Volkswagen Tarok Concept Makes U.S. Bow in New York

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By Brian Normile

Looks like: The offspring of a Honda Ridgeline and a Volkswagen Beetle; a Chevrolet Avalanche drawn by a Disney cartoonist; a Volkswagen Tiguan owner was really inspired by the Jeep Gladiator

Defining characteristics: C-pillar that looks like a targa bar, pickup bed that extends into the cabin

Ridiculous features: Pickup bed that extends into the cabin? We're still trying to make that a thing?

Chances of being mass produced: For the U.S. market? As a Volkswagen? Pretty slim. A production version of the Tarok is planned for Brazil, but this would more likely come to the U.S. as the basis for the rumored smaller-than-the-Ranger Ford pickup.

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Remember the Volkswagen Tarok Concept? If you don't — and we don't blame you — it's a compact pickup truck based on VW's new MQB vehicle architecture, and it debuted at the 2018 Sao Paulo International Motor Show. And now it's coming to the 2019 New York International Auto Show this week.

Related: Ford and VW Further Their Partnership

Volkswagen says a production version is planned for the Brazilian market but has no word on the likelihood of one making its way to U.S. dealerships. The Tarok is all-wheel drive and powered by a turbocharged 1.4-liter four-cylinder engine paired with a six-speed automatic transmission. Overall length is 193.5 inches, with an exterior bed length of 47.5 inches.

image from p.widencdn.net

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The Tarok follows in the footsteps of the many hybrid car/trucks and SUV/trucks before it, with a bed that can extend into the cabin through opening or folding doors, allowing for the transport of longer cargo. With the tailgate down and the interior opened up, total bed length is nearly 8.4 feet. Total payload capacity is, according to Volkswagen, 2,271 pounds — which seems mighty generous and is within the range of current full-size pickups.

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Volkswagen says it's bringing the Tarok to New York to gauge public response. The New York Auto Show is an interesting choice of venue for a pickup — though maybe bringing it to something like the State Fair of Texas risks getting laughed off the stage. Regardless, the Tarok will be there, and we'll get a chance to see what this little truck is all about. Is it a potential Volkswagen pickup? Is it part of a joint Ford-Volkswagen venture? We'll be on the show floor starting Wednesday to find out.

image from p.widencdn.net

image from p.widencdn.net

image from p.widencdn.net

image from p.widencdn.net

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