VW's Ford-derived Amarok pickup truck comes into focus

Don't expect to see this one in America

The next-generation Amarok will be one of the first products born out of the new alliance between Volkswagen and Ford. The pickup truck is around the corner, and an early design sketch previews what we can expect from it.

The drawing suggests stylists gave the Amarok a bold, rugged look while weaving in styling cues borrowed from the company's current design language. Its headlights are thinner, its grille is wider and its hood is taller than those on the current model. The pronounced wheel arches remain, though keep in mind sketches are often exaggerated.

In 2019, Volkswagen and Ford agreed to jointly develop a pickup, so the Amarok and the next-generation Ranger will share several components under the sheetmetal. The two trucks won't look anything alike; the tie-up won't spawn badge-engineered twins like the Toyota 86 and the Subaru BRZ. Autoblog understands Ford is taking the lead on this project, which makes sense considering the huge amount of pickup expertise it can lean on. We'll need to wait a little bit longer to find out which parts fit both a Ranger and an Amarok, however.

The lineup will again range from work-oriented models with steel wheels and unpainted bumpers to leisure-ready trucks rolling on alloys and decked out with leather. We expect single- and double-cab models will be available.

Volkswagen is expected to unveil the second-generation Amarok in the coming months; it's one of 34 new or updated models due out in 2020. It should go on sale across Europe and in several other global markets before the end of 2020, but Autoblog understands it's highly unlikely the truck will be sold in the United States. Volkswagen put its American truck plans on the back burner when it ruled out building a unibody model inspired by the 2018 Atlas Tanoak concept.  

What's next?

The blossoming alliance between two of the industry's biggest players will spawn several models in the coming years. Executives already confirmed Ford will use Volkswagen's modular MEB architecture — the one found under the ID.3 — to build an electric car for the European market. It doesn't sound like it will come to America.

The new Caddy van introduced in 2020 will share its platform and other parts with the next Transit Connect, while the Crafter and the full-size Transit will also use common components. Technology plays a role in the tie-up, too; Volkswagen notably invested $3.1 billion into Argo AI, Ford's self-driving car division. The companies believe they'll save hundreds of millions of dollars by setting aside their differences and pooling their resources.

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