Ford and Volkswagen linked arms in late 2018 with the shared goal of refreshing their commercial vehicle offerings, only to grip each other tighter as both realized they could also exchange electric vehicle and autonomous driving technologies. Soon, the pair's involvement will grow even deeper, as Volkswagen Group's chairman of the board Dr. Herbert Diess confirmed Tuesday that it will redesign its Amarok pickup truck with the help of truck-genius Ford.
"Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles has taken a major strategic step through its cooperation with Ford. The successor to the Amarok will be the first fruit of this collaboration," said Diess in the Volkswagen Group's Annual Media Conference on Tuesday, as transcribed by Market Screener.
Diess stated in 2018 that the redesigned Amarok, a concept for which is depicted in the design sketch above, could borrow the platform from the Ford Ranger. The Blue Oval's current "T6" Ranger platform, however, entered production in 2011, so it's likely Volkswagen would want its new Amarok to utilize the major Ranger updates rumored to be undergoing testing in Australia. According to Auto Express, the fraternal Amarok-Ranger twins are slated to arrive in 2022, and according to Diess, the former could be sold in America—if VW North America's CEO Scott Keogh gives it the rubber stamp.
"It's up to Scott," Diess told Automotive News in 2018. "If the Ford relationship works out well, we would have an Amarok successor, which would be then appropriate for sales worldwide—potentially as well for the United States. The other option is a unibody pickup, which is something for America, which is probably still a bit risky."
Volkswagen still holds the view that unibody pickups and the American market don't mesh, as it confirmed last month that its Atlas-based Tanoak concept "is still pretty much dead." Ford's attitude toward a unibody pickup, however, seems to contrast with Volkswagen's, as news surfaced last week that dealers had been shown a small unibody pickup prototype. Speculated to wear either the Courier or Ranger badge, this model is expected to fill the hole left by sedans in Ford's lineup, and cost under $20,000, thanks to a platform derived from the Focus. Deliveries are said to begin next year.
The Drive contacted Volkswagen for additional information on its plans for the new Amarok, and we will update when we receive a statement.
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