At least we’ll be getting some version of the Amarok.
Chances are that unless you’re a more seasoned car buff, you don’t have a clue what the Toyota Prado is. It certainly isn’t a car made in collaboration with the luxury shoe and handbag maker, in the world outside of North America, it’s more of a Land Cruiser lite. While Americans only know the Prado as a Lexus GX, countries full of unpaved roads like Australia swear by the Prado and Volkswagen is starting to turn a bit green with envy towards its Japanese peer. According to Australia’s Motoring, Volkswagen is about to do something about it.
Volkswagen Group Australia’s director of commercial vehicles Carlos Santos confirmed that a large seven seat SUV is on the way to give VW more of an edge in the SUV market. Interestingly enough, the bones for the project will be sourced from the not-sold-in-America Amarok pickup truck. Even though the truck won’t get its green card anytime soon, its SUV cousin will be sold in the US because VW is in need of more SUVs in its lineup to take advantage of the uptick in demand. The SUV will be powered by, wait for it, a 3.0-liter diesel V6 (even US models), very similar to the one that the EPA ordered Porsche, Audi, and Volkswagen to stop selling in the Cayenne, Q7, and Touareg.
Santos had to clear up the issue by saying, “The discussion has been reignited because obviously this V6 engine is able to be sold in the U.S. The 2.0-liter would never get into the States, but the V6 is the same as the one in the Cayenne and Touareg and is a well-proven engine.” Of course, other engines will be offered too with a 3.6-liter gasoline V6 being one possible alternative. Even though the SUV will challenge the Toyota Prado abroad, it will likely be diluted in the US to suit a suburban life by making four-wheel drive an option and rear-wheel drive standard. There was no mention of a release date, but given that VW needs to pick up the pace in the SUV segment, we expect a reveal in the next few years.