Last week, at the Los Angeles Auto Show, the head of AMG, Tobias Moers, told Motoring Magazine the division would not build a performance version of the Mercedez-Benz X-Class pickups.
Mercedes-Benz unveiled the concept of its X-Class pickup trucks nearly a month ago now, presenting them as premium vehicles for both urban and off-road driving. The X-Class comes in two different designs: the ‘Stylish Explorer’ and the ‘Powerful Adventurer.’
The German automaker also has a new G-Class prototype in the works, scheduled for a 2018 release.
Mercedes has started testing the upcoming G-Class in off-road terrains, but it has failed to meet the toughness standards that made world-class vehicles out of its predecessors.
Why is AMG not building a Mercedes-AMG X-Class?
AMG is a subdivision of Mercedes-Benz focused on designing high-performance versions of existing brand vehicles. Since its primary partner is Mercedes, and it works with its car fleet, AMG technically cannot touch the new X-Class, at least for now.
The upcoming pickup trucks from Mercedes-Benz are both based on the successful Nissan Navara. The German manufacturer redesigned the Navara and added its brand elements, but it is still a Nissan vehicle at its core.
Mercedes’ design differs significantly from Nissan’s product, but that does not make it an original pickup truck. Daimler’s partnership with the Renault-Nissan Alliance was instrumental in getting the Navara as the base of its X-Class.
This is not the only reason for the company to refrain from touching the new X-Class luxury pickups. AMG is also considering that, in the end, a performance-based upgrade would not be an upgrade at all.
With the current state of the concept vehicles, all AMG could do would be adding a couple of tweaks and a redesign overhaul that would prove unnecessary and ineffective in the market.
A Mercedes-AMG X-Class pickup may not even have a market
The future vehicle still doesn’t have a defined launch window other than 2017, and it will see a limited release precisely because Mercedes doesn’t know what will be the result of betting on a luxury pickup truck.
AMG CEO Tobias Moers said a potential AMG take on the X-Class would make sense in a very limited market, but refused to offer any more insights on the issue.
Daimler’s Mercedes-Benz will take the X-Class pickups to Europe, South America, Australia, and Africa starting next year.
Dietmar Exler, CEO of the U.S. branch of the automaker, also said at the Los Angeles Auto Show the company did not discard the option of bringing the new X-Class to North America shortly.
“Once the next version of the truck comes out there might be an opportunity to bring it in the medium and the long-term,” Exler said.
This would place the X-Class in the U.S. and Canada as soon as 2018 or 2019 if the launch is successful next year.