Skip to main content

Volkswagen’s midsize pickup could arrive by the end of the decade

2015 Volkswagen Amarok DoubleCab Highline
Ronan Glon/Digital Trends
Volkswagen’s North American division is open to the idea of returning to the pickup segment with a U.S.-spec version of the Amarok.

The Amarok (pictured) that’s sold in Europe and in dozens of other markets across the globe won’t make the trip across the pond. It wasn’t designed to comply with the U.S. market’s regulations so it can’t be sold as-is, and Volkswagen doesn’t want to spend money on making the truck street-legal in the U.S. because it’s nearing the end of its life cycle. However, we could get the second-generation model that’s expected to debut in a year or two.

Hinrich Woebcken, the head of Volkswagen’s North American arm, told Car & Driver that executives are debating whether to enter the competitive midsize pickup segment before the end of the decade. The model would slot in at the smaller end of the market if it’s approved for production, meaning it would compete against hot sellers like the Chevrolet Colorado/GMC Canyon twins and the Toyota Tacoma. Volkswagen has sold pickups in the United States before — it even built the Rabbit-based Caddy in Pennsylvania from 1979 to 1982 — but it has never competed in the mid-size truck segment.

What’s even more surprising is that the U.S.-spec version of the Amarok might be offered with a turbodiesel engine. While Volkswagen isn’t currently allowed to sell oil-burning engines in the U.S., the company isn’t ready to give up on the technology altogether. Government regulations are pushing automakers towards electrification but diesel continues to make perfect sense in some segments of the market.

Before the Dieselgate affair, about a quarter of diesel-powered cars sold new in North America had a Volkswagen emblem on the grille. The fuel has since gotten a bad name and Woebcken warned that “diesel will not come back in the same magnitude.” The diesel engine will return “package by package” if executives decide to move forward with the project.

Editors' Recommendations

Ronan Glon
Ronan Glon is an American automotive and tech journalist based in southern France. As a long-time contributor to Digital…
Volkswagen ID. Buzz prototype first drive: Here comes your van
2022 Volkswagen ID.Buzz prototype

This is it -- this is the EV that we've been waiting for. It's the production version of the Volkswagen ID.Buzz concept, which is called ID. Buzz (mind the gap, as the Brits say), and it's a modern spin on the emblematic, rear-engined Bus that zig-zagged across America for decades. This 21st-century hippie van hasn't been fully unveiled yet, we won't see it without the psychedelic camouflage until March 9, but I traveled to England to spend time behind the wheel of a pre-production model and get a better idea of whether the wait and the hype were worth it.

Years in the making
Volkswagen presented the ID.Buzz as a concept at the 2017 edition of the Detroit auto show. Futuristic-looking and decked out with LEDs, the retro-inspired van was part of an ongoing series of design studies created to preview the different directions that the Wolfsburg-based firm can take its modular MEB platform in. Among others, we saw the 2016 ID. concept, which became the ID.3 hatchback, the ID.Buggy that I drove in California, and, more recently, the ID.Life built to preview an electric, city-friendly crossover tentatively due out in 2025.

Read more
Intel Arc Alchemist for laptops could rival this high-end GPU
A render of an Intel Arc Alchemist graphics card.

According to a leak, Intel is seemingly planning at least five variants for its Arc Alchemist graphics card lineup for laptops.

Twitter user 9550pro, as spotted by VideoCardz, showcased what seems to be an internal document that delivers insight into Intel’s upcoming mobile GPUs.

Read more
A more affordable high-end Apple monitor could launch soon
Members of the press photograph an Apple Pro Display XDR at WWDC 2019.

If you’re a Mac user on the hunt for an excellent external monitor, there’s cause for optimism. According to numerous rumors, the company is working on a top-quality Mac monitor, and that idea has just received a massive boost in the form of a new report from journalist Mark Gurman.

Gurman is considered to be one of the most accurate and reliable Apple tipsters. In his latest Power On newsletter, Gurman says he “strongly believes” Apple will launch an external monitor for its latest Macs, suggesting it could happen relatively soon.

Read more