The term “luxury pickup truck” is a strange one that manages to make U.S. auto companies fistfuls of cash.
Maybe that’s why Daimler was seriously considering a project that would have seen Nissan’s Titan and Frontier re-badged as Mercedes-Benz products. According to a report from Road & Track, a plan to do exactly that has been shelved. With plans crumbled and lying on the floor, it sounds like Infiniti, Nissan’s in-house premium brand, is plotting to offer a premium pickup of its own.
“We know about their pickup, but as long as they price it more enthusiastically than ours, we don’t think it will impact our plans,” an anonymous source told the magazine.
Had things continued, plans would have likely seen both vehicles on the market by 2016, roughly one year after a second-generation Titan debuts.
Most of the exterior characteristics would have been held in common except for a different front fascia and badges. The real difference would have been on the inside where Mercedes would assume domain over choosing cabin styling and materials to better suit its buyers.
Mercedes was even deep enough into the project before it was killed that its engineers already began working on tweaking NVH levels in the trucks. The chassis and all-wheel drive system would have been shares. So would the suspension, although Mercedes would have re-tuned it.
Problems rose when Daimler wanted the vehicles to be engineered to accommodate a wider range of engines than Nissan had planned. Demands to engineer the Frontier to be offered as a hybrid and plug-in hybrid also served to stymie plans.
[Source: Road & Track]
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