Das workhorse: VW could take on Ford and GM with a lineup of commercial vehicles in the US

Putting an end to a long-standing rumor, Volkswagen has confirmed that it is considering making a return to the United States’ lucrative commercial vehicle segment after a decades-long hiatus.

Speaking with news agency Bloomberg, executives admitted that the Wolfsburg-based automaker is looking into entering the pickup segment, the van segment or even both. The two segments have been steadily growing over the past few years, and arch rival Mercedes-Benz recently announced plans to launch a new mid-size van called Metris in time for the 2016 model year.

Which van Volkswagen is considering selling in the U.S. is up in the air but the company has plenty to choose from. In Europe, it sells the Caddy, an all-new Ford Transit Connect-sized van that was introduced at the Geneva Motor Show earlier this month, the Transporter, a mid-size van set to be replaced by an all new model next month, and the starter home-sized Crafter, an aging range-topping model that shares the bulk of its components with the last-gen Mercedes-Benz Sprinter.

The current generation of the Amarok pickup truck (pictured) that has been sold in Europe and in a number of global markets since 2010 is not expected to reach U.S. shores for a few reasons. First, it’s much smaller than trucks like the Ford F-150 and the Chevrolet Silverado and second, it wasn’t designed to comply with U.S. regulations. However, we hear the next-gen model that will be unveiled before the end of the decade stands a good chance of spawning Volkswagen’s first U.S.-spec pickup since the demise of the Pennsylvania-built, Golf-based Caddy.

If given the green light, Volkswagen’s U.S.-bound commercial vehicles are expected to land on our shores in either late 2016 or early 2017. Regardless of what form they take, the commercial vehicles will go a long way in helping Volkswagen turn around its troubled U.S. arm and reach its goal of becoming the world’s largest automaker by 2018.


Ford’s Mustang-inspired electric crossover will spawn a Lincoln luxury version

Lincoln will get its own version of parent Ford's first mass-market, long-range electric vehicle. While Ford's version will have styling inspired by the Mustang, Lincoln will take a more traditional approach.

Ford has a plan to future-proof the hot-selling F-150 pickup truck

Worried about the threat of rising gas prices, Ford will add the F-150 to its growing portfolio of electrified vehicles. It is currently developing a hybrid F-150, and it will release an electric version of the next-generation truck.

Muscle cars, trucks, and EVs roared into the subdued 2019 Detroit Auto Show

The 2019 Detroit Auto Show was the quietest edition of the event in recent memory, but that doesn't mean nothing significant happened inside the Cobo Center. Here are the new cars and concepts we saw at the show.

Self-driving, electric, and connected, the cars of CES 2019 hint at the future

Car companies remained surprisingly quiet during CES 2018. But they spoke up in 2019. From electric hatchbacks you can buy in 2019 to super-futuristic mood-detecting technology, here are the major announcements we covered during the event.

2020 Ford Explorer branches out with sporty ST, efficiency-focused hybrid models

The 2020 Ford Explorer gets two variants never before seen on Ford's stalwart family hauler. The ST focuses on performance, while the hybrid aims for decent gas mileage. Both models will debut at the 2019 Detroit Auto Show.

Some of Volkswagen’s electric models will wear a ‘Made in the USA’ label

Confirming earlier rumors, Volkswagen has announced it will build electric cars in its Chattanooga, Tennessee, factory. The facility currently produces the Passat and the Atlas. Production will start in 2023, Digital Trends can reveal.

Infiniti previews its leap into one of the hottest industry segments

Infiniti will unveil the QX Inspiration concept at the 2019 Detroit Auto Show. The design study is an electric crossover shaped by Infiniti's newest design language that may point to a future production model.

Hyundai’s Veloster N hot hatchback will prove its mettle on the track

The Hyundai Veloster N will go racing to prove the credibility of Hyundai's new N performance division. Unveiled at the 2019 Detroit Auto Show, the Veloster N race car will compete in a class with other small cars.

Nissan IMs concept teases a future long-range, autonomous electric car

Debuting at the 2019 Detroit Auto Show, the Nissan IMs is an electric car with a 380-mile range, autonomous-driving capability, and a backseat designed for being chauffeured. Too bad it's just a concept car.

The 2020 Lexus RC F goes on a diet to run faster and hit harder

The Lexus RC F has been one of the heavier cars in its competitive set since its introduction. The Japanese firm's engineers set out to shed weight as they gave the model a mid-cycle update.

Lexus LC convertible concept teases a new open-air flagship

Debuting at the 2019 Detroit Auto Show, the Lexus LC convertible concept adds open-air motoring to the sleek LC's resume. But Lexus won't commit to a production version of the car just yet.

Fast and Furious fans get revved up: Toyota’s Supra sports car is back

The 2020 Toyota Supra made its long-awaited debut at the 2019 Detroit Auto Show. The resurrected sports car, famous for a role in The Fast and the Furious, goes on sale in the U.S. this summer.

Big tech, bigger grille: BMW updates its 7 Series flagship for 2020

The BMW 7 Series will enter the 2020 model year with a host of updates inside, outside, and under the sheet metal. The new-look nose with a jumbo grille hides updated engines, while passengers benefit from smart tech features.
Emerging Tech

Ford’s sweaty robot bottom can simulate 10 years of seat use in mere days

Ford has developed 'Robutt,' a sweaty robot bottom that's designed to simulate the effects of having a pair of human buttocks sitting on its car seats for thousands of hours. Check it out.