Embracing the ‘lifestyle ute’ space wholeheartedly.
German marque Volkswagen have peeled the wraps off their new concept car, with the Tarok debuting at the Sao Paolo auto show. Volkswagen is keen to point out that the Tarok is ‘production ready’ and will require very few changes during the gestation from concept car to showroom car. It’ll slot beneath the Amarok when it arrives, and while it seems like a baby-Amarok would be a no-brainer, there are a couple of things to consider.
The Amarok has a body-on-frame construction, which means that it has impressive towing and load-lugging capabilities as its structure is very hardy and tough. The Tarok on the other hand, is built off the monocoque MQB platform. It might have a (claimed) 1-tonne load capacity, but its towing abilities might not be as good as you’d expect from a ute. This is very much a lifestyle vehicle, taking the desirability of the ute and marrying it to the dimensions & flexibility of an SUV (much like how the SUV matched high-seating positions to estate-level practicality).
The Tarok is actually based on the Tiguan, which should give you an idea of what it’s like size-wise (length here is said to be about 5m). And like modern VW models there are LED headlights up front that bleed into the grille, though here they’re connected by full-width light bars. There’s also a panoramic roof here and prominent skid plates, while the rear sees a full-width taillight assembly that looks quite a bit like the one on the Touareg.
While the tray length, at 1206mm, might not seem very long, you’ll be happy to know that that length can be extended by folding down the rear bulkhead door (like you would fold down the rearmost-seats in an SUV) and lowering the tailgate. Then it increases to a maximum of 2775mm (that’s an increase of almost 1570mm). Power here comes from a 110kW 1.4-litre TSI petrol mill, though it’s understood that when the Tarok makes production, it’ll run a similarly-powered 2.0-litre turbodiesel mill instead. Oh, and it’ll run 4Motion all-wheel drive too, obviously.
Both before and during its release, Volkswagen said repeatedly that the Tarok “has the potential to boost Volkswagen’s model range in global markets,” though as we understand it, initial production is slated for Brazil at the moment. It’s unclear if Australia is on the cards at the moment (or is even in the pipeline), but there’s little doubt that there’s major potential for the Tarok to create and dominate a new compact-ute segment on arrival.