With over 50% of Volkswagen sales being crossovers and SUVs in the US it’s no wonder it wants more models to take a larger bite of the commercial pie. More VW SUVs and even pickups are coming. But just like so many other companies, it is eyeing electrification as part of its plan.
In early 2020 the ID.4 concept will become the production ID.4. As you already know the ID.3 is Volkswagen’s first stab at the electric frontier. It packed a lot of technology and Volkswagen is quite proud of it. But it won’t make it to the US. The larger ID.4 will. VW feels that since it’s larger, it will appeal more to American tastes. You know, with our open highways and decades of large sedans.
How The ID.4 Ties To VW Pickups
VW has stated the ID.4 will pack more power and range than the ID.3, so lets review those numbers. The ID.3 has a range of 342 miles from a large 77-kWh battery pack. Power comes from a single 201 hp electric motor. So Volkswagen plans on improving on those numbers which are already a terrific start.
Tying this all in with a pickup is that Volkswagen plans on building the ID.4 at its Chattanooga, Tennessee, plant. That plant currently makes Passats and the Atlas SUV. Initial plans for assembly of the ID.4 call for it being built first in Zwickau, Germany. That gives them time for the Chattanooga plant to receive an $800 million renovation. Could pickups be in that mix?
No Hiding Atlas Origins Of Tanoak Pickup
When VW debuted the Atlas Tanoak concept pickup in 2018 it didn’t hide its Atlas origins, as it was in the name. The Atlas SUV is unibody, so if VW has plans to do a pickup version of the SUV then we know it will not be body-on-frame. VW builds its Amarok pickup elsewhere in the world, but not here. Just in case you were wondering there were no Amarok components used on the Tanoak show vehicle.
Another twist is that with the recent alliance with Ford we know a Ranger version of the Tanoak might be one result. But, as Americans favor their pickups having a frame, maybe its plans have been altered. In many ways building a pickup from the Atlas platform would be a less expensive proposition, but now so would a Ranger variant. As Ford and VW will co-develop then the development argument for an Atlas pickup has been softened quite a bit.
Would VW Pickup Be Ranger-Based?
A next-generation Atlas is being developed now, though it is still years away from debuting. The Ranger is further along in its development. Would it be quicker for VW to do its version of the Ranger and get it out into the market sooner, and have it be the preferred body-on-frame?
In the meantime, the VW Atlas Cross Sport should be out right now, and a smaller version of the Tiguan will be in showrooms by 2021, so VW has a lot to do with getting ready for these two SUVs.
With sedans going away, and manufacturers in-mass coming out with new SUVs, crossovers and pickups over the next couple of years and electrification running close behind, it will be a fun time to watch for these new products.