2018 Mercedes-Benz GLT Pickup Is Very Similar to Schroedinger's Cat

A recent product plan released by Daimler confirmed that the Mercedes-Benz GLT - the brand's first pickup truck, excluding the G63 AMG 6x6 - is going to be released sometime during next year. Just a few days later, we get this spy video as well, clearing up any remaining doubt over how far down the development process Mercedes-Benz currently is.
2018 Mercedes-Benz GLT 1 photo
Photo: Screenshot from YouTube
To be fair, Mercedes will have very few models that will require so little effort on the part of its designers and engineers. Much like the Citan small van that was mostly a rebadged Renault Kangoo, the GLT is going to follow the same recipe, only with a different template. This time, Mercedes-Benz will use a 2016 Nissan NP300 Navara as a starting point, and despite the heavy camouflage covering the test mule, that's already pretty obvious.

We've all seen the concept pictures showing a very aggressive, lifestyle-oriented truck wearing the Mercedes-Benz badge, but that's not what we should expect. It's better just to switch your eyes quickly from a picture of the new Nissan Navara to one of a Mercedes-Benz SUV and hope that your mind will overlap the two in a relevant way. Or, better yet, start taking up Photoshop classes and paste the two vehicles together yourself.

The vehicle we're looking at in this video is just like Schroedinger's cat: you can say that it's a Nissan Navara and a Mercedes-Benz GLT at the same time, and both affirmations would be right. At this moment, it's very plausible that the first of the two holds more truth to it, but Mercedes is working on the conversion. For instance, the test car has no radiator grille installed, a piece that will give the German pickup most of its visual identity. Expect the whole front end to be modified, even though everything will still be in the same place. New bumpers, grille, and headlights are a guarantee, with the rear only getting slightly reworked taillights.

The interior is where Mercedes will have most of the work done since it needs to improve the quality of materials and finishes if it's going to market the pickup as a Benz. It's still going to be a commercial vehicle, but the Germans have to explain the bigger price compared to Nissan's truck by something other than the brand name itself.

The fact it's based on the Navara should actually help Mercedes-Benz with its initial sales since it's better to know the underpinnings are taken from a well-respected pickup than developed from scratch by a company that's never done anything like it before. Even so, we'd be very surprised if the GLT turns out to be an instant success - it's more likely Mercedes-Benz's attempt at covering another niche on the market with minimum effort.

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About the author: Vlad Mitrache
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"Boy meets car, boy loves car, boy gets journalism degree and starts job writing and editing at a car magazine" - 5/5. (Vlad Mitrache if he was a movie)
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