MERC'S NEW BAKKIE: Spy shots of Mercedes' SA-bound bakkie has surfaced. Image: Supplied
Cape Town - In April 2015, Wheels24 announced that Nissan and Daimler will develop a new double-cab bakkie sporting a Mercedes-Benz badge.
Given South Africa's love of bakkies, the news caused quite a frenzy.
Mercedes-Benz South Africa’s director of marketing, Selwyn Govender, confirmed to Wheels24 that the new bakkie will arrive in 2017.
The new Mercedes bakkie is set to go up against rivals such as the Toyota Hilux, Ford Ranger and Volkswagen Amarok. Other rivals yet to be launched in SA later in 2016 include the Nissan Navara and Fiat Fullback.
In May 2016, spy photographers spotted the new bakkie undergoing testing. Motoring magazine TopCar posted this image:
What will the new bakkie be called?
The Mercedes-badged bakkie will share the same underpinnings as the upcoming Nissan NP300.
As for the name, TopCar reports that "at this stage it’s rumoured to be badged anything from X-Class to the GLT (‘GL’ is now Benz’s prefix for all things big/4×4/SUV)."
Engines? It's that new pick-up could be powered by its own range of four- and six-cylinder diesel/petrol engines.
Here's what we know about the as yet unnamed Merc bakkie:
• The bakkie will share the same architecture as the new Nissan NP300 but will be engineered and designed by Daimler
• From spy shots it's clear the vehicle will have Mercedes-Benz’s distinctive characteristics
New bakkies for SA: Navara, Fullback, Triton on the way
• The bakkie will initially be produced in double-cab guise and its primary markets include Europe, Australia, South Africa and South America.
• The Mercedes-Benz bakkie will be built by Nissan at the Renault factory in Cordoba, Argentina and at Nissan's factory Barcelona, Spain, for other markets, excluding North America.