Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles is unveiling a near-production concept pickup at the São Paolo International Motor Show this week. The Tarok, described as an “all-wheel-drive all-rounder,” attempts to merge SUV and pickup, with a full-size second row of seats and an adaptable load bed which can extend into the cabin by folding those rear seats down or removing them entirely. It’s powered by a 1.4 TSI engine that can run on E22 ethanol-mix and E100 pure-ethanol fuels as well as petrol.
Aesthetically, the Tarok builds on the updated VW pickup aesthetic established earlier this year by the Atlas Tanoak concept in New York, which in turn was a neat generation leap over the global pickup truck they currently produce.
The rectangular DRG mostly replaces chrome strips with continuous LED strip lighting which runs seamlessly into the main headlights (and even the badge), while a branded plastic ‘bar’ joins together two fake grilles lined in lighting.
Crisp, doubled-up character lines add definition to otherwise very clean surfaces. The structure of the panoramic roof is blacked-out at first, before being brought to a sudden halt by a thick silver ‘roll bar’ akin to that of an original Porsche 911 Targa. A long black plastic lip lines the entire perimeter of the load bay, behind which there are more strong lighting graphics for the tail.
Proportionally, it could be described as an SUV with the last third of the roof cut out – although pleasingly the wheel arches have been filled with chunky off-road tyres instead of giant urban-cool chrome wheels.
The interior is much more SUV than pickup as well, perhaps in line with what the market is asking for (). The dashboard is dominated by a body-coloured strip of plastic which encompasses a “Virtual Cockpit” digital IP, touchscreen infotainment and vents for the climate control. A textured triangular pattern characterises some of the grey trim and the perforated section of the simple yet somewhat angular seats.
Meanwhile, the aforementioned expandable load bay allows you to carry up to one tonne of trendy active lifestyle surfboards.
The production version of the Tarok will go on sale in Brazil in the near future “with barely any changes” beyond swapping in a 2.0-litre turbo diesel engine. Volkswagen also hints that it could later appear elsewhere around the world.