VW flirts with USA pickup offering with Atlas Tanoak concept
VW flirts with USA pickup offering with Atlas Tanoak concept
NYIAS 2018 – Volkswagen Reveals Atlas Cross Sport Concept
31 March, 2018, 05:55
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. Although there are now no production plans for the Atlas Tanoak, Volkswagen is keen to gauge the reactions of buyers and media, since pickup trucks are one of the biggest volume segments in the US.
The Atlas Tanoak has a more rugged appearance to match its off-road capabilities with a raised bonnet and rugged underbody protection, which houses a centrally mounted winch and carabiner.
Ivan Drury, senior manager of industry analysis at Edmunds, said it's a smart move for Volkswagen to consider selling a pickup truck to American buyers.
The cargo bed is 64.1 inches long and 57.1 inches wide, allowing for easy transport of cargo such as bikes or surfboards with the tailgate in place, according to VW.
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. It has a ground clearance of 10 inches, which is quite a bit for a factory rig; for the sake of comparison, a 2018 Raptor has 9.8 inches.
It's "the most American Volkswagen ever", VW chief designer Klaus Bischoff said at the auto show. This is the biggest vehicle yet built on the MQB platform, as it's been stretched even longer than the Atlas SUV.
If Volkswagen started producing the Tanoak, it would be entering a crowded market.
Powering this beast is VW's excellent 3.6-liter V-6 engine that can be found in both the Atlas SUV and Passat sedan. And while VW already makes a perfectly good mid-size pickup globally with the Amarok, that truck isn't coming here and can't be imported due to the tariff situation.
The handles on the rear doors are integrated into the C-pillars while the rear fenders are strongly flared for a properly dynamic look. There is a new transmission shifter and a metallic slider to control the drive modes provided by Volkswagen's 4Motion all-wheel drive system.
And, oh, as far as the name goes, Tanoak, or Notholithocarpus densiflorus, is a hardwood tree that grows along the coasts of California and Oregon.
Volkswagen brand officials want to strengthen sales in regions such as the USA with more product designed for local tastes. Volkswagen has sold such a vehicle, called the Amarok , in several markets outside the US for the past few years.
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