New VW "Robust" Pickup Spied

Edward Niedermeyer
by Edward Niedermeyer
new vw robust pickup spied

Auto Motor und Sport's spy photographers spotted this near-production crew-cab version of Wolfsburg's global pickup undergoing street testing. Although VW has stayed true to its legacy of unnecessarily creative nomenclature, the "Robust" is a new day. First, it's a "real" VW, not a rebadged Toyota HiLux (i.e. the Taro which the Robust replaces). Second, VW won't be sending the Robust to America. VW's manufacturing the pickup in Germany, South Africa and Argentina aimed at the bounciest of developing-world roads. The engine offerings wouldn't have played well in Peoria anyway; the Robust will harbor four cylinders (gas and diesel) powerplants, with a V6 for "select markets." Volkswagen has threatened to take pickups seriously for some time. Aside from the infamous "Golfamino" of the 70's, the rebadged Toyota and a few over-the-top studies like the V10 diesel AAC concept, it's been all talk. The Robust's no-frills, (presumably) fuel efficient utilitarianism is a good place to start from scratch.

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  • Virages Virages on May 30, 2008

    I think it looks good... like a pickup should. It has a get to business air about it. A true pickup should be workman white with a grey rubberized hose-down interior.

  • Landcrusher Landcrusher on May 30, 2008

    What they really need is a Kubelwagen. They could steal sales from all the cute utes, and even jeep with one of those babies.

  • Brettc Brettc on May 30, 2008

    VW likes missing opportunities in the US. They've become experts at it. Why else do you think it took them so long to come up with the Touareg, Tiguan, and Routan? I can't wait to see the Routan and Tiguan sales numbers after they've been available for a while. It should be entertaining. Only VW would sell a "small" SUV that gets 24 MPG and requires premium unleaded. A VW pickup might come to the US, but it'll probably be powered by a thirsty V8 and arrive in 2015 when oil is in the $250/barrel range.

  • Psarhjinian Psarhjinian on May 30, 2008

    Remember, VW is headed by German auto executives. German executives, especially those who have engineering experience, can do no wrong. I don't think the higher-ups and VW have been told, would be willing to admit, or could even understand that there's a possibility they might be wrong. Not a slight on Germans as a whole, but their corporate culture is as arrogant as America's is spineless.