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Volkswagen pick-ups and SUVs - 2020 to 2030

By Glenn Brooks | 9 December 2020

Is VW planning a monocoque platform pick-up?

Is VW planning a monocoque platform pick-up?

The latest OEM to have its future models strategy explored is the Volkswagen Group. After the recent look at VW's new and forthcoming electrified cars, just-auto's attention now turns to MPVs/minivans, pick-ups, crossovers and SUVs.

MPVs

The latest generation Caddy was revealed by Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles at a special event in Düsseldorf in February. The new model began to be manufactured in Poland at the Antoninek plant south west of Poznan in September. The 4,501 mm long Caddy California, which replaced the Caddy Beach, was also announced by Volkswagen Nutzfahrzeuge during the same month. It can be ordered in front- and all-wheel drive forms and with the choice of 55 kW (75 PS) and 90 kW (122 PS) diesel engines.

An extended Caddy California, measuring 4,853 mm and with a longer wheelbase, is about to be added to the line-up. Along with the California (camper) and Cargo (panel van with enclosed superstructure), there is an estate (with passenger compartment windows) and various passenger variants (MPVs). The three model grades for passenger versions are called Caddy, Life and Style. All these vans and MPVs are due to be facelifted in 2024 and replaced in 2028/2029.

As the current vehicles in the T6 series were not as new as promoted when launched in 2015, a truly fresh generation is due as soon as next year. The T6 (sixth generation) was in fact a facelift of the T5, along with new powertrains but the T7 will be on a new platform, an adaptation of the Volkswagen Group's MQB architecture. Volkswagen confirmed in August that there would be a hybrid version of the Multivan. Successors for the California, Caravelle and other variants are also expected. It also seems logical to assume that Volkswagen will use the production version of the ID. Buzz concept as the successor for the Multivan Electric.

Pick-ups

A 4.5 m long pick-up is expected to be released for sale in the Brazilian market during 2021 and be a competitor for the Fiat Toro and Renault Duster Oroch. The Tarok concept (see image above), first seen at the São Paulo International Motor Show in November 2018, should have given a strong indication of how the model will look. Volkswagen has stated that the Tarok could be sold in multiple countries. Volkswagen of America exhibited the near-production Tarok at the New York auto show in April 2019.

The second generation Amarok had been at one time expected to be built in Argentina and Europe, and assembled in Nigeria and Ecuador, with a chance that production in the USA could also be added. However, plans changed and this pick-up will now be manufactured by Ford Motor Company. This also inevitably means that the current model will remain in production for far longer than is ideal. Unless there is a facelift in 2021, generation one will likely live for more than 12 years without any changes to its appearance (production commenced in December 2009).

Two 10 June (2020) media statements - from Ford Motor Company and Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles - confirmed "2022" as the launch date for the new Amarok, with that name used. The pick-up will be powered by Ford engines and manufactured in South Africa.

SUVs

Taigun is the name of a small SUV which will be manufactured in India for the local market, and potentially, for export from the second half of next year. It premiered as a prototype at the New Delhi auto expo in February alongside the closely related Škoda Vision In concept. Production versions of both will be based on a special low-cost version of the Volkswagen Group's front-wheel-drive MQB AO architecture.

In addition to the unique platform, the Taigun, which is based on the T-Cross, is to have modified suspension. The standard engine will be the Volkswagen Group's 1.0-litre three-cylinder petrol, with outputs of 116 PS and 200 Nm with a 1.5-litre four-cylinder optional. Gearboxes will be six-speed manual or seven-speed DSG.

Announced to the media in September, the 4,584 mm long ID.4 is an electric crossover. Unlike the smaller ID.3 which is mainly for Europe, the ID.4 is to be available globally and will eventually be built in five factories: two each in Germany (Zwickau then Emden in 2022) and China and one in the USA. China's variants are called ID.4 X and ID.4 Crozz. The first is manufactured in suburban Shanghai by SAIC Volkswagen with the Crozz built by FAW Volkswagen at its Foshan plant in the south of the country.

Volkswagen of America told the media at the LA auto show in November 2017 that a production model based on the I.D. Cross would be the first I.D. model to be available in the USA. This was claimed to be from early 2020. In the event, a national launch has recently been pushed back to March. VWoA is hoping it can sell around 20,000 examples of this model in 2021.

The ID. Bus or ID. Buzz, which might have a different name, will follow in 2022. It too could be made at the Chattanooga plant in Tennessee. This expansion of the existing site was announced in January 2019 at the Detroit auto show. Volkswagen did not at that time name any of the models it will make there, nor did it state what the intended annual capacity of Chattanooga 2 would be. The first vehicles will not come off the line until 2022, which means that the ID.4 will be an import in the USA for the first year or so.

Another ID.4-based model with the informal code of RuggdZZ is rumoured. This would be an SUV and while electric, styled to be far more utilitarian than the ID.4. The model name might be ID.4 Ruggd.

The Tiguan X, an SUV-coupe, had its public premiere at the Beijing motor show in September. The sales launch took place in November. This 4,764 mm long model is built by SAIC Volkswagen and is exclusive to China. The life cycle should be seven years, which means a facelift in mid-2024. The successor will almost certainly be electric.

There was one other additional SUV for the Chinese market launched last month. The e-Tharu is part of the SAIC Volkswagen JV. This electric SUV is powered by a 100 kW and 290 Nm motor with energy stored in a 44.1 kWh battery. The NEDC range is up to 315 km. Aside from the e-Tharu badge on the tailgate, looks are almost identical to the petrol-powered Tharus which have been around since 2018.

It's not yet known if the Tharu's Volkswagen Taos twin will also become available as an EV. Production of the Taos is to be in both Mexico and Argentina, the model with that name being mostly for the Americas.

A PHEV Touareg was announced by VW China at an event in November 2018 but then nothing more was heard about it. The prototype was said to be powered by a 2.0-litre TSI (petrol turbo) and one 100 kW motor. The stated combined outputs were 270 kW (367 hp) and 700 Nm. Volkswagen claimed that an electric range of up to 58 km would be possible.

A production model was finally announced in late February. It public premiere was supposed to take place a week later at the Geneva motor show. Instead of the prototype's four-cylinder engine, what was then thought to be the sole production model is powered by a 250 kW (340 PS) biturbo 3.0-litre V6. Also, the name changed and this was the first plug-in hybrid R Volkswagen. The Touareg R's total power and torque are 340 kW (462 PS) and 700 Nm. The single motor contributes 100 kW (136 PS).

In October, Volkswagen suddenly announced that there would be two PHEV Touaregs: as well as the 340 kW R, there is also a 280 kW Touareg eHybrid. No torque figure was quoted in the press release. Both have a maximum range in EV mode of 47 km (WLTP). Sales will commence soon.

The Touareg range is due for a facelift in 2022. The replacement, which should be an EV, seems likely to appear in 2025/2026.

FAW Volkswagen will soon be introducing its largest SUV yet. Prototypes were photographed testing in snowy conditions in Europe in January. This model, which is codenamed VW416, was heralded by the SMV (Sport Multi-Purpose Vehicle) concept which was revealed at the Shanghai motor show in April 2019. The offline ceremony for the body in white took place in April. This big vehicle should have many things in common with SAIC Volkswagen's Viloran, a 5.1 m long MPV which is now a year old.

Reports for many other manufacturers' future models are grouped in the OEM product strategy summaries section of just-auto.com.

Future platform intelligence

More detail on past, current and forthcoming models can be found in PLDB, the future vehicles database which is part of GlobalData's Automotive Intelligence Center. That includes many other Volkswagen piston-powered and electric models not reported on above.

This is the second report in a series which highlights certain current and future models from the passenger vehicle divisions of Volkswagen Aktiengesellschaft. Next to come will be features on Audi, Porsche, Škoda, SEAT and Cupra, Bentley, Lamborghini and Bugatti.