Volkswagen Atlas Tanoak pickup

Volkswagen has further hinted that it will soon be tackling America’s light commercial vehicle market by unveiling a mid-size pickup at the New York Motor Show. Despite being a similar size to the Amarok, the Volkswagen Atlas Tanoak is based on an SUV (VW Atlas) and Conceived around the company’s unibody MQB (Modularen Querbau) platform.

Following an internal report from Volkswagen that concluded the Amarok would be too costly and too small for the North American market, the German car giant unveiled this exciting concept this week to the American public.

Design and architecture

Volkswagen Atlas Tanoak interior

Volkswagen Atlas Tanoak interior

Measuring 5,438mm in length, 2,030mm wide and 1,844mm high, the VW Atlas Tanoak fits firmly in the mid-size pickup bracket, which compares to the Volkswagen Amarok’s 5,254mm length, 1,944mm width and 1,834mm height.

The load is very spacious, offering up to 1,627mm in length and 1,450mm in width (1,555mm by 1,620mm in the Amarok).

From a design perspective, the Tanoak is very similar to its Atlas base vehicle except for the wide-scooping bumper, metal skidplates and wider wheelarches.

Engine and driveline

Under the bonnet is a 3.6-litre V6 petrol engine, producing up to 280hp and 360Nm, and is hooked to the same 8-speed ZF automatic transmission that’s in the Amarok. The permanent front-wheel drive 4Motion system, with low range, is also a standard feature.

No production plans – yet

Sadly, however, it seems there is little chance of the Volkswagen Atlas Tanoak going into production, with company directors stating the low volumes of the mid-size pickup market. Instead, they’re testing the waters for possible future models.

Volkswagen Atlas Tanoak rear

Volkswagen Atlas Tanoak rear

“We’re not saying this is a model we will definitely bring to showrooms. Rather, we’re airing our ideas of how a future Volkswagen pick-up could look like. In the US, you need to be in the truck market to generate proper volume. With a positive reaction from potential customers, the Tanoak could take us there,” says Klaus Bischoff, Volkswagen design boss.

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Volkswagen Atlas Tanoak pickup

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