Mercedes-AMG Boss Shoots Down Possibility of X-Class AMG Pickup
Odds of an X-class AMG have gone from ‘probably not’ to ‘definitely not.’
Mercedes-Benz has been skeptical of the chances of an X-class AMG pickup since the truck's debut in South Africa in July of 2017, and AMG boss Tobias Moers has come forward to state that an X-class AMG will not happen.
"There will be no X-Class AMG," Moers told Car Sales. "Never."
Mercedes bases its X-class pickup on a platform designed by Nissan for its global market Navara pickup, which succeeded the Frontier pickup in seemingly every market but the United States, where the Frontier is still sold in a form almost identical to that in which it debuted in 2004. Nissan's close partner Renault also sells a Navara-based pickup called the Alaskan in some Latin American markets.
Moers cites cultural differences between the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi alliance and AMG as a major roadblock for an X-class AMG pickup.
"AMG culture would be a difficult fit with Nissan and Renault cultures," he said. Previously, however, Moers said AMG is simply preoccupied with more important projects with greater demand.
"We're too busy," Moers told Car Sales at the 2017 Frankfurt Motor Show. "We're fully locked in to our programs."
Another possibility is that the Navara platform is a poor candidate for an AMG vehicle. It is meant as a medium-duty vehicle, with the X-class using a 2.3-liter turbo-four gasoline engine or a 3.0-liter turbodiesel V6 depending on variant. Power plants like AMG's 4.0-liter twin-turbo V8 may be capable of twisting the X-class's chassis like taffy, or its dimensions may simply be too large to fit in the engine bay. The same may be true of smaller engines, like the 3.0-liter twincharged inline-six in the Mercedes-AMG E 53, or the 2.0-liter four-pot in the Mercedes-AMG A 35.
No matter the reason, the X-class AMG will remain a fantasy. We'll have to dry our tears on the seats of the Ford Ranger Raptor, which will make a solid substitute.