Since Mercedes-Benz released the brand new X-Class, several major European auto companies seem to be a little restless. After all, the launch of the Mercedes-Benz X-Class has created a market segment of luxury pickups. In this currently blank market, everyone wants to get a share. And judging from the current development direction of the cross-border trend, pickup trucks may not be an important branch.
The brand-new pickup truck concept car Atlas Tanoak Pickup, the most interesting thing about this concept car is that although it looks powerful from the shape, it turns out to be a product with a load-bearing body structure. We may think that this is because Volkswagen has no experience in pickup trucks, but when we look at the history, we will find that pickup trucks are not uncommon in the history of Volkswagen. So in the following text, let’s talk about the pickup trucks that have appeared under the Volkswagen brand structure.
1. Volkswagen Type2 Pick Up
The position of Volkswagen Type2 in the history of Volkswagen is naturally needless to say. As an important model for Volkswagen to make a fortune, Volkswagen Type2 has become a unique culture, and this culture was subtly integrated into the North American hippie culture in the 1960s. It became a typical symbol of postwar American culture. Of course, the Volkswagen Type1 at that time also had a unique culture. This car is now called the Beetle.
Compared with the family car positioning of Volkswagen Type1, the large space advantage of Volkswagen Type2 obviously meets the needs of some commercial vehicles. Therefore, in addition to the passenger car version, the Volkswagen Type2 architecture also includes two pickup truck models. One is a double-cab version, while the other is a single-cab version. It is worth mentioning that the two-row version still uses a three-door design, and the driver’s side does not retain the rear door.
Since there is no front, the single-box design makes the image of the Volkswagen Type 2 pickup look more like a current light truck. In fact, the Volkswagen T series, which inherited the mantle of the Volkswagen Type2 model, still provides the choice of pickup trucks. However, under the design of the flat head, we have classified this type of models into the field of European light trucks. For the Volkswagen Type2 at that time, the advantages brought by the flat head design are very significant, and the space inside the car is maximized under the limited body size. Moreover, after taking out the roof at the rear of the vehicle, the visual effect is also more slender.
However, the Volkswagen Type2 pickup was not produced for a long time, and it gradually entered history after the late 1960s.
2. Volkswagen Karmann Cheetah concept car
In fact, this is not a pickup truck in the strict sense, but it can be regarded as a cross-border product after the fusion of sports car and pickup truck concept car. Of course, such a positioning is doomed that the Volkswagen Karmann Cheetah can only be a concept car.
The Volkswagen Karmann Cheetah concept car was unveiled at the Geneva International Motor Show in 1971. The design of this concept car was obviously inspired by the Chevrolet El Camino in the North American market at that time. The futuristic sense of motion. At the rear of the vehicle, a cargo box integrated with the body is used.
Judging from the outline of the main lines of the vehicle, due to the positioning of the pickup truck, the roof line is greatly compressed. From some angles, there are even some long-tail car design concepts in it.
The design of the front part has a sense of the age of that era. The completely wedge-shaped shape makes the front of the car low and has a sense of technology. The profile of the vehicle is also composed of a large number of straight designs. The sense of carving is also in place.
However, the sporty appearance does not mean that the Karmann Cheetah concept car will have a sporty performance. The Karmann Cheetah concept car based on the Beetle platform does not have too strong performance. As for power, the Volkswagen Karmann Cheetah concept car is equipped with a 1.6L engine derived from the Beetle, with a maximum output of 37 kilowatts.
3. Volkswagen Rabbit Pickup
Volkswagen Rabbit Pickup is the predecessor of Volkswagen Caddy, although Volkswagen Caddy has now transformed into a standard van and has become an important model of Volkswagen Commercial in one fell swoop. But in the architecture of its first-generation model, the Volkswagen Rabbit Pickup is a standard small pickup.
In 1979, Volkswagen officially released the first-generation Rabbit pickup, which was built on the A1 platform of the first-generation Golf. In the European market, Volkswagen Rabbit was named Caddy and this name has continued to this day. From the appearance point of view, the first-generation Volkswagen Rabbit also continues the image of a small pickup based on the car platform, and the overall appearance will be relatively low-key.
Compared with the ordinary version of the first-generation Golf, Volkswagen Rabbit has also lengthened the size of the rear suspension to obtain a larger trunk space. In terms of power, Volkswagen Rabbit provides different engine configurations according to different markets, including 1.5L gasoline, 1.5L diesel, 1.6L gasoline, 1.6L diesel, 1.7L gasoline, 1.8L gasoline and so on. The power range covered is also relatively wide.
The first two generations of Volkswagen Rabbit were positioned as pickup trucks, and the first generation of Volkswagen Rabbit was also a long-lived model, and its production continued until 2007.
4. Volkswagen Vario II concept car
Perhaps inspired by the previous Volkswagen Karmann Cheetah concept car, at the Frankfurt International Motor Show in 1991, Volkswagen once again launched a pickup truck concept car that combines the design concept of a sports car, the Volkswagen Vario II concept car. The concept was conceived by a student in Switzerland, and then turned into the full-scale model shown at the Frankfurt International Motor Show under the hands of then-VW chief designer. Obviously, this concept car itself does not have mass production characteristics.
Even with the current eyes, this Vario II concept car can be considered stylish enough. The design of the front of the car does not shy away from the use of long front overhangs. Under the effect of long front overhangs, the wedge-shaped characteristics of the front of the car are particularly obvious. The waistline appears directly at the seam between the front bumper and the body with a very clear swooping design, and there is almost no curve change in the whole process. And this waistline itself also adopts a concave design.
It is worth noting that the Volkswagen Vario II concept car also adopts a convertible design. Based on the roof rails, the roofs on both sides and the front and rear windshields can be disassembled. And its cargo box is more like a trunk, because behind the main driver’s seat of this car, there are still two small-sized seats.
5. Volkswagen AAC concept car
In fact, we are already familiar with this concept car, and it has been explained in a separate article in the previous historical analysis. And the final direction of this pickup truck concept car has become the first-generation Touareg.
At the North American International Auto Show in 2000, Volkswagen officially released a concept car called Advanced Activity Concept. From the appearance point of view, the pickup truck concept presented by the Volkswagen AAC concept car is trendy even now. The design of the cab, which is similar to a single row and a half, leaves a small distance between the rear axle and the cab. This also makes the cargo box of the Volkswagen AAC concept car look longer, moving the overall visual center of the vehicle backwards, not just limited to the cab.
In addition, the design of the interior of the cargo box of the Volkswagen AAC concept car also emphasizes the appeal of functionality. The interior of the full cargo box railing is designed as a mezzanine, which can be used to fix small items. The interior of the cargo box is also equipped with a fixed net bag. After the cargo box lid is opened, it can also form an area flush with the cargo box floor for placing large items.
In terms of power, the Volkswagen AAC concept car is equipped with a V10 diesel engine with a maximum output of 230 kilowatts and a maximum torque of 750 Nm. It is mated to a six-speed automatic transmission and a permanent all-wheel-drive system with low-range all-wheel drive. It is worth noting that the minimum ground clearance of the Volkswagen AAC concept car has reached 390 mm, and its passing performance is quite strong.
6. Volkswagen Pickup concept car
In 2008, Volkswagen launched a concept car named Pickup in a very straightforward way. And this concept car is the concept prototype of Volkswagen’s first pickup truck, the Volkswagen Amarok, which was unveiled later.
From the appearance point of view, the design of the Volkswagen Pickup concept car completely retains the traditional pickup truck design concept, which is almost consistent with the style presented by its competitor Hilux. The mass-produced cars that appeared later also proved the excellence of this design. As a demonstration of the off-road concept, the Volkswagen Pickup concept car is equipped with large-size off-road tires and a full set of off-road kits, such as auxiliary lighting on the roof.
The painting aspect is the highlight of the Volkswagen Pickup concept car. The painting design of the Coast Guard can easily remind people of an omnipotent image.
7. Volkswagen Saveiro Rocket Concept
The pickup market in South America is a very magical place. In addition to traditional pickups like the Hilux, sedans based on small cars also sell well there. Compared with those traditional pickups, this type of small sedan is naturally much better in terms of economy. Therefore, in the Brazilian market, Volkswagen also launched a small pickup based on the car platform.
At the Sao Paulo International Auto Show in 2010, Volkswagen officially released the Saveiro Rocket Concept concept car in Brazil, which is a sedan pickup based on the sedan platform. It is based on the third-generation Volkswagen Gore, and maintains a high degree of similarity with the former in terms of front face.
However, in the rear section of the body, Volkswagen has adjusted the design of the upper body line, increased the length of the rear overhang to form a usable cargo box, and adopted a row and a half design for the cab. In order to cater to the curve changes of the roof line, the gantry of the Saveiro Rocket Concept concept car is also designed to be curved and integrated into the roof line.
As for the lower part of the body, the Volkswagen Saveiro Rocket Concept concept car uses a posture close to the ground to form a sporty sense of combat. Overall, it looks like a high-performance car, but before this, this style of design has only appeared in Australia. However, this concept car did not achieve mass production in the end, but in the Brazilian market, Volkswagen has launched a saverio pickup based on Polo.
8. Volkswagen Amarok Canyon Concept
After the Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles Department officially released the Amarok, the modification scheme based on the Volkswagen Amarok began to gradually appear in the subsequent market.
At the Geneva International Motor Show in 2012, Volkswagen officially launched the Amarok Canyon concept car, and the concept of this concept car is to emphasize a practical modification solution. On the whole, the Volkswagen Amarok Canyon concept car has lifted the whole car. The raised ground clearance and the replacement of all-terrain tires make the car look powerful.
The small spoiler structure added to the roof also inherits four auxiliary lighting sources. The design of the gantry is integrated into the cargo box rail, so there is an obvious change in the vehicle’s upper loading line. In addition, a multifunctional kit display is also added inside the cargo box.
9. Volkswagen Tristar TDI concept car
Just like the Volkswagen Touareg’s concept display is an AAC pickup, the new Volkswagen T6 concept display is also a pickup. In 2014, Volkswagen officially launched the Tristar TDI concept car. Two years after the debut of this concept car, the Volkswagen T6 was also officially released.
The Volkswagen T series is a product that continues the mantle of the Volkswagen Type2, so when the Tristar TDI concept car was unveiled at that time, it was easy to remind people of the Type2 pickup we mentioned earlier. The short front design of the Volkswagen T series makes it not like a pickup truck on the Tristar TDI concept car, but on the contrary, it is closer to the design of a European-style light truck.
However, the lifted body and the matching large-size off-road tires make the image of this Tristar TDI concept car very interesting. Compared with traditional light trucks, the integrated rear cargo box design of the Volkswagen Tristar TDI concept car is also different from the traditional shape.
The part of the cab was later confirmed to be the design of the new generation T6. The positioning similar to that of a light truck has also significantly improved its sitting posture and the transparency of its vision. The layout of the cab also adopts the classic one-and-a-half-row design, which strengthens the needs of passengers.
In terms of power, as defined by its name, the Volkswagen Tristar TDI concept car is equipped with a 2.0L TDI turbocharged diesel power with a maximum output of 149 kilowatts and a maximum torque of 450 Nm.
10. Volkswagen Atlas Tanoak Pickup concept car
This car was just unveiled at the New York International Auto Show. It is reported that Volkswagen will also launch a pickup truck model in the North American market in the future. According to information, this Atlas Tanoak pickup truck concept car is likely to be the first choice.
Although it is built based on the MQB platform of the transverse engine load-bearing body structure, from the appearance point of view, the Volkswagen Atlas Tanoak pickup truck concept car does not look like a product built on the load-bearing body platform architecture at all. The visual tension presented as a whole and the proportions of the vehicle are exactly like a standard American medium-sized pickup. This is indeed different from the traditional impression of the Honda Ridgeline, a type of load-bearing body pickup. The cab also adopts a double-row seat design, which is more close to the needs of traditional passenger cars.
In terms of power, the Volkswagen Atlas Tanoak pickup truck concept car is still equipped with a 3.6L V6 naturally aspirated engine with a maximum output of 276 horsepower, matched with an eight-speed automatic transmission, 4Motion four-wheel drive system and all-terrain selection mode. Since it is based on the MQB platform, its engine layout is still dominated by the transverse engine front-wheel drive architecture.
From this simple model statistics, it can be seen that compared with Toyota’s pickup truck series, Volkswagen’s pickup truck camp has been more concentrated in the stage of concept cars in the past half a century. As it becomes hotter, more and more European auto companies will naturally join in, especially the luxury pickup truck market will become hotter.