Volkswagen has previewed a new MQB-based small ute with the 2019 Volkswagen Tarok concept car. Revealed at the 2018 Sao Paulo Motor Show, the Tarok previews a new mid-sized ute that will sit below the larger Amarok, but above the small Saveiro in Latin American markets.
However, unlike other Latin American Volkswagen models, the company has confirmed that the Tarok will enter other global markets and thanks to it being based on the company’s MQB platform, right-hand drive production is possible.
Klaus Bischoff, Head Designer at the Volkswagen brand, explains: “With its striking Targa-inspired roof bar, charismatic front end, three-dimensional LED lighting strip in the rear, and powerful yet stylish side panels, the Tarok Concept’s expressive design makes it the first pick-up to combine the stylistic elements of an urban SUV with an authentic off-road design.”
Bischoff continues: “The Tarok’s DNA adds an exhilarating dynamic to the segment.”
Styled like the Tanoak concept car from the 2018 North American International Auto Show, the Tarok features the latest Volkswagen styling. Its front is wide and features many horizontal lines, as does the rear, while all-LED lighting makes the basic shape more interesting. The cabin layout of the Tarok is fairly similar to the Chinese-spec Tharu SUV – Volkswagen’s version of the Skoda Karoq – and features many elements from the Polo. Like the Subaru Baja from the early 2000s, the bed can be extended by removing the rear seats and creating an area almost three metres long.
The Tarok concept car uses a 110kW 1.4-litre turbocharged four-cylinder engine that’s capable of running on 100 percent ethanol fuel – as most cars in Brazil are capable of doing – an is matched to a six-speed automatic transmission and all-wheel drive. That’s right, no DSG here – as is the case for many North American and Latin American VW products. Local reports suggest that a 110kW 2.0-litre turbo diesel engine will also be offered. It’s too early to discuss the Tarok’s Australian sales prospects, but if it were offered here, both petrol and diesel variants would be on the table.
While larger utes such as the Ford Ranger and Toyota HiLux get all the sales attention in Australia, their size is something to possibly put buyers off and utes like the Tarok are being talked about by manufacturers in this country. Renault Australia recently confirmed that it is considering importing the Oroch small ute, which is based on the successful Duster SUV – a model not offered here.
Volkswagen Australia executives are yet to discuss the Tarok, but considering that it’s based on the same MQB platform as other modern Volkswagen products, right-hand drive production is likely. If Volkswagen Australia were to offer it locally, it would be a unique entrant into our market and would surely give the brand’s commercial arm a sales shot. While not a workhorse like the Amarok, the Tarok could sit in the range like the Crewman did for Holden – a family-friendly ute that is more than capable for day to day life.
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