The Volkswagen Atlas Tanoak is an all-American pickup

29 March, 2018, 02:13 | Author: Julian Harrison
  • VW electric microbus

The Atlas Cross Sport is a five-seat SUV for the American market, which will go into production in 2019.

But the Atlas Tanoak Concept stretches the wheelbase by 11 inches and the total length by 15.8 inches.

Like the Atlas Cross Sport Concept that debuted on Tuesday, the Atlas Tanoak is part of Volkswagen's vision to build a family of large Atlas vehicles.

The Tanoak concept is 214.1 inches long, making it 15.8 inches longer than the Atlas SUV, placing it in the midsize pickup truck segment according to US standards.

The new truck would be a unibody construction and based on the MQB platform used by the 7-seat version of the Atlas SUV.

But there's a big bed in the back, and almost ten inches of ground clearance underneath.

At the 2018 New York International Auto Show, Volkswagen has revealed a new concept based on the Atlas SUV. It's also got taller suspension emphasized by 20-inch wheels wrapped in off-road tires.

There's a new grille, new daytime running LEDs and a more sculpted look to the front quarter panels than the Atlas, while the illuminated Volkswagen badge on the grille is actually illegal in Germany, but legal in the US.




The same exaggerated proportions continue at the rear, with the bed clearly distinct from the double-cab by virtue of a sweeping trim line. A second version of the Atlas Cross Sport has a conventional hybrid drive without an external battery charging function (HEV).

Ahead of the B-pillar, the Tanoak looks like a ruggedized Atlas - something that, as the giant block "ATLAS" below the grille suggests - VW is making no attempts to hide.

Like its intended foes, the Tanoak isn't being considered as a hard-core working pickup, but as a lifestyle machine with a greater focus on luxury and comfort and equipment and a more secondary focus on carrying ability.

The spacious interior of the Atlas Tanoak Concept caters to both traditional truck customers and a more tech-savvy audience. Happily Volkswagen's designers have still included not only physical controls, but ones big enough that you could still toggle and tap them while wearing work gloves.

We don't know the exact figures, but the Atlas has pretty much become omnipresent.

But the big reason VW can't just ship the Amarok here is that pesky Chicken Tax, which greatly favors domestically produced trucks.

The Atlas Tanoak has a 3.6-liter V6 FSI engine, an eight-speed automatic transmission, and VW's 4Motion all-wheel-drive system.

Where this theory runs into trouble is with the same Volkswagen customers who have long wanted such a pickup, as the midsize truck's diesel powertrain and (relatively, mind you) smaller dimensions were seen as selling points.

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