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Volkswagen shows Tarok truck concept in Brazil

by Ronan Glon

It has already been approved for production.

Volkswagen traveled to the Sao Paolo auto show in Brazil to introduce a concept car that previews its next pickup truck. The model rides on the MQB architecture but it's not related to the Atlas Tanoak concept unveiled at the 2018 New York auto show.

The unibody Tarok is more lifestyle-oriented than the body-on-frame Amarok, the only pickup in Volkswagen's current global portfolio. It falls in line with the German firm's design language, its front end notably wears a wide grille that stretches into a pair of swept-back headlights, but it's not a copy of an existing model. Designers point out they painted the C-pillar silver to create a targa-like look.

Volkswagen fitted the Tarok with a clever bed-extending system similar to the Midgate that Chevrolet offered on the Avalanche. Users can fold down the panel between the cab and the bed to significantly extend the loading area. This facilitates the task of carrying bulky items like a surf board or lumber. The interior looks like Volkswagen's recent designs; it comes with a digital instrument cluster, a three-spoke steering wheel, and a high-resolution touchscreen for the infotainment system. Five passengers can comfortably travel in the Tarok.

Power for the concept comes from a 1.4-liter four-cylinder TSI engine that sends 150 horsepower to the four wheels through a six-speed automatic transmission and Volkswagen's 4Motion all-wheel drive system. The four can run on gasoline or ethanol, a popular fuel on the Brazilian market. Volkswagen points out the Tarok can also be fitted with a 150-horsepower TDI engine.

When it comes to turning the concept into a production car, Volkswagen made its intentions clear. "It is certain that Volkswagen will soon be offering a series version of the Tarok concept on the market in Brazil, with barely any changes," the company wrote in a statement. When it arrives, its main rival will be the Fiat Toro.

And, though it didn't specifically single out the United States, it noted it's open to the idea of selling the pickup outside of Latin America. "The avant-garde pickup also has the potential to boost Volkswagen's model range in other global markets," the company added. Time will tell whether we'll see it in American showrooms, if we'll get a Ford-based model, or if Volkswagen will remain truck-less.