Volkswagen Brings Tarok Pickup Concept to North America

The Volkswagen Tarok pickup concept that’s been generating a buzz since its introduction at the Sao Paolo Motor Show late last year is coming to North America! The German manufacturer will officially present it at the 2019 New York Auto Show this week.

However, despite the recent surge of midsize pickups in Canada and the U.S., there are no plans to produce the vehicle for our market (it’s more compact-sized). Volkswagen merely wants to gauge public reaction at this point. Still, with its sophisticated package and unique versatility, the Tarok would make an intriguing proposition.

Alongside the Atlas, the Tarok concept is one of the largest Volkswagen vehicles based on the company’s MQB platform. The cargo bed is just four feet long, but a newly developed mechanism—similar to the one in the old Chevy Avalanche—allows you to fold down the rear seats and the bottom of the cabin’s rear panel to extend the load area by 25.8 inches (65.5 centimetres). A sealing system helps ensure that the interior is optimally protected against moisture. Surprisingly, payload is rated at 2,271 pounds, whereas the Ford Ranger, for example, can haul 1,560-1,860 lbs.

Photo: Volkswagen

As far as styling goes, the VW Tarok concept features a tall hood, horizontal bars in the grille that run into the headlights, an underbody skid plate, gloss black finish on the roof and A-pillars, plus C-pillars that look like the bar on a Targa top. A continuous LED strip dominates the rear section.

The interior features a glass-covered 9.2-inch infotainment system and a configurable digital cockpit. A speaker in the centre console can be removed and connected to a compatible smartphone via Bluetooth.

The Volkswagen Tarok concept rides on 16-inch alloy wheels and has a ground clearance of 9.6 inches (24.3 centimetres). It’s powered by a 1.4-litre turbocharged four-cylinder engine with direct injection that produces 147 horsepower through a six-speed automatic transmission—nowhere near enough gusto for most truck owners in North America. The Atlas Tanoak concept shown in New York in 2018 had a much more suitable 276-horsepower V6.

Photo: Volkswagen

Interestingly, though, in addition to the Comfort, Normal, Sport, Eco and Individual drive modes, the Tarok comes with a 4MOTION all-wheel drive system that includes Active Control, allowing drivers to select four higher-level modes: Onroad, Snow, Offroad and Custom Offroad.

Remember, Volkswagen and Ford recently entered into a strategic partnership to develop and sell trucks and vans by 2022, so who knows if a VW-branded pickup will eventually get the green light here?

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