The 2019 Volkswagen Tarok Pickup Concept is Yet Another Teaser of Something We Can’t Have
Smaller than the Amarok, this truck is headed for South Americaby Ciprian Florea, on
Still upset that Volkswagen won’t sell the Amarok truck in the United States? Well, get ready to see yet another VW truck that you won’t be able to buy in the U.S. The Germans are bringing the Tarok to the New York Auto Show only to show you what the South American market will get soon. Just a concept for now, the Tarok will become a production model in 2020.
The Volkswagen Tarok is a cool compact truck
The Tarok is some 17 inches shorter than the Chevrolet Colorado
Built on the familiar MQB platform and based on the Atlas design-wise, the Tarok looks like a sportier, more modern iteration of the Amarok truck. But it’s actually notably smaller. At 193.5 inches long, the Tarok is 13.4 inches shorter than the Amarok Double Cab, which makes it a compact truck to U.S. standards.
However, the Tarok is actually smaller than the compact trucks you’re able to buy in 2019. It’s some 17-inches shorter than the Chevrolet Colorado and around 14 inches shorter than the Nissan Frontier. Compared to the Toyota Tacoma, the Tarok is a full 20 inches shorter.
This is why this truck looks like an SUV with the back side of the cabin removed. The thick C-pillars and the fact that the bed is fully integrated into the body set it apart from other production trucks. Most of its design is based on the Atlas, and although it looks sportier in the front, it’s far from futuristic. Around back, the tailgate the descends into the bumper and the LED taillights that stretch over the entire width of the fascia reinforce its SUV-like appearance.
The Volkswagen Tarok has an innovative bed
Although it’s shorter than all U.S.-spec compact trucks, the Tarok has plenty of storage space thanks to an innovative design that allows the bed to extend into the cabin. Volkswagen designed a mechanism that folds the bottom of the passenger cabin, allowing longer items to be loaded into the bed. With the tailgate opened, the Tarok can carry items that are up to 73.2 inches long. This is impressive, but only if we consider the trucks compact size. The rear seats can be removed as well, but the cool thing is that you can leave them in place to transport four passengers in comfort while also being able to store items under the seats.
The Volkswagen Tarok looks like a T-Cross inside the cabin
Despite the "concept" tag, the Tarok is actually a production-ready vehicle. It’s interior looks similar to some of Volkswagen’s crossovers and shares many of its features with the T-Cross. It does include some fancy features that might not be offered on the lower-priced production trucks, such as the 9.2-inch infotainment system, the configurable, digital instrument cluster, and the color-keyed dashboard and door panels.
The Volkswagen Tarok is small but capable
The Tarok concept features a tiny 1.4-liter four-cylinder engine under the hood. Rated at 147 horsepower, the four-banger mates to a six-speed automatic transmission and the company’s 4Motion all-wheel-drive system. While it’s not overly powerful, the Tarok has a payload capacity of up to 2,271 pounds. That’s around 300 pounds less than the Euro-spec Amarok and Ford Ranger, but it’s around 100 pounds more than the Chevrolet Colorado. Impressive!
The Volkswagen Tarok isn’t coming to the U.S.
Although it's not coming to the U.S., Volkswagen wants to gauge market reaction for a compact pickup truck
Although you’ll be able to see it up close at the New York Auto Show, Volkswagen made it clear that it has no plans to bring the Tarok to the U.S. So why is it displaying it in New York? Well, although it’s not coming to the U.S., Volkswagen wants to gauge market reaction for a compact pickup truck. But even if the crowd goes wild, the Tarok might not make it to the U.S. after all. This truck is way too small for this market and the Amarok is a better option against the Chevy Colorado and Toyota Tacoma. Volkswagen trademarked the Amarok name in the U.S. back in 2018, but it has yet to greenlight this truck for North America, most likely because it needs to find a way to produce it in the U.S. rather than import it from other continents.
For the time being, the Tarok is set to go on sale in Brazil and then extend to other emerging markets from South America. The Tarok isn’t the first compact truck from the German company. From 1989 to 1997, Volkswagen sold the Taro (yes, same name, no K), a rebadged version of the fifth-generation Toyota Hilux. The Taro was sold in Europe only as part of a joint venture between Volkswagen and Toyota.
Read our full review on the 2018 Volkswagen Tarok Concept.
Read our full speculative review on the 2020 Volkswagen Atlas Pickup.
Read our full review on the 2018 Volkswagen Amarok.