After several delays, it looks like VW’s compact pickup will finally arrive in the next year, as the 2023 VW Tarok. The German carmaker presented a concept version way back in 2018 but the production was delayed due to the Covid-19 pandemics. It looks like things are finally about to start and the initial version will debut in Brazil as it was planned. However, the German carmaker plans to compete in North America as well, where the segment of compact unibody pickups is growing at a pretty fast pace.
In terms of design, we don’t expect significant differences compared to the concept, which already looked production-ready. This particularly refers to the overall layout, dimensions and similar things. On the other hand, we count on a new engine, as well as on some slight revisions on the inside.
2023 VW Tarok Design
Design-wise, the 2023 VW Tarok shouldn’t bring bigger surprises. We count on a very similar design to the concept version from three years ago. Therefore, the production model should feature the same 117.7-inch wheelbase, which makes this pickup slightly smaller compared to the future rival, Hyundai Santa Cruz.
Mechanically, the new model will be a unibody pickup, which is a design approach that’s becoming pretty popular these days. So, it’s easy to conclude that the company will use its familiar MQB platform, the same one that underpins models like VW Tiguan. This means a transversally-mounted engine, front-wheel drive and an available all-wheel drive with a Haldex differential.
Styling-wise, don’t expect significant changes compared to the concept, though the fact that the concept was originally presented four years ago indicates some updates. Still, the overall shape shouldn’t change much, so we count on a familiar double cab layout, while the front end should adopt a few things from the brand’s latest design language.
When it comes to the interior, the concept version came with a production-ready design. So, we don’t expect to see significant changes in this aspect. The dashboard comes in a typical VW manner, with a conservative design but good build quality and nice materials. We also expect to see VW’s latest infotainment system, while a digital instrument cluster should be available too.
As we’ve just mentioned, a double cab is the only layout we expect to see. Therefore, we count on a spacious cabin that accommodates adults in both rows with ease. The size of the cargo bed is still unknown but we count on something like 4- to 4.5-foot unit.
2023 VW Tarok Engines
The concept version was presented with the company’s well-known 1.4-liter turbo-four engine with 147 horsepower. Meanwhile, the company introduced the new 1.5-liter turbo-four and we believe this engine will be used in the production version, at least in Brazil. On the other hand, the North American version would probably have to use something bigger and more powerful. Of course, we are thinking of a 2.0-liter turbo-four, the same one that powers the Tiguan. That engine puts out 184 horsepower and 221 pound-feet of torque.
Base models should come with a 6-speed manual transmission. We also count on either 8-speed automatic transmission offered as an option. Some sources also speculate about a dual-clutch transmission.
2023 VW Tarok Release Date and Price
If we can trust the rumors, the 2023 VW Tarok will arrive sometime in the next year. However, we are still waiting for the officials to confirm the arrival of this compact pickup. Once it arrives, we expect that the North American version would cost somewhere between 20.000 and 25.000 dollars. When it comes to the competition, Hyundai Santa Cruz and Ford Maverick would be the key competitors.