Is VW Building an Atlas-based Unibody Pickup?
America will never see the Volkswagen Amarok mid-size pickup skip the Chicken Tax and arrive in stateside showrooms. That leaves VW clearly out of the pickup truck game, while other automakers are raking in profits while VW twiddles its thumbs while bleeding Dieselgate cash to the U.S. Government. But VW might have another Ace up its sleeve. According to reports, VW is currently evaluating the possibility of a unibody mid-size pickup based on its new Atlas crossover. That’s right, the Honda Ridgeline might soon have some company.
The news comes from CarBuzz, which spoke to Dr. Matthias Erb, Volkswagen of North America’s chief engineering officer, at the 2017 Detroit Auto Show. According to Erb, the German automaker is currently exploring the possibility of scaling the Atlas’ platform for use as a unibody mid-size pickup aimed directly at the American market.
It’s an interesting idea, to say the least. Basing the pickup off the Atlas platform and using Atlas parts has many positives, including the reduced cost of engineering an entirely new platform and powertrain lineup, the already-established assembly plat in Chattanooga, Tennessee, and the outright chaos avoided by trying to revamp the body-on-frame Amarok pickup to meet U.S. Government standards in emissions and crash testing, along with building an assembly plant in North American to avoid the Chicken Tax.
What’s more, the Atlas-based truck would have less competition. The Honda Ridgeline is the only unibody pickup based on a SUV currently sold in the U.S., so VW wouldn’t have to worry about competing with GM, Ford, Ram, and to a lesser extent, Toyota, and Nissan.
In fact, Erb told CarBuzz he knows the full-size truck segment is a tough nut to crack. “Body-on-frame trucks are a protected market, he told the outlet. "More than 80 percent of trucks in the U.S. are full-size. There are three main automakers who greatly protect this segment: Ford, GM, and Ram. They’re not just about to let someone else invade their turf.”
Opting to go unibody avoids this long-standing rivalry, allowing VW to compete on a more manageable level with the Honda Ridgeline. Of course, none of these plans are set in stone at this time – at least as far as we know. However, VW could certainly earn some market share in the niche corner of the unibody mid-size pickup segment. At this point, anything that could bring additional profits to the cash-strapped company would be given deep consideration.
Continue reading for more information.
2018 Volkswagen Tiguan R
The Volkswagen Tiguan is in some ways, a trailblazer in its segment. As one of the first of the modern premium compact crossovers to hit the market in 2007, the Volkswagen Tiguan opened the door for many of its rivals. The intentions may have been pure, but the results were anything but. That’s because for better or worse, the Tiguan hasn’t been as dynamic as Volkswagen intended it to be. You might even say that the crossover has languished in the face of increased competition, partly due to VW’s decision to keep the Tiguan’s design muted for the better part of its existence.
Now it appears all that’s about to change. According to Autocar, Volkswagen is preparing an onslaught of new crossovers and SUVs, beginning in 2016. The Tiguan will play a prominent role in this renaissance of sorts. To make things more interesting, there’s also talk of a range-topping performance variant that will combine a new design language with the company’s renowned R performance engineering. Nothing has been made official at this point, but Volkswagen’s timetable for its Tiguan family points to a 2017 launch for the R-badged model.
It’s also not yet clear whether the R will be based on the standard Tiguan or feature a revised body. Initial rumors pointed toward a coupe-style crossover, likely dubbed Coupe R, but such a launch would imply additional development costs for the German brand. More recently, our paparazzi caught a beefed-up Tiguan wearing the standard roofline on the Nurburgring, which suggests that Volkswagen is sticking to the standard crossover configuration. The coupe is not completely out of the question as stranger things have happened within the Volkswagen Group, but for now, this prototype is the only thing we have.
Check it out in our speculative review below and stay tuner for updates.
Updated 10/21/2016: Our spy photographers caught the upcoming Tiguan R out for a first testing session at the Nürburgring.
Continue reading to learn more about the Volkswagen Tiguan R.
Concept vehicles aren’t necessarily one of Volkswagen’s strong suits but every so often, it builds one that people can’t help but appreciate.
That’s what the T-Roc Concept has done to us, at least for the most part. Built and designed as a crossover concept with the characteristics of a cabriolet — the roof is detachable, mind you — the T-Roc Concept offers us a glimpse of what a future crossover cabriolet could look like if it carried a VW badge.
The exterior design of the T-Roc Concept is definitely worth your attention, although how much of it would be found in a production model is a question only Volkswagen can answer in due time.
For now, though, we can all sit back and appreciate this concept for what it really is: a preview of a model that could arrive sooner rather than later, if Volkswagen realizes it has a real winner in the T-Roc.
Click past the jump to read more about Volkswagen T-Roc
Volkswagen will launch the third generation Touareg in 2010. Its design will be inspired by its baby brother Tiguan. The company is also considering a hybrid version that will be launch sometime in 2012. The next Touareg will go on sale at the end of 2010 and will be a serious competitor for the future Porsche Cayenne, BMW X5 and Audi Q7.
Volkswagen will bring the Scirocco Coupe version next year at the Geneva Motor Show. But the company is not happy only with one version: they want to have more to say and make more competitors fear. As a result a roadster version is also in the works and will go on sale sometime in 2009, as a competitor for models like Audi TT Roadster or Porsche Boxster.
The current Golf is on sale since 2003, and after only 5 years since its debut, the new Golf VI will go on sale in autumn 2008. The new Golf will get a B6-to-B7 redesign where the car doesn’t move to an all-new platform, but does significantly change. It will compete with models like Opel Asta, Ford Focus and Mazda 3.