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Labourers, sheep shearers, people who enjoy making runs to the tip: we bring Good News. Mercedes is to enter unchartered territory, announcing today it will introduce a pickup truck before the end of the decade.

The one-ton load-lugging market is a sturdy, tribal landscape, one currently being patrolled by the mighty Toyota Hilux, VW Amarok and, er, Great Wall Steed.

It’s also a market Mercedes big boss Dr Dieter Zetsche sees as highly lucrative, and ripe for a Mercedes-badged contender.

“The Mercedes-Benz pickup will contribute nicely to our global growth targets,” Dr Zetsche said. “We will enter this segment with our distinctive brand identity and all of the vehicle attributes that are typical of the brand with regard to safety, comfort, powertrains, and value.”

Merc believes it has a trick up its sleeve: premium. It wants to provide a pickup truck that can be driven by people in steel toe-capped boots and Ugg boots.

The above design sketch gives some hint where Merc is heading. With a big grille, sweeping headlights, chunky wings and muscular side panels, the styling references that of the new GLE. Expect such similarities to make their way inside, too: Merc insists the traditionally rattily and utilitarian ute interior will be replaced by road-car comforts.

With the project several years from reaching production, tech details are scarce. But given that there’s an AMG variant of pretty much every car it produces, could we see Affalterbach’s take on the pickup? A modern day GMC Syclone, perhaps?

An AMG ute has potential to make it onto Top Gear’s ‘Coolest Pickup Trucks Ever’ list, a list that currently consists of the Top Gear North Pole Hilux, Top Gear’s Indestructible Hilux and Biff from Back To The Future’s Hilux.

Oh, and the Hennessey Raptor. 

Go on Merc, you know you want to. 

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