What's the news?
This is the Volkswagen Tarok, a small pickup truck that's the baby brother to the Amarok. It's officially a concept for now, but Volkswagen has said that it will go on sale in Brazil next year "with barely any changes."
"With its striking Targa-inspired roof bar, charismatic front end, three-dimensional LED lighting strip in the rear, and powerful yet stylish side panels, the Tarok Concept's expressive design makes it the first pick-up to combine the stylistic elements of an urban SUV with an authentic off-road design" said Klaus Bischoff, Volkswagen's head of design "The Tarok's DNA adds an exhilarating dynamic to the segment."
Mechanically, the Tarok sits on the ubiquitous MQB platform, which means that while this one is four-wheel drive, a cheaper front-drive version could theoretically be built too. It shares a great deal with the likes of the Tiguan and T-Roc, and looks not unlike the love child of that car and the larger Amarok. Much of the interior appears to be lifted more or less directly from the T-Roc.
The concept uses a 1.4-litre turbo petrol engine which can be driven on pure ethanol (E100) fuel - vital for the Brazilian market, as the country is a huge producer of ethanol. It drives all four-wheels through a six-speed automatic gearbox. The production version will use that engine, and will also be available with a 150hp 2.0-litre TDI diesel.
Cleverly, the Tarok has a variable load bed. Most cree-cab pickups force you to choose between load-bed length or being able to carry rear-seat passengers, but the Tarok is smarter than that. A folding panel at the back of the cab means you can flip down the back seats and the rear bulkhead, extending the load bed and allowing you to carry longer loads. Even though it's much smaller than the Amarok, the maximum load capacity is actually the same - one tonne.
Will it come to Europe, too? There's no official word yet, but Volkswagen officials were talking last week about the possibility of doing so, and given the popularity of the Amarok as a lifestyle vehicle, we'd say it's probably a pretty safe bet.