Volkswagen has unveiled its new "urban pick-up" ute concept, whipping the covers off its all-new Tarok at the Sao Paulo International Auto Show.
And the Tarok is a concept in name only, with VW promising it will hit the market with "barely any changes".
The all-wheel-drive ute is based on the brand's MQB platform (which also underpins the Tiguan and Golf), and while its launch debut will be in South America, VW says it is openly considering other export markets for the Tarok. To that end, a debut in Australia is currently being studied, but is not guaranteed.
"The avantgarde pick-up also has the potential to boost Volkswagen’s model range in other global markets," says Volkswagen.
A city solution rather than an out-and-out bush-basher, the Tarok has been designed as an extension of its SUV family, with VW's designers shooting for a "lifestyle design" - though the brand is promising a circa-one-tonne carrying capacity.
“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,” says VW's head designer, Klaus Bischoff.
The exact specifics are yet to be announced, but we do know that the Tarok stretches around five metres in length. Compare that to the 5254mm of the Amarok and the 4701mm of the Tiguan, and VW's newest ute sits smack-bang in the middle. The concept car is powered by a 1.4-litre TSI engine good for 110kW and partnered with a six-speed automatic, but the production model will launch with a 2.0-litre turbo-diesel that will also generate 110kW. Both are all-wheel drive.
Critically, the Tarok arrives with a variable loading area, so you can drop the rear tailgate to extend the cargo floor. But in a super clever design tweak, you can also drop the rear seats, incorporating the cabin space into the tray bed for extra long items. Hard to explain, but clicking through the photos above will show you what they mean.
Inside, VW is promising "a new way forward", with digital-heavy layout that is headlined by a solid-colour dash element that stretches from door to door, framing the infotainment screen the centre of the dash. Outside, the ute's roof is edge-to-edge glass in what VW calls a "targa-inspired" design.
Look for the Tarok to hit the market in Brazil shortly, and watch this space for further international roll-out plans.
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