NEW YORK, NY: With spy photos and news leaks, it’s hard to hide any surprises in the automotive world, but Volkswagen pulled it off, captivating the crowd at the New York International Auto Show (NYIAS) with the unveiling of a VW pickup truck concept.
VOLKSWAGEN ATLAS TANOAK:
The Volkswagen Atlas Tanoak pickup truck concept is based on VW’s new large Atlas SUV, sharing an extended version of its award-winning MQB platform and adding all the requisite pickup characteristics desired by truck fans, enhanced by a slightly different take on the details of instrumentation, seating and cargo bed storage.
“This is the most American Volkswagen ever,” said Klaus Bischoff head of VW design.
The Tanoak pickup concept harnesses a 276 hp V6 engine meshed with an eight-speed automatic transmission and VW’s 4MOTION all-wheel-drive system.
Designed in a five-seater dual-cab configuration, the Tanoak is 5,438 mm (214.1-in) long, some 400 mm (15.8-in) longer than the Atlas, making it a large midsize pickup by U.S. standards. If approved for production, it would compete against the Chevy Colorado, GMC Sierra, Nissan Frontier and Toyota Tacoma.
Rugged styling, wheelarch extensions and wraparound LED lighting strips accent a truck that has been raised nearly 51 mm (two-in) compared to the Atlas SUV, for a ground clearance of 250 mm (9.8-in). Designed as a dual-cab, five-seater, the Atlas Tanoak pickup has a cargo bed that is 1,628 mm (64.1-in) long, 1,450 mm (57.1-in) wide (1,280 mm or 50.4 inches between the wheel wells).
So, yes, using the standard industry yardstick, it would manage 4X8’ sheets of plywood with the tailgate down.
The interior features digitalized instrumentation and controls along with contoured sport seating for five. In back, VW adds a unique innovation to the cargo box – a sliding rail mounted on the pickup bed, normally fixed at back of the cab, but adjustable as a carrier assist for long loads like canoes and ladders.
The Volkswagen Atlas Tanoak concept explores the idea of a VW pickup truck but, given the reaction so far and the lucrative appeal of one of the biggest segments in the industry, the real surprise would be if VW didn’t build it.
VOLKSWAGEN ATLAS CROSS SPORT:
Volkswagen Atlas Cross SportAlong with the pickup concept, Volkswagen is looking to further expand their full-size Atlas SUV lineup. The Atlas Cross Sport concept hints at a planned-for five-seater model that will begin production in 2019 at VW’s plant in Chattanooga, Tennessee.
The Atlas Cross Sport concept is 190 mm (7.5-in) shorter than the seven-seater Atlas and features a sportier, coupe-like profile, a more aggressive design, LED accents and also features a plug-in hybrid drivetrain with two electric motors assisting a V6 engine for a combined power rating 355 hp and an anticipated 26 miles of all-electric range. A conventional mild hybrid version of the same powertrain would make 310 hp.
Although, VW already has five-passenger SUV products in the lineup, the move will offer some overlap and alternative choices for Volkswagen fans.
Follow Wheels.ca on