Is The VW Tarok Concept Pickup A Tease Or Is It A Prelude Of Things To Come?

The week of April 15, 2019, Volkswagen caused a buzz when it unveiled a new concept pickup truck called the Tarok at the New York International Auto Show at the Jacob Javits Convention Center.

Credit: Volkswagen

In a press release announcing the vehicle, VW noted that they do not plan production, but only that they are testing the market. So, is it a tease or is it truly a forerunner of things to come for pickup truck enthusiasts who are longing for a cheap pickup they can afford to buy.

The Tarok is a true compact truck that measures 193.5-inches from front bumper to rear, That’s 31.8-inches shorter than the 225.3-inch Toyota Tacoma. Moreover, it is designed to carry a payload of as much as 73.2-inches or 2,271-pounds, a bit longer than the midsize trucks currently available. The cargo bed is 47-5-inches long and includes a 27.4-inch extension when the tailgate is open.

Credit: Volkswagen
Credit: Volkswagen

What appears to be exciting the masses is that there are no true compact trucks available in today’s U.S. market. The Ford Ranger, Toyota Tacoma, General Motors Colorado and Canyon, and the Nissan Frontier are all categorized as midsize trucks.

So if VW really plans to produce the concept as a production model, it could have the entire compact pickup truck market all to itself.

In 2018 New York International Auto Show, VW excited the pickup truck market with its four-door midsize pickup concept called the Atlas Tanoak. The company said at the time that there were no plans to put that vehicle into production.

So, it must be a tease, right? Well, actually, there are plans to introduce the pickup in South America where it was first introduced in 2018 at the Sao Paulo International Motor Show in Brazil.

The Tarok sits on a platform that is being used on the Tiguan and Atlas SUVs and the Passat and Jetta sedans. If put into production for sale in the United States, it would be one of only two pickups with a passenger car base instead of a traditional truck body frame. That only other pickup is the Honda Ridgeline.

Credit: Volkswagen

A 1.4-liter turbocharged, four-cylinder engine that generates 147-horsepower powers the vehicle and it is the same engine that is being used to drive the Jetta that’s available in the U.S. market. The engine is mated to a six-speed automatic transmission, which works an all-wheel-drive system.

The interior is relatively standard with a Volkswagen digital cockpit instrument cluster and a 9.2-inch infotainment display.

Credit: Volkswagen

Although Volkswagen is not publicly committing to a production model of the Tarok, it has a partnership agreement with Ford to develop commercial vehicles. The two manufacturers are also said to be considering partnering to develop electric vehicles and pickups.

Ford has admitted that it is considering releasing a compact pickup, but issues a no comment when asked whether they will be working with VW on such a vehicle.

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