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What the truck?

Volkswagen launches the Amarok pickup truck at the 2010 Geneva auto show.

VW Amarok
VW's new pickup truck was a rarity on the show floor at Geneva. Wayne Cunningham/CNET

GENEVA - In a show abounding with hybrids and electric vehicles, Volkswagen's Amarok pickup truck stood out as an oddity. Volkswagen unveiled the new full-size pickup truck at the 2010 Geneva auto show. Diesel powered with four wheel drive and body on frame construction, the Amarok is designed as a workhorse.

The version unveiled was a crew cab, necessitating a short bed. But the bed is still more than five feet long and just over four feet between the wheel wells, making it possible to load 4x8 plywood sheets with the tailgate down. Volkswagen says it will also make a standard cab, long bed available.

The Amarok will also be available with different flavors of all-wheel-drive, the most capable having a locking differential and off-roading helpers such as hill descent control.

But there are a few signs that the truck isn't built for the U.S. The biggest engine offered will be a turbocharged 2-liter diesel, from Volkswagen's TDI line. Although only producing 161 horsepower, the 295 pound-feet of torque will give it some pulling power. The truck was also shown with a six speed manual transmission, and Volkswagen does not specify whether an automatic will be available.

The Amarok would have a tough time competing with local favorites from Ford, Dodge, and Chevrolet in the U.S., but Volkswagen can compete for pickup market share in many other regions, notably South America.