In some ways, a production version of the VW Tarok could prove to be a modern-day Subaru Brat for the US market, although the German car maker admits that there are currently no plans of launching it here just yet.
The VW Tarok concept made its world debut at the Sao Paolo International Motor Show, previewing a unibody pickup truck based on the company’s widely used MQB platform. The concept measures 193.5 inches (4,914mm) long, yet it can carry loads up to 73.2 inches (1,859mm) long, thanks to its innovative bed design that enables it to extend into the cab.
The compact Tarok is one of the largest MQB-based VW models, alongside the Atlas, featuring a 117.7 inches (2,989mm) long wheelbase and pretty short overhangs. The bed offers a truly versatile floor space, which can be enlarged by not only opening the tailgate but also folding down the bottom of the cab’s rear panel. Payload is 2,271lbs (1,030kg).
Power comes from VW’s 1.4-liter TSI engine, producing 147hp (150PS) and paired to a six-speed automatic transmission and permanent 4Motion all-wheel drive. The latter can be adjusted via the 4Motion Active Control, a rotary knob used to activate four higher-level models (“Onroad”, “Snow”, “Offroad and “Custom Offroad”) and different pop-up menus.
The interior is pure VW, featuring a digital instrument cluster and a glass-covered 9.2-inch infotainment system, as well as a removable speaker in the center console that can be individually connected to a smartphone via Bluetooth.
Does USA need a compact unibody pickup truck like the VW Tarok? You’ll be the judge of that. Whatever the outcome, Brazil is set to get a production version of the Tarok pretty soon.