VW dips toe in pickup waters with unibody Tanoak

VW dips toe in pickup waters with unibody Tanoak

Volkswagen said it has no plans just yet to put the Tanoak into production, but of course "is keen to gauge the reactions of buyers and media, since pickup trucks are one of the biggest volume segments in the U.S". The Ford F-150, in particular, was not only the best-selling truck in the American market, but the top-selling vehicle, period, with volume coming to almost double that of the leading SUV, the Toyota RAV-4. As the first half of its name implies, the double cab is based on the Atlas mid-sized SUV, which was designed primarily for the U.S. market and we'll assume the same of this pick-up concept.

VW has outfitted the concept plug-in hybrid with a choice between E-Mode, Hybrid, GTE, Off-road and Battery Hold/Battery charge modes.

The 206kW Tanoak will be the second model of a three-model range based off the Atlas (also known as the Teramont in China and Russia), with the Atlas Cross Sport also debuting in NY.

You can see why VW wants to keep the SUV gravy train going across the pond - 54% of VW USA customers bought a Tiguan or Atlas in February 2018. At the back, there's a 64-inch long bed, while the cabin has room for five.

Volkswagen has confirmed plans for a new five-seat variant of its Atlas SUV with the unveiling of the arresting Cross Sport concept at the 2018 NY motor show.

It looks beefier than the Atlas from the side, with the wheel arches scoring more cladding for greater muscle, swallowing the 20-inch wheels and 275/55 tyres easily.

The grille and VW badge are luminated by white light and offer an animated lighting display when the auto is unlocked with light running over the grille and into the LED headlight surrounds, while the badge gradually gets brighter. The cab and bed are painted in Red Earth.

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The resemblance to the Atlas SUV - not to mention the smaller Atlas Cross Sport Concept - is certainly clear.

The Atlas Tanoak Concept is a dual cab, five-seat configuration with a short bed.

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.

Moving inside, the concept's layout is almost identical to that of the seven-seat Atlas, but there are more gizmos here to befit its status as a show auto. The vehicle features a second 10.1-inch touchscreen houses vehicle infotainment functions on the center stack.

A number of thoughtful pickup truck touches are found inside, including a redesigned shifter that's easier to handle while wearing work gloves.

We don't know the exact figures, but the Atlas has pretty much become omnipresent. The 3.6-liter V6 engine is rated at 278 horsepower, which is sent to a 4Motion all-wheel-drive system via the familiar eight-speed gearbox.

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

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