Volkswagen previews new sub-Amarok compact bakkie
São Paulo - Volkswagen has confirmed that it is working on a brand new sub-Amarok bakkie that will initially be launched in Brazil, but which could also find its way to other markets.
The design sketch that you see here is an official teaser for a “near production” concept vehicle that will be revealed at the São Paulo Motor Show on November 6 - with the showroom version set to follow in “the foreseeable future” with “just a few minor tweaks”.
At this stage we don’t know if it will fully replace the current Saveiro half-tonner that’s currently sold in South America, or if it will slot above it, and that ultimately depends on whether there is a no-frills single cab version in the pipeline. The concept is a double cab, which would logically compete with the Renault Oroch and Fiat Toro.
The concept is based on the MQB modular platform just like the latest Polo and it also has 4Motion all-wheel-drive, but front-driven variants would almost certainly be in the mix too.
The double cab also sports an interesting innovation in the form of a variable loading area, in which the cab’s rear panel folds to “significantly extend” the load bay in just a “couple of simple steps” says VW.
But would it come to South Africa?
Here’s where it gets interesting. At the beginning of this year VWSA managing director Thomas Schaefer told our sister publication Business Report that the local division was considering building a third model alongside the new Polo and Polo Vivo at its Uitenhage plant. Four options were under consideration and Schaefer hinted that one of them was a bakkie as money would need to be invested for “specific tools such as skin parts and the boot lid for a special utility vehicle or a pick-up”.
There is no word yet on whether this is the route that VWSA is taking, but it certainly provides hope that the new Brazilian bakkie could be headed our way. As does the following statement from VW Brazil on its newcomer:
“This new pickup’s potential is so great, however, that the vehicle concept could conceivably be suitable for other regions.”
If there is any market that can come close to matching Brazil's appetite for half-ton bakkies, surely that's us?