Volkswagen unveiled its Tarok pickup concept at the Sao Paulo International Motor Show in Brazil earlier this week, and despite it being called a concept, reports claim that this is a production-ready prototype that could make the jump to reality any second. In fact, Volkswagen already plans to sell a similar unibody variant of the Tarok in Brazil and other international markets in 2019.
While America has been without a Volkswagen pick up truck since the demise of the Mk1 Rabbit pickup in 1984, Volkswagen trucks have been a mainstay of the international market. The Tarok will join the existing Amarok pickup offered on sale in Europe and Asia. Being smaller and carrying a lighter payload, the Tarok is described by VW as being a "digitally networked SUV"— whatever that means.
Based on the same MQB platform that underpins nearly every other Volkswagen product sold in the U.S., the production Tarok will be powered by either the 1.4-liter turbocharged four-cylinder or a 2.0-liter diesel producing in the neighborhood of 150 horsepower. The payload is quoted at 2,204 pounds. Naturally, 4motion all-wheel drive will also be available.
Another noteworthy item mentioned by VW was that "the avant-garde pick-up also has the potential to boost Volkswagen’s model range in other global markets." We're wondering if the United States might be one of those markets. After all, it's no secret that pickups are popular here, and VW already has a foothold in the SUV market built on the Touareg, Tiguan, and the Atlas. While this isn't a typical pickup truck, Honda's Ridgeline has shown that there's a market for vehicles that fall somewhere between an El Camino and a Silverado.
Plus, let's not forget that Volkswagen North America's CEO recently mentioned that its Tennessee operation is already at capacity, and a future partnership with Ford and its Ranger midsize pickup could be in the future for the German automaker.