NEW YORK CITY – The German brand unveiled not one, but two concept vehicles based on the recently introduced Volkswagen Atlas SUV at the New York Auto Show. The Atlas Cross Sport Concept foreshadows a production five-passenger, midsize utility vehicle that will launch next year. The Atlas Tanoak Concept pickup truck is just as intriguing.
The Atlas Tanoak is based on the company’s MQB platform that can accommodate models of all sizes, including this one that’s actually pretty big. It uses the Atlas’ 3.6-litre V6 that develops 276 horsepower, an eight-speed automatic transmission and a 4MOTION all-wheel drive system.
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The Tanoak’s overall length is 5438 millimetres, or more than 400 mm longer with the production Atlas, and the concept pickup rides on a 3259-mm wheelbase. Ride height has been lifted by two inches compared to the Atlas, and its bed boasts a length of 5.3 feet or 1628 mm.
In addition to AWD, the truck features a drive mode system that includes various off-road settings and a low range gear reduction. The robust look means business, and it’s complemented by 20-inch wheels with 275/55R20 tires. The front grille illuminates across its grille crossbars, giving it some sophistication. Of course, LED technology was used for all of the vehicle’s exterior lighting.
The Tanoak offers room for five passengers, who’ll benefit from contoured front buckets and individual rear seats. Many interior components are lifted from the Atlas, including the Volkswagen Digital Cockpit instrumentation.
The company has no plans to produce the Tanoak. It was developed to show how versatile the MQB platform is, but also to gauge public interest in a Volkswagen-branded pickup designed with the U.S. market in mind. The automaker already sells a pickup truck in several other markets, called the Amarok, which is smaller than the Atlas Tanoak Concept.