Volkswagen has been teasing the idea of it rolling out a midsize pickup for years. This week the German brand continued the tease with the release of the Tarok Concept, a midsize pickup that looks reasonably ready for production. It’s production readiness may not be far off, as VW executives say it could arrive with a mid-$20,000 price tag.
Thus far Volkswagen has not offered an official confirmation regarding a production Tarok. The company has confirmed plans to rollout a production midsize pickup truck for the South American market, but plans for North America are still TBD and likely hinge in part on the public response to the Tarok here in New York.
Volkswagen of America chief Scott Keogh explained the logic in Volkswagen adding a pickup truck to their portfolio in an interview with Motor1 on the sidelines of the New York Auto Show.
“I do see an opportunity where these trucks have all moved into the $50,000s and the $60,000s and beyond,” Keogh said. “And that is the price of an expensive luxury car. I think there’s an opportunity and I think [Volkswagen] can come in with an extremely smart price point.”
Assuming Volkswagen does ultimately green-light the Tarok for production, one can assume it will be based on the company’s MQB architecture. This is the same architecture that underpins the Atlas SUV, meaning this midsize pickup would be a unibody frame, similar to that of the Honda Ridgeline.
The unibody chassis–shared with multiple VW Group products–would likely give Volkswagen the scale necessary to price the Tarok in the mid-$20,000 range. It is worth mentioning the Tarok Concept is based on the MQB architecture.
Volkswagen has a second option as well and it’s likely one of their hold ups when it comes to making a decision regarding a pickup truck in America. The company recently inked an alliance with Ford Motor Company, of which includes the use of the Ranger midsize truck platform for commercial vehicles. While this would not be a commercial vehicle, it is plausible to assume the VW-Ford agreement could be expanded to include Ford manufacturing a Volkswagen pickup based on the Ford Ranger.
At this point it is anyone’s guess when Volkswagen will make an ultimate go/no-go decision on a midsize pickup truck for North America. The Tarok Concept certainly seems quite ready for production, implying the decision is at least somewhat far along.