truck action. But Ram boss Bob Hegbloom can't make it work for the brand. The problem according to Automotive News is the price of higher fuel economy. Hegbloom explained that back in the heyday of midsize trucks - the 1980's - consumers bought them because they were considerably smaller, less expensive, and boasted impressive fuel economy. Although midsize trucks had less capability than their full-size compatriots, consumers didn't mind. "When you look at those four factors, that's truly what a midsize pickup customer is looking for. I've been able to develop a strategy to come up with three of the four -- and even with what's out there on the market today, I haven't seen anyone who can deliver on all four," said Hegbloom. To Hegbloom, a midsize truck from Ram would have to achieve 35 MPG on the highway. The Ram 1500 EcoDiesel can achieve 29 MPG on the highway. "If full-size now is pushing 30 [mpg], you're going to expect a midsize to be at least at 35. You're also going to expect it to be significantly less expensive. But to bring the technology in to deliver on 35 mpg, then you're going to raise the price," said Hegbloom. Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required)
  19. This morning, we reported on Mercedes-Benz working a new midsize truck and how the U.S. arm wants it. Well we have another wrinkle in this story to report on. Reuters reports that Diamler AG - Mercedes' parent company - will be expanding its cooperation with Nissan to help with the development of this new truck. The Mercedes truck, due out towards the end of the decade will use some of the underpinnings of a all-new Nissan NP300 truck. "Entering the rapidly growing segment of midsize pickups is an important step in continuing our global growth path. Thanks to our well-established partnership with the Renault-Nissan Alliance, we are able to drastically reduce the time and cost to enter this key segment," said Daimler Chief Executive Dieter Zetsche. Diamler and Nissan stuck an alliance back in 2010 where they would collaborate on three vehicle projects, engines, and plants. Since then, the collaboration has expanded to 13. Source: Reuters
  20. This morning, we reported on Mercedes-Benz working a new midsize truck and how the U.S. arm wants it. Well we have another wrinkle in this story to report on. Reuters reports that Diamler AG - Mercedes' parent company - will be expanding its cooperation with Nissan to help with the development of this new truck. The Mercedes truck, due out towards the end of the decade will use some of the underpinnings of a all-new Nissan NP300 truck. "Entering the rapidly growing segment of midsize pickups is an important step in continuing our global growth path. Thanks to our well-established partnership with the Renault-Nissan Alliance, we are able to drastically reduce the time and cost to enter this key segment," said Daimler Chief Executive Dieter Zetsche. Diamler and Nissan stuck an alliance back in 2010 where they would collaborate on three vehicle projects, engines, and plants. Since then, the collaboration has expanded to 13. Source: Reuters View full article
  21. One of the stories we didn't get the chance to cover on Cheers & Gears last week was Mercedes-Benz building a midsize pickup. Now at the time, we considered this an early April Fools joke. But when the official announcement came out, our jaws were agape: Mercedes-Benz is working on a midsize truck that will go on sale towards the end of the decade for certain marketplaces - the U.S. is not one of those places. Now this wouldn't be a luxury truck, it would be built for work. This further substantiated by Mercedes-Benz's commercial van division handling the development. But Mercedes-Benz USA wants to make the final decision if the truck is sold or not. "We said to Stuttgart, 'We are open, and let us assess the market.' If that leads to us saying 'green light,' then we will bring it," said Steve Cannon, CEO of Mercedes-Benz USA. If Mercedes-Benz USA does get the truck, it will be positioned as a luxury vehicle, not a work truck. "Not every pickup in the U.S. is going to job sites. Just drive around Greenwich, Conn., and see how many pickups there are. You realize this is not a demographic that is showing up with their work boots on job sites. Those sales are taken care of by the domestics," said Cannon. Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required), Mercedes-Benz (Original Press Release) Press Release is on Page 2 Get ready for the Mercedes-Benz among pickups: Mercedes-Benz Vans to launch midsize pickup Stuttgart, Mar 27, 2015 Expansion of product range for sustained global growth Market for midsize pickups primed for first model from a premium manufacturer Mercedes-Benz to enter the high-volume midsize segment before end of decade Main markets: Latin America, South Africa, Australia, and Europe Stuttgart – Before the end of the decade, Mercedes-Benz will expand its product range into a promising segment by launching the first pickup from a premium manufacturer. Thanks to their versatility, all-round utility, and payload of about one metric ton, pickups are popular across the world and thus have good sales potential. "The Mercedes-Benz pickup will contribute nicely to our global growth targets," says Dr. Dieter Zetsche, Chairman of the Board of Management Daimler AG and Head of Mercedes-Benz Cars Division. "We will enter this segment with our distinctive brand identity and all of the vehicle attributes that are typical of the brand with regard to safety, comfort, powertrains, and value." Volker Mornhinweg, Head of Mercedes-Benz Vans, adds: "As part of our 'Mercedes-Benz Vans goes global' strategy, the pickup is the ideal vehicle for the international expansion of our product range with a newly developed model." A promising segment with global scope The midsize pickup segment is currently undergoing a transformation worldwide. More and more pickups are being used for private purposes, and commercial as well as private users are increasingly asking for vehicles that have car-like specificiations. Mercedes-Benz is the first premium manufacturer to respond to this market shift by developing its own pickup. A similar example was the successful introduction of the M-Class around 20 years ago. As the first sport utility vehicle (SUV) from a premium manufacturer, the M-Class completely redefined the segment. The new Mercedes-Benz pickup will initially be targeted at markets in Latin America, South Africa, Australia, and Europe, all of which are posting sustained growth in this segment. Mercedes-Benz Vans: Center of competence for commercially and privately used vehicles The Mercedes-Benz Vans division is responsible for the new vehicle. With its many years of experience in developing, manufacturing, and marketing vehicles that are used commercially as well as privately, Mercedes-Benz Vans is ideally suited to enter the midsize pickup segment and launch a Mercedes-Benz pickup on the market for the first time in the company's history. Current models such as the V-Class and the Vito demonstrate that Mercedes-Benz Vans has the high level of expertise to successfully serve customers from a wide variety of private and commercial sectors. "We can perfectly serve customers looking for a vehicle that offers a high level of utility and at the same time has the comfort, safety, and design of a Mercedes-Benz passenger car," says Mornhinweg. "We will design our brand's first pickup according to this recipe for success."
  22. One of the stories we didn't get the chance to cover on Cheers & Gears last week was Mercedes-Benz building a midsize pickup. Now at the time, we considered this an early April Fools joke. But when the official announcement came out, our jaws were agape: Mercedes-Benz is working on a midsize truck that will go on sale towards the end of the decade for certain marketplaces - the U.S. is not one of those places. Now this wouldn't be a luxury truck, it would be built for work. This further substantiated by Mercedes-Benz's commercial van division handling the development. But Mercedes-Benz USA wants to make the final decision if the truck is sold or not. "We said to Stuttgart, 'We are open, and let us assess the market.' If that leads to us saying 'green light,' then we will bring it," said Steve Cannon, CEO of Mercedes-Benz USA. If Mercedes-Benz USA does get the truck, it will be positioned as a luxury vehicle, not a work truck. "Not every pickup in the U.S. is going to job sites. Just drive around Greenwich, Conn., and see how many pickups there are. You realize this is not a demographic that is showing up with their work boots on job sites. Those sales are taken care of by the domestics," said Cannon. Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required), Mercedes-Benz (Original Press Release) Press Release is on Page 2 Get ready for the Mercedes-Benz among pickups: Mercedes-Benz Vans to launch midsize pickup Stuttgart, Mar 27, 2015 Expansion of product range for sustained global growth Market for midsize pickups primed for first model from a premium manufacturer Mercedes-Benz to enter the high-volume midsize segment before end of decade Main markets: Latin America, South Africa, Australia, and Europe Stuttgart – Before the end of the decade, Mercedes-Benz will expand its product range into a promising segment by launching the first pickup from a premium manufacturer. Thanks to their versatility, all-round utility, and payload of about one metric ton, pickups are popular across the world and thus have good sales potential. "The Mercedes-Benz pickup will contribute nicely to our global growth targets," says Dr. Dieter Zetsche, Chairman of the Board of Management Daimler AG and Head of Mercedes-Benz Cars Division. "We will enter this segment with our distinctive brand identity and all of the vehicle attributes that are typical of the brand with regard to safety, comfort, powertrains, and value." Volker Mornhinweg, Head of Mercedes-Benz Vans, adds: "As part of our 'Mercedes-Benz Vans goes global' strategy, the pickup is the ideal vehicle for the international expansion of our product range with a newly developed model." A promising segment with global scope The midsize pickup segment is currently undergoing a transformation worldwide. More and more pickups are being used for private purposes, and commercial as well as private users are increasingly asking for vehicles that have car-like specificiations. Mercedes-Benz is the first premium manufacturer to respond to this market shift by developing its own pickup. A similar example was the successful introduction of the M-Class around 20 years ago. As the first sport utility vehicle (SUV) from a premium manufacturer, the M-Class completely redefined the segment. The new Mercedes-Benz pickup will initially be targeted at markets in Latin America, South Africa, Australia, and Europe, all of which are posting sustained growth in this segment. Mercedes-Benz Vans: Center of competence for commercially and privately used vehicles The Mercedes-Benz Vans division is responsible for the new vehicle. With its many years of experience in developing, manufacturing, and marketing vehicles that are used commercially as well as privately, Mercedes-Benz Vans is ideally suited to enter the midsize pickup segment and launch a Mercedes-Benz pickup on the market for the first time in the company's history. Current models such as the V-Class and the Vito demonstrate that Mercedes-Benz Vans has the high level of expertise to successfully serve customers from a wide variety of private and commercial sectors. "We can perfectly serve customers looking for a vehicle that offers a high level of utility and at the same time has the comfort, safety, and design of a Mercedes-Benz passenger car," says Mornhinweg. "We will design our brand's first pickup according to this recipe for success." View full article
  23. Another piece of the puzzle has been announced for the 2015 Chevrolet Colorado and GMC Canyon. General Motors announced this afternoon pricing for their two new midsize trucks. The Colorado will come in at $20,995 (includes a $895 destination charge) and the Canyon will start at $21,880 (includes a $925 destination charge). Standard equipment on both models include a 2.5L DI four-cylinder engine with 200 horsepower and six-speed manual. The Colorado gets power windows with express up for the driver, a backup camera, and a locking tailgate. Canyon's standard equipment includes four-way power driver’s seat, CornerStep rear bumper, and sixteen-inch aluminum wheels. There will be a number of configurations and options available for both trucks including the 3.6L DI V6, extended and crew cab models; six-speed automatic transmission, forward collision alert, and OnStar 4G LTE. General Motors say the Colorado and Canyon will be available at dealers later this fall. More details on pricing and fuel economy numbers will be revealed closer to the sales date. Source: General Motors William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.comor you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster. Press Release is on Page 2 2015 Chevrolet Colorado Starts at $20,995 Includes extended cab, 200-horsepower 2.5L engine, 6-speed manual transmission DETROIT – Suggested retail prices for the 2015 Chevrolet Colorado extended-cab pickup will start at $20,995, including an $895 dealer freight charge, Chevrolet announced today. Standard features will include a 200-horsepower 2.5L four-cylinder engine with direct fuel injection and continuously variable valve timing for strong midrange torque; a 6-speed manual transmission; power windows with express up for the driver; a rear-vision camera with dynamic guide lines; and a locking tailgate. “Colorado is an all-new midsize pickup that offers truck customers great versatility and great value,” said Tony Johnson, Colorado marketing manager. “It will also have strong appeal for people who know they want a truck, but want one that is easier to maneuver in traffic and easier to park at work or at home.” Available options will include a 305-horsepower 3.6L V-6, also with direct fuel injection and variable valve timing; a 6-speed automatic transmission; 4G LTE with a built-in WiFi hotspot; Forward Collision Alert and Land Departure Warning; and the GearOn™ accessory system, a comprehensive solution for organizing and carrying bikes, paddle boards and other equipment. Colorado customers can chose from two cab configurations, extended-cab and crew-cab. Crew-cab Colorados will offer a choice of 5- or 6-foot boxes; extended-cab models come with the 6-foot box. Other Colorado models also will offer great value. For example, the Colorado LT crew cab with 2WD and the 5-foot box has a starting price, including dealer freight, of $27,985. The Colorado Z71 crew cab 4x4 with the 5-foot box starts at $34,990. Colorado will be available in Chevrolet dealerships nationwide in the fall of 2014. Detailed pricing and EPA fuel economy estimates will be available closer to launch. 2015 GMC Canyon Pricing Starts at $21,880 Signature LED lighting, rear vision camera among standard equipment DETROIT – Pricing for the all-new 2015 GMC Canyon mid-size pickup will start at $21,880, including a $925 dealer freight charge, GMC announced today. “The all-new Canyon provides a one-two punch that customers tell us they’ve been waiting for,” said Canyon Marketing Manager Kenn Bakowski. “Now they can get a premium vehicle in terms of styling, features and technology, with all the inherent capabilities and maneuverability of a mid-size pickup.” Standard equipment on the Canyon includes the 2.5L I-4 Direct Injected engine, rated at 200 horsepower, signature light-emitting diode, or LED, lighting, four-way power driver’s seat, CornerStep rear bumper, and 16-inch aluminum wheels. Additional models will bring additional value – beginning with the SLE trim level, with prices starting at $27,520 (2WD extended cab), Canyon customers get aluminum interior trim, soft-touch instrument panel and door pads, EZ-lift and lower tailgate, eight-inch diagonal color-touch radio with Intellilink, and OnStar 4G LTE Wi-Fi hotspot with a three-month or three-GB trial (whichever comes first). A 4WD Canyon SLT crew cab short box model starts at $37,875, and includes the 3.6L V-6 engine with 305 horsepower, leather-appointed seating, automatic climate control, 18-inch polished cast-aluminum wheels, remote start and an automatic locking rear differential. Available options include the 3.6L V-6 engine with direct injection and variable valve timing, a six-speed automatic transmission, Bose premium seven-speaker audio system, and the GearOn™ accessory system, a comprehensive solution for organizing and carrying bikes, kayaks and other equipment. Canyon customers will have multiple cab and bed configurations to choose from, including extended cab models with a 6-foot 2-inch box, or crew cab models with either the 6-foot 2-inch or a 5-foot 2-inch box. Additionally, every 2015 Canyon comes with Pro Grade Protection, which, in addition to a five-year/100,000-mile powertrain warranty and three-year/36,000-mile bumper-to-bumper warranty, includes two years or 24,000 miles – whichever comes first – of standard scheduled maintenance. The new Canyon will be in dealerships this fall. Detailed pricing information and EPA-estimated fuel economy ratings will be announced closer to vehicle availability. View full article
  24. Another piece of the puzzle has been announced for the 2015 Chevrolet Colorado and GMC Canyon. General Motors announced this afternoon pricing for their two new midsize trucks. The Colorado will come in at $20,995 (includes a $895 destination charge) and the Canyon will start at $21,880 (includes a $925 destination charge). Standard equipment on both models include a 2.5L DI four-cylinder engine with 200 horsepower and six-speed manual. The Colorado gets power windows with express up for the driver, a backup camera, and a locking tailgate. Canyon's standard equipment includes four-way power driver’s seat, CornerStep rear bumper, and sixteen-inch aluminum wheels. There will be a number of configurations and options available for both trucks including the 3.6L DI V6, extended and crew cab models; six-speed automatic transmission, forward collision alert, and OnStar 4G LTE. General Motors say the Colorado and Canyon will be available at dealers later this fall. More details on pricing and fuel economy numbers will be revealed closer to the sales date. Source: General Motors William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.comor you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster. Press Release is on Page 2 2015 Chevrolet Colorado Starts at $20,995 Includes extended cab, 200-horsepower 2.5L engine, 6-speed manual transmission DETROIT – Suggested retail prices for the 2015 Chevrolet Colorado extended-cab pickup will start at $20,995, including an $895 dealer freight charge, Chevrolet announced today. Standard features will include a 200-horsepower 2.5L four-cylinder engine with direct fuel injection and continuously variable valve timing for strong midrange torque; a 6-speed manual transmission; power windows with express up for the driver; a rear-vision camera with dynamic guide lines; and a locking tailgate. “Colorado is an all-new midsize pickup that offers truck customers great versatility and great value,” said Tony Johnson, Colorado marketing manager. “It will also have strong appeal for people who know they want a truck, but want one that is easier to maneuver in traffic and easier to park at work or at home.” Available options will include a 305-horsepower 3.6L V-6, also with direct fuel injection and variable valve timing; a 6-speed automatic transmission; 4G LTE with a built-in WiFi hotspot; Forward Collision Alert and Land Departure Warning; and the GearOn™ accessory system, a comprehensive solution for organizing and carrying bikes, paddle boards and other equipment. Colorado customers can chose from two cab configurations, extended-cab and crew-cab. Crew-cab Colorados will offer a choice of 5- or 6-foot boxes; extended-cab models come with the 6-foot box. Other Colorado models also will offer great value. For example, the Colorado LT crew cab with 2WD and the 5-foot box has a starting price, including dealer freight, of $27,985. The Colorado Z71 crew cab 4x4 with the 5-foot box starts at $34,990. Colorado will be available in Chevrolet dealerships nationwide in the fall of 2014. Detailed pricing and EPA fuel economy estimates will be available closer to launch. 2015 GMC Canyon Pricing Starts at $21,880 Signature LED lighting, rear vision camera among standard equipment DETROIT – Pricing for the all-new 2015 GMC Canyon mid-size pickup will start at $21,880, including a $925 dealer freight charge, GMC announced today. “The all-new Canyon provides a one-two punch that customers tell us they’ve been waiting for,” said Canyon Marketing Manager Kenn Bakowski. “Now they can get a premium vehicle in terms of styling, features and technology, with all the inherent capabilities and maneuverability of a mid-size pickup.” Standard equipment on the Canyon includes the 2.5L I-4 Direct Injected engine, rated at 200 horsepower, signature light-emitting diode, or LED, lighting, four-way power driver’s seat, CornerStep rear bumper, and 16-inch aluminum wheels. Additional models will bring additional value – beginning with the SLE trim level, with prices starting at $27,520 (2WD extended cab), Canyon customers get aluminum interior trim, soft-touch instrument panel and door pads, EZ-lift and lower tailgate, eight-inch diagonal color-touch radio with Intellilink, and OnStar 4G LTE Wi-Fi hotspot with a three-month or three-GB trial (whichever comes first). A 4WD Canyon SLT crew cab short box model starts at $37,875, and includes the 3.6L V-6 engine with 305 horsepower, leather-appointed seating, automatic climate control, 18-inch polished cast-aluminum wheels, remote start and an automatic locking rear differential. Available options include the 3.6L V-6 engine with direct injection and variable valve timing, a six-speed automatic transmission, Bose premium seven-speaker audio system, and the GearOn™ accessory system, a comprehensive solution for organizing and carrying bikes, kayaks and other equipment. Canyon customers will have multiple cab and bed configurations to choose from, including extended cab models with a 6-foot 2-inch box, or crew cab models with either the 6-foot 2-inch or a 5-foot 2-inch box. Additionally, every 2015 Canyon comes with Pro Grade Protection, which, in addition to a five-year/100,000-mile powertrain warranty and three-year/36,000-mile bumper-to-bumper warranty, includes two years or 24,000 miles – whichever comes first – of standard scheduled maintenance. The new Canyon will be in dealerships this fall. Detailed pricing information and EPA-estimated fuel economy ratings will be announced closer to vehicle availability.
  25. With the Chevrolet Colorado and GMC Canyon heading into showrooms in a few months, we've haven't heard anything from Nissan or Toyota about what they have in store for their next-generation midsize trucks. But that has changed for one automaker. The Truth About Cars has heard some information about what's in store for the next-generation Frontier. A supplier source has told them that Nissan will be using the new Navara truck as the base for the next-generation truck. Previously, Nissan was going to use bones of the first-generation Frontier (D22 platform) for their next-generation truck. The reason for this is that the company saw a possible chance for the affordable, fuel-efficient compact truck to make a return. However, Nissan's engineers weren't able to bring the truck to modern safety standards and the costs to make it modern were too much. Using the Navara as a base will give Nissan a truck that can meet modern safety standards and be able to come with a range of different engines, including a diesel of some sort. The downside of using the Navara platform is that it's too expensive for what Nissan is looking for, so a number of features and content will be removed for the U.S. market. Nissan Mexico will be in charge of working on this new truck and will go on sale in 2018. Source: The Truth About Cars, 2 William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.com or you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster.

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