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2023 Author: Charles Youmans | [email protected]. Last modified: 2023-05-20 18:41
Volkwagen recently announced that it is discontinuing development of the Tarok compact urban pickup. This model, if it appeared on the market, was supposed to become a direct competitor to Ford Maverick and Hyundai Santa Cruz. Interestingly, the release of American and Korean pickups was exactly the reason that forced VW to abandon the Tarok. At the same time, the German concern stressed that its management is not going to finally "bury" this project.
This announcement suggests that a compact pickup truck from Volkswagen may enter the market in the future. And, perhaps, this model will appear under a different brand. An independent designer has published renders of the new GAZ-66 pickup 2021-2022, which is expected to become the production version of the Tarok. Despite the fact that this statement is nothing more than an assumption, such a scenario cannot be ruled out.
The fact is that the Volkswagen company has been using the production facilities of GAZ for the assembly of its cars for many years. Moreover, all German models are built on the basis of the MQB platform, which, as previously reported, was supposed to form the basis of Tarok. In this regard, it can be assumed that VW will transfer the rights to GAZ for this architecture, allowing the Gorky Automobile Plant to produce its own cars on it.
The appearance of the presented pickup is also likely because it could be really cheap. Its price would hardly have exceeded one million rubles. This is supported by the fact that GAZ offers a relatively limited set of equipment with all its cars. And the Ford Maverick, which is estimated at about 1.5 million rubles, already has a rich list of onboard equipment in the basic configuration.
The transfer of the Russian novelty to the German platform will open up additional opportunities for GAZ. In particular, the Gorky Automobile Plant will be able to install different types of engines on a compact pickup truck, which will allow this model to enter both the budget and mid-price segments of the market. In addition, the German platform allows the use of plug-in four-wheel drive, which will expand the functionality of the presented model.
The first and one of the important features of the presented GAZ-53 2021-2022 pickup truck is that it is compact in size. Because of this, the developer was able to place only 2 side doors. However, there are 4 seats in the car, but only children can comfortably sit in the second row, since the distance to the front seats is minimized.
Thanks to such a compact size, a GAZ pickup can be used in different conditions, including in dense city traffic. A car with such dimensions will be quite maneuverable. Probably, its length will not exceed 4.7 meters, which is comparable to many crossovers in the mid-price segment.
The second remarkable detail of the Russian novelty is that the body design has been simplified as much as possible. There are no visible embossings or other decorative elements on it. At the same time, the body is distinguished by smooth transitions, which give the car a more attractive appearance. This approach to design allows you to reduce the cost of production. Also, the streamlined shape in combination with the heavily heaped A-pillars improve the aerodynamics of the body, which will have a positive effect on fuel efficiency.
In fact, the only detail on the sculpted compact pickup is the bonnet, lined with subtle waves. At the front, the developer has installed a huge radiator grille with an almost square shape with an original pattern created by many small lamellas. Such a large size indirectly indicates that a powerful engine is hidden under the hood of the car. But, as will be shown below, the novelty will receive engines standard for Volkswagen budget models.
On the sides of the radiator grill are small headlights with two segments, in which rectangular LED lights are placed. The front bumper includes vertically oriented, rectangular air vents with rounded edges and a fine mesh inside. Below is a narrow air intake, part of the perimeter of which is framed by plastic inserts. And under the front bumper there is an additional metal protection.
The side part of the body of the presented novelty is interesting in that it has a characteristic protrusion under the window sill line. Because of it, the effect arises as if the cabin was deliberately narrowed. The novelty has received voluminous and wide fenders that hide large enough wheels. This, in combination with the high ground clearance, indicates that the presented pickup will demonstrate good off-road qualities.
The GAZ-66 pickup 2021-2022 received a small but deep cargo platform with rounded edges. Because of this design solution, the rear part of the body looks visually more voluminous than it actually is. There is no door for the loading platform in the presented renders. At least the pens are not visible in the images. Perhaps it was on the door that the developer placed the narrow and long taillights with LED filling.
Due to the fact that GAZ today produces exclusively commercial vehicles, in order to create such a pickup truck, the company will have to borrow a platform from a third-party manufacturer. And, most likely, the "cart" will be taken from Volkswagen, since this architecture underlies the models assembled at the Gorky Automobile Plant. Such a fit will reduce the cost of starting production of a new car.
In connection with the foregoing, it turns out that the GAZ-53 pickup 2021-2022 by default can get a 1.4-liter turbocharged engine. Most likely, this unit in the initial versions will produce up to 125 hp. power and combined with a 6-speed manual transmission. In more expensive modifications, its 150-strong version will appear, equipped with a 7-band "robot". The option of a 2-liter turbocharged engine appearing under the hood of a pickup is not excluded. But this motor will only be offered in a 190-horsepower version.
Time to market
As noted, GAZ is not going to revise its development strategy and will continue to produce only commercial vehicles. In terms of the likelihood of a compact pickup, Volkswagen recently revealed that it is still considering such a model. But it will only be electrical.