Volkswagen has unveiled the Volkswagen Atlas Tanoak Pick-up concept at the ongoing New York Auto Show. Alongside its Atlas Cross Sport five-seater SUV concept, the two new introductions are part of Volkswagen’s broader, global SUV campaign.
The two concept cars illustrate how the Atlas range, which already consists of the Atlas seven-seater SUV, launched at the end of 2016, could be expanded into a family of models. The Atlas Tanoak is primarily aimed at the North American market where pick-up trucks are popular.
Volkswagen’s other pick-up truck, the Amarok, is more utilitarian in nature, and is aimed at other markets such as South America and Australia.
The Atlas Tanoak gets its name after a species of tree that is home to the Pacific Coast of the U.S.A, which can grow up to 45 meters in height.
The Atlas Tanoak is designed as a dual-cab, five-seater and is the first pick-up to be based on Volkswagen’s MQB platform architecture.
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 U.S. market) would be the Honda Ridgeline.
The body of the concept vehicle has been raised nearly 2 inches compared to the Atlas SUV, and boasts a ground clearance of 248 mm. The cargo bed measures 1,628 mm in length.
Power comes from a 3.6-liter V6 FSI engine, also offered on the Atlas seven-seater model, which produces 280 PS and 350 Nm of torque. Power is transmitted through an 8-speed automatic transmission to all four wheels via Volkswagen’s 4Motion all-wheel drive system.
The pick-up is claimed to sprint from 0 to 100 km/h in 8.5 seconds.
The cargo box has been designed to transport bikes, boards and smaller boats. A newly developed cargo bracket on the cargo bed can be released from its parked position near the rear window of the dual cab, and be moved to the side walls of the cargo box. This enables a carrier system that can be used to transport canoes. These longer cargo items can be fastened to fixed mounting points on the cargo bracket and on the roof of the pick-up truck.
On the inside, the instruments, center console, and multifunction steering wheel have been redesigned from the Atlas SUV. The majority of functions, including the air conditioning, are operated via a digital touch panel. The touchscreen infotainment system is positioned high up almost alongside the Volkswagen Digital Cockpit.
Although there are currently no production plans for the Atlas Tanoak, Volkswagen is keen to gauge the reactions of buyers and media, since pick-up trucks are one of the biggest volume segments in the U.S.
However, Volkswagen has confirmed that production of the Atlas Sport Cross will start in 2019, while a production version of the all-electric I.D. Crozz will be announced in 2020.