U.S.-made, MQB-based Volkswagen Pickup Concept Expected to Debut at 2018 NYIAS

In Europe, Volkswagen’s weapon of choice in the mid-size pickup segment is the Amarok. Introduced in 2010 and facelifted in 2016, the truck isn’t available in the United States of America, where the mid-size segment grows ever more crowded.
Volkswagen Amarok 10 photos
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It’s a bit of a shame Volkswagen doesn’t have anything to take on the Tacoma, Colorado, and Ranger. But with a bit of luck, the automaker could introduce a workhorse for the U.S. market in the coming years. According to Automotive News citing insider sources, the yet-to-be-detailed truck “could be built in Tennessee.”

The pickup is described as “a derivative of the Atlas large crossover,” which means that it would ride on the MQB platform. At the Chattanooga plant in Tennesse, the Atlas is built alongside the Passat, which will also transition to MQB for the next generation. What’s more, there’s a five-seat Atlas derivative in the offing.

So let’s make a quick recap. Unibody, made in the U.S. of A., 4Motion all-wheel-drive, and four to six cylinders for the engine lineup. It seems someone at Volkswagen took a liking to Honda’s Ridgeline, which is closely related to the Pilot. And the Pilot, as you’re well aware, is a competitor for the mid-sized Atlas.

Provided that the concept for the pickup gets the thumbs up from the media and public in attendance at the 2018 New York Auto Show, Volkswagen is expected to bring the newcomer to market “relatively soon,” as in no later than 2020. According to one official, member of the board of management Herbert Diess “has supported it [the project] from a very early phase.” Reading between the lines, Volkwagen has already made up its mind.

The mid-size pickup segment is more lucrative than ever in the United States, with the Toyota Tacoma and Chevrolet Colorado leading the pack. In 2017, the segment accounted for 452,335 trucks, with deliveries jumping 20 percent in the first two months of 2018.

As a brief refresher, Volkswagen owns the rights to use the "Amarok" name in the United States. And what's more, Volkswagen and Fiat Chrysler "have held talks over joint production of some light-utility vehicles.”


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