So, who’s going to be next? If you were hoping for Volkswagen, we’re sorry to tell you it won’t happen.
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Sure, there have been concepts like the Tanoak and Tarok, the latter even making an appearance at the 2019 New York Auto Show to supposedly gauge consumer interest, but launching a new pickup with an internal combustion engine (ICE) is not part of the German automaker’s plans now.
“Our priority within the Volkswagen brand is to keep our existing ICE-based vehicles competitive and to expand the battery-electric vehicle lineup” VW North America executive vice president for sales and marketing Duncas Movassaghi told Automotive News.
According to this top-ranking exec, investing at this time into a niche ICE compact pickup would not make sense for Volkswagen. But then he added: “As we transform our lineup to BEV, an electric pickup could for sure be an option.”
In other words, there won’t be a direct answer to the Maverick and Santa Cruz from Volkswagen (unless Ford does launch a Maverick EV, as mentioned a few days ago), but the company is leaving the door wide open for an electric pickup that would undercut the Ford F-150 Lightning, Tesla Cybertuck, Rivian R1T and the like.
This model would likely be based on the MEB platform used by the all-new Volkswagen ID.4 crossover and offer both 2WD and 4WD variants. That being said, it’s still a few years away.