Volkswagen has long hinted about having a compact crossover in North America, but the biggest hint yet has dropped. Volkswagen officials have confirmed plans to start production on a new compact crossover it is calling the Tarek.
VW recently hosted an event at its Pacheco plant in Argentina and showed off the dimensions and name of the upcoming Tarek. The Argentine plant will produce the Tarek for the South American market, while a Volkswagen plant in Mexico will produce it for the North American market, according to local media reports.
Coming in at 175.9 inches in overall length, it will be shorter than the Tiguan. Its footprint will be similar to the Ford Escape and Jeep Compass, a segment VW clearly needs to compete in if it intends to be a high-volume brand in America.
Like most new Volkswagen models, the Tarek will be built atop the company’s MQB architecture, the same platform that rides beneath the Atlas. Expect the overall design and size to be somewhat similar to the Tharu, which is sold in China already.
Plant executives at the Pacheco plant stated the Tarek will start production in 2021, suggesting this new VW is still a ways off for North America. That said, when it launches expect to see a front-wheel-drive offering only, but all-wheel-drive may come after launch.