NY 2018: Volkswagen Atlas Tanoak Pick-up Concept Unveiled

VW Atlas Cross Sport concept shows hybrids have an exciting future		
		
	Matt Burns

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   	8 hours

But the Atlas Tanoak is specifically created to gauge the public's interest in a VW pickup. Volkswagen said it doesn't yet have plans to put the concept into production, but is using it to gauge potential consumer interest, given the brand's volume aspirations of reaching 5 percent of the USA light-vehicle market within 10 years.

How Big Is The Atlas Tanoak Exactly? The company is considering making a pickup truck but wants to gauge the public's reaction first. Its cargo bed, which offers 50.4 inches of width between the wheel wells and 57.1 inches of width overall, is 64.1 inches long (dropping the tailgate lengthens the cargo area by 26.1 inches).

But Ivan Drury, senior industry analyst with Edmunds, said the business case for eventual production of the pickup truck is "very hard".

The Atlas Tanoak concept is powered by a 3.6L V6 that generates 276 horsepower and 266 lb-ft. of torque.

The concept has also been raised two inches compared to the Atlas, yielding 9.8 inches of ground clearance.

The final name will include the word Atlas, but it is the suffix that is still being determined, said Hinrich Woebcken, Volkswagen's North American region CEO.

But offering a pickup based on the Atlas platform is the only feasible way VW could attack the pickup truck market in the U.S. The company sells the Amarok overseas.

Pricing has not been set but it will not be a big walkup from the five-passenger to the seven-passenger, Woebcken said. The pickup concept bears a noticeable resemblance to its three-row Atlas sibling and boasts the model's logo on its rear tailgate.

It sits on an extended wheelbase (of 3258 mm) based on the Atlas and measures 5,438 mm in length, 2,030 mm in width and 1,844 mm in height - given its unibody construction and dimensions, the closest competitor ( in the USA market) would be the Honda Ridgeline.

The grille and VW badge are luminated by white light and offer an animated lighting display when the vehicle is unlocked with light running over the grille and into the LED headlight surrounds, while the badge gradually gets brighter. But like other imported pickups, it would be saddled with a 25 percent tariff if VW brought it here.

Volkswagen unveiled the Atlas Cross Sport SUV concept on Tuesday.

The rear doors are very, very short, and barely noticeable as doors at a glance, with their handles buried within the C-pillar.

What do you think of the Atlas Tanoak? The Cross Sport is slated for production in Chattanooga in late 2019 as VW makes a $340 million investment in the local assembly plant.

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