At the recent New York International Auto Show, Volkswagen previewed a pickup it might bring—in some form—to U.S. customers.
The compact unibody pickup was first seen at the Sao Paolo International Motor Show at the end of 2018 and is expected to enter production for the South American market in the near future.
Although there are no plans to produce the vehicle for the U.S. market, VW says the Tarok concept is being shown to gauge market reaction for a truly versatile and compact entry-level pickup.
The Tarok Concept is powered by a 1.4-liter, 147-horsepower four-cylinder turbocharged and direct-injection TSI engine, mated to a 6-speed automatic transmission and permanent 4Motion all-wheel drive.
Based on the MQB platform, the Tarok is a compact pickup that is 193.5 inches long, yet has the ability to carry loads up to 73.2 inches long because the bed can extend into the cab.
According to VW, the key to the Tarok concept’s versatility is a variable load area. The floor space can be enlarged not only by opening the tailgate, but also using a newly developed mechanism for folding down the bottom of the passenger cabin’s rear panel.
The width of the load area between the wheel arches is 42.9 inches, with a bed length of 47.5 inches with the tailgate in place. Drop the tailgate, and the load area is extended by 27.4 inches. Opening or folding the door to the cabin and folding the rear seats extends the load area by another 25.8 inches. Payload is 2,271 pounds.
The rear seats can be unlocked and folded. The rear panel is then locked from the inside via an electrical system. A sealing mechanism helps ensure that the interior is optimally protected against moisture.
Alongside its Atlas SUV, the Tarok concept is one of the largest MQB-based Volkswagen vehicles has designed to date. The Tarok concept is 72 inches wide (without wing mirrors) and 66 inches high (without roof rails). The wheelbase is a 117.7 inches long, which leads to short overhangs of 36.0 inches at the front and 39.8 inches at the back.
The Tarok concept design shows a close relationship with other Volkswagen SUVs, such as the Atlas and the new T-Cross. It has a tall hood, horizontal bars in the grille that run into the headlights, and LED headlights and Daytime Running Lights. Tarok also gets an underbody skid plate and a roof and A-pillars finished in gloss black.
A continuous LED strip dominates the rear of the Tarok Concept. This wide light strip is located on the top section of the tailgate and then merges outwards into both rear lights, helping to create an unmistakable light signature at night. The tailgate itself extends right into the bumper, giving a low load height.
The interior features a fully digital design for the instruments and air conditioning control system. A glass-covered 9.2-inch Infotainment system and a configurable Volkswagen Digital Cockpit are the central elements within the color-keyed instrument panel. These two elements create a continuous digital and networked cockpit, designed to help make use of a maximum range of online services and apps. Another clever feature is a speaker in the center console that can be removed and connected to a compatible smartphone via Bluetooth.
Located behind the shift lever is the 4Motion® Active Control—a multi-functional rotary knob that is used to control the all-wheel-drive functions and associated driving modes. The driver uses it to activate four higher-level modes and different pop-up menus. If drivers turn the switch to the left, they access two “Onroad” and “Snow” profiles. If the switch is turned to the right, “Offroad” (automatic setting of offroad parameters) and “Custom Offroad” (variable settings) are activated.
The 4MOTION Active Control can be used to adapt all relevant assist systems to the drive situation in seconds. The “Comfort”, “Normal”, “Sport”, “Eco” and “Individual” driving profiles, also selected via 4Motion Active Control, are also integrated. These profiles are used to customize parameters such as the throttle response, gearshift, climate control and steering.
The Tarok has an approach angle of 23.8 degrees, a departure angle of 26.4 degrees, and a breakover angle of 22.1 degrees. The minimum ground clearance is 9.6 inches.