Volkswagen of America is testing reactions to a four-door unibody truck concept, the VW Tarok pickup, at the New York International Auto Show, which begins this week.
The Tarok’s unique selling proposition is what amounts to an extra-large pass-through. The rear seats fold flat, along with the rear wall of the passenger compartment below the rear window and the front wall of the pickup bed.
That produces a continuous, hard flat surface from the tailgate to just behind the front seats, intruding into the passenger compartment. Images of the concept suggest the second row is configured for two passengers.
“There are no plans to produce the vehicle for the U.S. market,” VW says. “The Tarok concept is being shown to gauge market reaction.” Press days for the New York auto show are April 17 and 18. Public days are April 19 to 28.
Formally, VW says the Tarok is a concept car. But it also says a production version is going on sale in Brazil “soon,” so the concept is probably pretty fully baked.
The Tarok is based on VW’s MQB platform, which it shares with the Atlas three-row SUV. It’s powered by a 147-hp TSI 1.4L turbocharged 4-cyl. with direct injection, mated to a 6-speed automatic transmission and permanent 4Motion all-wheel drive. The Tarok made its debut at Brazil’s Sao Paolo International Motor Show last November.
In general, when a car company says it’s “gauging reaction,” that often means a concept car is going to get built unless people really hate it, and maybe even then.
But VW could have other paths to a midsize pickup for Volkswagen of America – potentially including VW’s relatively new, joint-development partnership with Ford.