Despite being primarily a car event, there was plenty of exciting metal at the Geneva International Motor Show for pickup enthusiasts to drool over. Geneva is one of the biggest automotive events in the world, with over 700,000 visitors and almost 300 exhibitors expected to attend this year’s edition.
There have been quite a number of pickup truck launches over the past couple of years, but there’s no sign of any slowing down with a wide range of manufacturers previewing, or hinting at, future vehicles. Here is our pick of the show:
There was nothing new on the Ford stand – just a black Ranger Limited with the 3.2-litre, five pot – but a chat with the company’s PR manager, Oliver Rowe, revealed that there will be a couple of announcements in the coming months including a special edition model, which will be unveiled at the CV Show in April, and some ‘big news’ in the summer.
Jeep Wrangler Rubicon
The Jeep Wrangler JL was only previewed at the Los Angeles Auto Show at the back end of last year, but the American manufacturer has already announced a pickup variant. The ‘Scrambler’ will share the same front-end design as this Rubicon at Geneva and will be powered by the 3.0-litre EcoDiesel V6, but it remains to be seen whether the truck will be launched in Europe.
Mercedes-Benz X-Class V6
When it is launched in the summer, the Mercedes-Benz X-Class V6 will be the most powerful pickup on general sale in the UK. The 3.0-litre V6 OM642 engine, which also features in the G-Wagon and ML-Class, comes in a permanent all-wheel drive configuration and churns out up to 255hp and 550Nm; achieving 0-62mph in just 7.9 seconds.
Peugeot Rifter 4×4
While the Rifter isn’t a commercial vehicle, it is based on – and shares the same chassis and driveline as – the next-generation Peugeot Partner, which is the company’s small van. The 4×4 conversion, carried out by France-based Dangel 4×4, applied to the next-generation Partner light van would result in a payload of around one tonne and a load length of over two metres.
The Ram 1500 will be arriving in Europe in November this year but, sadly, it won’t be coming to the UK. The fifth generation Ram 1500 was officially unveiled in January at the North American Auto Show, and will be available with a choice of either the 3.6-litre Pentastar V6 petrol or the reputable 5.7-litre HEMI V8 petrol, capable of producing up to 395hp.
Renault’s bosses are still adamant that it is a case of ‘when’ and not ‘if’ the Alaskan will be coming to the UK, despite it being almost 12 months after the model’s European launch. Largely based on the Navara and powered by the same 2.3-litre engine, the Alaskan has unique styling cues inside and out which, Renault argues, make it more appealing to the lifestyle market.
We were the first of the UK press to drive the new SsangYong Musso, and the Korean pickup certainly didn’t fail to impress. The Musso is the only SUV-derived pickup, and benefits from higher levels of comfort, refinement and spec as a result. SsangYong will offer the Musso with a choice of two wheelbases and it will be the only pickup able to tow 3.5t and carry one tonne at the same time.
Toyota Hilux Dakar
Captained by Geniel de Villers, this ‘Toyota Gazoo Racing’ Hilux came fifth in the 2017 Dakar Rally’s T1 class. Despite looking very similar on the surface, this Hilux is over 200mm shorter, has a mid-engine layout, larger air restrictor for the 5.0-litre V8 motor, and custom suspension to provide excellent levels of balance, power and handling.