Volkswagen gave speculators something to chew on by filing a trademark application for the Amarok nameplate. While this request would go unnoticed in Europe, it raises eyebrows because it was made in the United States.
Filed on May 13, 2021, and first spotted by CarBuzz, the trademark filing explains the Amarok nameplate can be used on a dizzying selection of products ranging from cigar lighters for automobiles to omnibuses. We’re intrigued by the thought of a Volkswagen omnibus, but a peek at the firm’s European range reveals the Amarok nameplate denotes a body-on-frame pickup truck aimed at the Ford Ranger and the Toyota Hilux, among other models.
Selling the current-generation Amarok in the United States wasn’t possible, partly because it wasn’t developed with our set of regulations in mind, but the second-generation model due out in the coming months will be closely related to the next Ford Ranger so it will be easier to federalize. Pictured above as a sketch, the truck will seemingly fall in line with Volkswagen’s current design language, so it won’t look anything like its Blue Oval-badged sibling.
On the face of it, the application hints Volkswagen will return to the pickup segment after a long hiatus. Don’t get too excited, though. The filing flies directly into the teeth of comments by top executives who aren’t putting trucks at the top of their to-do list. In 2020, the firm stressed the odds of seeing the Atlas Tanoak concept reach production to fight against the Honda Ridgeline were slim. Separate reports claim the Amarok will not be sold in American in spite of its federally-compliant underpinnings, but a smaller model like the Tarok concept remains on the table. If launched, and there’s no guarantee we’ll see it, it will be marketed as more of a lifestyle model than a workhorse.
Volkswagen hasn’t commented on the trademark filing, so time will tell if it has changed its mind about the Amarok’s shot at success in America. What’s certain is that a trademark filing is not a clear indication that a model is being developed. Remember, we’re still waiting for the born-again Toyota Celica and a modern-day Volkswagen Thing.