Retro touches are best when they’re subtle. And thus we admire the classiness of the VW Group’s nod to the Skoda Felicia Fun, buried a little beneath the surface of this Volkswagen Tarok bakkie.
If you don’t remember the Fun, you need educating; it was a marvellously daft bright yellow bakkie, whose back seats that slid out into the rear deck when you wanted to use them, but which folded back away when you had large loads to carry.
This Tarok riffs off the same idea (perhaps inadvertently), but executes it in a much less flawed fashion, essentially because the its rear passengers aren’t exposed to the elements when they’re seated. Phew.
Instead, those rear seats fold flat, with no bulkhead between their back cushions and the load bay, stretching your carrying capacity right out when you stow them away, while keeping the cabin waterproof when you flip them back up. Lovely.
While a concept for now, VW’s promising the Tarok will change little when a production version goes on sale in Brazil in the near future.
It’ll come with four-wheel drive and a 110kW 1.4-litre engine and a six-speed automatic gearbox, with a 110kW 2.0-litre diesel to follow and – potentially – help the Tarok launch in other markets.
South Africa would be a phenomenal destination for such a tidily executed VW bakkie, especially with the quality of drivetrain that is being foreshowed in the concept. It drives all four-wheels via the VW 4Motion system, instead of only the front-axle. VW does a very tidy trade in V6 engined Amarok bakkies within the competitive South African market, but it lacks the diversity and portfolio size of Toyota (with Hilux) and Ford (with Ranger).
The Tarok would dramatically improve the spread of VW’s local bakkie offering, if it was to be introduced here.