Volkswagen AG already has a luxury sport-utility in development for the American market, so now it is considering a pickup truck.
Volkswagen unveiled its Advanced Activity Concept at Detroit, its interpretation of a luxury pickup truck for the American market. The concept, which seats four, is powered by a turbocharged V-10 diesel that makes 330hp. It has a six-speed automatic transmission with Tiptronic, a feature that allows the driver to choose automatic or shift manually.
The idea came directly from Volkswagen Chairman Ferdinand Piech, who often uses an American pickup truck with an extended cab to take his children bicycle riding in the mountains.
The Advanced Activity Concept combines the functions of a four-wheel-drive pickup truck and a luxury sedan, said Robert Buchelhofer, Volkswagen AG board member responsible for marketing.
The front end resembles the front end of Volkswagen's Concept D large luxury concept sedan unveiled last year in Frankfurt. The A-pillar is steeply raked and the C-pillar slopes down and back toward the pickup truck bed, suggesting a coupe. The bed gate is sloped like the C-pillar, also adding to the feel of a sport coupe.
The truck's rear doors are hinged on the C-pillar, and swing out to the left.
'Is it a saleable unit?' asked Frank Maguire, director of sales for Volkswagen of America. 'You bet. When I first saw it, I said, 1/8Just let me at it.''
But Volkswagen must be careful not to Americanize it, he said.