After losing its Volkswagen underpinnings, the new Amarok pickup is now a Ford Ranger underneath the skin. The Blue Oval also sells an SUV version called Everest whereas VW has no such product. However, at one point during the truck's development, the design team did explore the idea of a truck-based SUV with the Amarok moniker.

Albert Kirzinger, Head of Design at Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles, published on LinkedIn an official design sketch of a SUV-ified Amarok. Such a model would've preceded the reborn Scout brand of rugged pickup trucks and SUVs set to hit the market in 2026. Chances are it would've been cheaper by sticking with combustion engines whereas the new Scout models will be exclusively electric.

2023 Ford Everest

Ford isn't selling the Everest in the United States where it would clash with the Bronco. However, VW would have no such problems with a truck-based SUV since the Atlas is unibody and therefore intended for on-road use. Sadly, that ship has sailed since an Amarok SUV was ruled out as early as July 2022 by Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles board member for marketing Lars Krause. Later the same year, an Everest prototype was spotted testing on US soil but there hasn't been any news on that front since then.

Americans can't seem to get enough of these off-road SUVs and an Amarok with an enclosed bed seems like a no-brainer. That said, we're certain Ford doesn't want VW to cannibalise sales of the Bronco. Having ruled out the Everest for the US, there are slim chances of seeing an Amarok SUV stateside. Instead, those new Scout models will target outdoorsy people looking for a zero-emission adventure.

Although Ford assembles the Amarok at its Silverton factory in Pretoria, South Africa, the first-generation model based on VW underpinnings is still in production in Pacheco, Argentina for South American regions. It's even getting updated later this year, which means VW has no intentions of discontinuing the truck anytime soon.