Volkswagen to preview 'Tiguan bakkie' in Brazil


Volkswagen has released a design sketch of a bakkie concept, which it will unveil at the upcoming Sao Paulo Motor Show. It won't preview a successor to the Amarok, but a vehicle that will be based on the Volkswagen Group's ubiquitous MQB passenger car platform... and slot in below the Wolfsburg-based brand's double-cab range.

The image presents a rugged-looking, yet sophisticated double cab with a high waistline and blistered wheel arches.

It also appears to be free of chrome strips and other jewellery apart from a bold metallic brightwork panel that links both C-pillars via the roof. It’s probably there to add some visual ‘steel’ while highlighting the vehicle’s clever variable loading area – the double cab’s rear panel folds down for increased cargo room. Deep-tread tyres reflect the inclusion of all-wheel drive to the specification but this is no Dakar-friendly rock climber.

We all know how misleading design sketches can sometimes be so expect the body-to-glasshouse proportions to be normalised on the real concept car. Despite this, it’s encouraging that Volkswagen says the show car is scheduled to enter production with “just a few minor tweaks”.

As the bakkie will be based on MQB, which also underpins the Tiguan, the newcomer is likely to share many components with its family car sibling.

Featuring toughened-up Tiguan style, all-wheel drive and that load bay trick, the “urban-oriented” pickup has all the potential to be an easy sell. The good news is that although production and sales start in Brazil, Volkswagen says it’ll be suitable for other (equally pickup-friendly) regions as well.

Brazil is a pivotal pickup truck market for Volkswagen which already has both ends of the market covered with the Polo-based Saveiro and the Amarok. This new model slots neatly between the two. With the German company’s other recent pickup concept, the Tanoak, also a dead-cert for production Volkswagen really is making a bid for global bakkie glory. 

What is the likelihood of the newcomer being made available in South Africa in future, however?

When asked for comment, Andile Dlamini (Head of Group Communications at Volkswagen SA) told the bakkie would, in all likelihood, be produced for left-hand-drive South American markets, if not exclusively for Brazil. Once the vehicle is unveiled in production form, feasibility studies will be conducted to determine the viability of producing it for export to right-hand-drive markets. It goes without saying that should the production version of this concept be available in RHD, and VWSA could make a business case for its introduction, its arrival cannot be ruled out. 

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