After more than 20 months of gestation, the Ford-Volkswagen partnership is now official. Volkswagen will lend Ford its MEB electric vehicle and Caddy van architectures in exchange for a foot in the door with automated drive pioneer Argo AI, a one-ton commercial van platform, and the chassis for the Ranger, which it’ll convert into the next generation of Amarok pickup truck.
Arriving in 2022, the new Volkswagen Amarok will ride on a Ranger architecture that’s expected to undergo a redesign for 2022. This platform will reportedly accommodate a variety of powertrains, including pure gasoline, diesel, and even high-performance plug-in hybrid (PHEV) drive, recently rumored to produce a generous 362 horsepower and 502 pound-feet of torque. Whether these trucks’ powertrains will be supplied by Ford, Volkswagen, or a mixture of both is not yet certain, nor is which drivetrains will be available in the United States.
What is certain is that the Amarok’s odds of landing on American shores aren’t particularly high. A Volkswagen spokesperson told The Drive that there are “no plans” to sell the Amarok here, contrasting a 2018 statement from recently displaced VW brand CEO Herbert Diess that suggested the Amarok could be sold stateside. Ford and Volkswagen affirmed that their partnership will leave them free to compete with one another in the marketplace, so given the midsize pickup market’s small size relative to that of the full-size pickup, this town may just not be big enough for the two of them.