This new pickup concept is not last year’s Atlas Tanoak Concept. The VW Tarok concept is a compact pickup that could steal the heart of many a pickup lover.
We are on the cusp of a mild explosion in the compact pickup segment. The new Ford Ranger is hot, Nissan has talked about a new Frontier that is to come, we will get a new Toyota Tacoma before too long, Hyundai has tapped out yet from its Santa Cruz and then there’s Volkswagen. This VW Tarok concept was revealed at the Sao Paolo International Motor Show in November last year and now, it has come Stateside.
There is clearly loads of room in this segment and it seems clear to us that VW wants a piece of the action. Last year, they teased an Atlas-based Tanoak that would fit closer size-wise to the Nissan Titan. The smaller Tarok is a different story.
We know that VW and Ford have announced an alliance to co-develop commercial things and trucks but we don’t think the Tarok is it. The new next-generation Amarok will be built on the Ford Ranger’s platform while the Tarok is based on VW’s MQB platform. It is powered by a turbocharged 147-horsepower 1.4-litre 4-cylinder TSI engine (same as Golf and Jetta) that is mated to a 6-speed automatic transmission (probably a DSG as the 1.4 comes with an 8-speed auto) and permanent 4MOTION all-wheel drive.
On paper and in reality, this engine would not make the cut. The Tiguan’s 2.0-litre TSI would and given that it and the Tarok share the MQB platform, it would fit. What would make the cut for potential buyers is the Tarok’s Chevy Avalanche-style mid-gate which extends the bed into the cabin. As well, the cabin is very much modern Volkswagen with a 9.2-inch infotainment screen, VW’s digital cockpit, and other handsome and modern Volkswagen touches.
Physically, the Volkswagen Tarok Pickup Concept hits all the right markers and to be straightforward, it really does look production-ready. We hope to find out more in the coming days.