Currently, U.S. truck buyers have six full-size pickups to choose from, as well as five midsizers. And soon, the Ford Ranger will go on sale, giving us another midsize choice. But even though we currently have all sorts of choices, forbidden fruit will always be tempting. Case in point: the Volkswagen Tarok.
Volkswagen revealed its latest pickup truck concept at the São Paulo International Motor Show in Brazil this week. And even though the Tarok is technically a concept, Volkswagen has already said a production version is coming soon “with barely any changes.” Well, coming to Brazil, at least. At least right now, there’s no reason to think Volkswagen will bring the Tarok to the U.S.
At a time when a lot of Volkswagen’s designs are pretty dull and forgettable, we’re big fans of the concept’s edgier styling. But the Tarok’s coolest feature is definitely its clever bed. At first glance, it may look too small to be very useful, but if you need more space, the cargo area actually expands. Fold down the divider between the cabin and the bed, then fold up the seats, and you have plenty of space for hauling longer items. And while it’s no full-size pickup truck, the Tarok is rated to carry around 2,200 pounds, according to Volkswagen.
Volkswagen also didn’t give the Tarok a full-size pickup-like V-8. Instead, it packs a 1.4-liter turbocharged four-cylinder that makes about 148 hp. Even cooler, it can run on either Brazil’s E22 gasoline-ethanol blend or pure E100 ethanol. Power is sent to all four wheels via a six-speed automatic transmission. When the Tarok goes on sale, though, Volkswagen says it will get a 2.0-liter diesel engine that makes the same 148 hp.
Hopefully, if VW ever decides to put the Tanoak concept into production, it will offer a similar expanding bed feature. Until then, we’ll just be jealous of Brazil.