Audi boss Markus Duesmann is fueling the rumors about an Audi pick-up that – assuming a corresponding go – could be presented shortly. Maybe even with an electric drive instead of classic combustion engines? A first assessment – also of the price.
When asked about an Audi pick-up during the annual press conference for the 2021 fiscal year, Audi CEO Markus Duesmann replied: “I can’t promise that we will build one, but we are looking into it.” It goes on to say that maybe something will be presented soon. The pick-up could come – but maybe only as a study. In any case, the timing would be right, because the possible platform donor VW Amarok will soon start the second generation and should increase in terms of comfort and safety with modern driving safety systems and connectivity.
VW is still only teasing the retreaded pick-up, which is being developed in cooperation with Ford, but we expect the presentation in 2022. As the sister model of the Ford Ranger, the Amarok will probably use the same engines – i.e. four- and a six-cylinder diesel. A four-cylinder turbo petrol engine is expected for the USA. Ford also offers a V6 petrol engine in the Ranger Raptor.
Although hybrid drives are planned, they should not appear before 2024. For an Audi pick-up, which could be the third model in this collaboration, the last two drives are particularly interesting because of the premium claim and the focus on electromobility. However, the cooperation partners have so far ruled out a purely electric drive. Computer illustrator Kleber Silva shows what such an Audi pick-up could look like with his two virtual drawings, which borrow from the robust Audi Q8.
Audi Pickup: Also With Electric Drive?
So the question arises whether an Audi pick-up would have a market. SUVs have been rolling off the assembly line at Ingolstadt since the early 2000s and are now dominating the brand’s sales figures globally. To date, however, the brand has given commercial vehicles a wide berth. In addition, with the X-Class based on Nissan, Mercedes had to realize painfully that it is not enough to incorporate a group product into its ranks through badge engineering and sell it as a premium vehicle.
However, since VW already wants to differentiate the upcoming Amarok from the Ranger visually, Audi should probably also adapt the truck extensively according to its own needs. Although the pick-up segment in Europe is still a small niche, North American customers are rediscovering their love for mid-size pick-ups – also because of high fuel prices. Electric premium pick-ups from GMC or Rivian also prove that high-priced products also have a market there. To avoid expensive import taxes – the so-called “chicken tax” – on light commercial vehicles in the USA, the platform truck must also be assembled in North America.
Thanks to the Ford basis, this shouldn’t be a problem for an Audi pick-up. The Ranger rolls off the assembly line for the US market in Michigan. Since Audi CEO Duesmann has so far only promised the test, the price is only an extremely rough estimate. If Audi goes under the platform car manufacturers, we expect a small premium surcharge compared to the Amarok. Most recently, the VW started at 44,000 euros but has not been configurable since the end of 2021.