Don’t be fooled by the Toyota Hilux body: this is a mule for the new Volkswagen Robust pickup truck, which could be making its way to the U.S. market early next decade.
Our photos are showing the test car on a frozen lake in northern Scandiniavia. While the prototype in our photos looks like a Toyota truck, the wider fenders and the German number plate with BS for Braunschweig gives it away. It's not the first time Volkswagen has leaned on Toyota for truck help: VW once rebadged a Toyota pickup and sold it under the name Taro, but this time the new truck from Volkswagen will be its own entirely.
The new Robust pickup will come in a number of variations, both single cab and double cab. It will be offered with four-wheel drive, but there will also be a cheaper 2WD version. The new VW pickup will have new common-rail diesel engines, but there might even be a V-6 gas engine for some markets.
The European versions will be built at the VW plant in Hannover, Germany, while the cars for the U.S. market and South American markets will be made in Argentina.--Hans G. Lehmann/ Hidden Image
UPDATE: Lehmann's American counterparts let us know earlier today that the Robust is in no way intended for the U.S. market. "Just a clarification from the product planning people at Volkswagen of America - there are NO plans to sell this truck in America at all. This vehicle (much like the ones before it) are intended for South American, African and other wayward markets."
And there you have it.