This Is The Volkswagen Off-Road SUV That Never Happened

4 months ago - 24 January 2024, Motor1
Volkswagen Amarok
Volkswagen Amarok
VW's equivalent of the Ford Everest.

After losing its Volkswagen platform, the new Amarok pickup is now a Ford Ranger underneath. The Blue Oval also sells an SUV version called the Everest whereas VW has no such product. However, at one point during the truck's development, the design team did explore the idea of a truck-based SUV with the Amarok badge.

Albert Kirzinger, Head of Design at Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles, published an official design sketch of a SUV-ified Amarok on LinkedIn. This model would've preceded the reborn Scout brand of rugged trucks, which is set to hit the market in 2026. Chances are it would've been cheaper, too, by sticking with combustion engines instead of electricity.

Ford doesn't sell the Everest in the United States because it would clash with the Bronco, but VW would have had no problems with a truck-based SUV in America. Sadly, that ship has sailed since an Amarok SUV was ruled out as early as July 2022 by Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles board member for marketing Lars Krause. Later the same year, an Everest prototype was spotted testing on US soil but there hasn't been any news since then.

Americans can't seem to get enough of these off-road SUVs and an Amarok with a closed bed seems like a no-brainer. That said, we're certain Ford doesn't want VW to cannibalize sales of the Bronco. Having ruled out the Everest for the US, there are slim chances of seeing an Amarok SUV stateside. Instead, those new Scout models will target outdoorsy people looking for a zero-emission adventure.

Although Ford assembles the Amarok at its Silverton factory in Pretoria, South Africa, the first-generation model based on VW underpinnings is still in production in Pacheco, Argentina for South American regions. It's even getting updated later this year, which means VW has no intentions of discontinuing the truck anytime soon.

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