Volkswagen is bringing the Tarok concept compact pickup to the New York Auto Show, which could very well be the first step to America getting a tiny pickup truck.
We first saw the Tarok concept last year at the Sao Paulo International Motor Show. The reason being is that the Tarok is set to debut in the South American market where small pickup trucks are a hot commodity. The US prefers its pickup trucks like it prefers its people: big and carrying oversized loads. Thus, it seemed unlikely that America would ever get a compact pickup to dominate a segment of one.
But that might be changing. Volkswagen just announced that they’re going to bring the Tarok concept to the New York Auto Show “to gauge market reaction for a truly versatile and compact entry-level pickup." They emphasized that they have no plans to bring it to the American market, but whereas once there was 0% chance of a tiny pickup, now there’s a slightly higher than 0% chance we might see a tiny pickup in the near future.
And the Tarok is definitely versatile. It has a fancy extend-o-matic (that's our name, not theirs) bed that can invade the cabin if the driver folds down the rear seats and wall. This allows the Tarok to carry loads up to 73.2 inches long. It also has an impressive payload of 2,271 lbs.
It probably doesn’t have much in the way of towing thanks to a 1.4-L turbo 4-cylinder engine that just produces 147 hp. Power goes through a 6-speed automatic transmission to all the wheels thanks to Volkswagen’s 4Motion AWD.
It’s not exactly an off-roader, but it seems like it could dabble when it has to. Approach angle is 23.8 degrees, departure is 26.4 degrees, and breakover angle is 22.1 degrees. Ground clearance is 9.6-inches thanks to 16-inch aluminum wheels.
The inside is a fully digital cockpit with networking and a massive 9.2-inch infotainment screen. We suspect that Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are standard, but VW didn’t say in their press release.
The Tarok goes on sale in Brazil soon, but the rest of the world will have to wait for VW to decide either way. We can help encourage things by erecting billboards and prayer circles at the New York Auto Show next week.