HSV’s sporty Maloo pickup was one of the vehicles in mind when this muscular Volkswagen crossover concept, called the Varok, was under development. The Maloo’s influence is particularly obvious in the silhouette.
Although not an official Volkswagen concept car, the Varok is a staggeringly competent effort from two French students - Valentin Fuchs (exterior) and Pierre Joveneaux (3D modeling) - undertaken while they were working as interns at the German giant.
The Australian connection goes further than just the Maloo featuring on ‘mood board’ during the thought bubble stage.
“The goal of this project was to imagine how Volkswagen could enter the Australian market with a ute vehicle,” Valentin explained.
Size-wise the Varok has room for three on a bench seat inside while the cargo bed is big enough for a couple of surfboards and maybe a compact dirt bike.
In fact it’s more than just a ute - more like a blend between a ute and a shooting brake.
Some of the North American automotive media are championing the Varok as a counterpoint to the just-launched Volkswagen Atlas full-size SUV which they say is rather staid in its styling.
At the rear there is a hint of Volvo V90 but clearly it’s the mighty HSV Maloo which has most influenced this innovative vehicle for Volkswagen.
Even though vehicle manufacturing is being shuttered in Australia, it seems sections of the global automotive industry continue to look to us for inspiration.
Check out Fuchs and Jovenaux's full Varok design presentation here.