This year’s New York Auto Show had plenty of interesting models and several amazing concepts thought we can’t stop thinking about one vehicle that comes from Germany. It’s the Volkswagen Atlas Tanoak concept. The model is basically a mid-size pickup truck which shares plenty of features with the Atlas SUV. Even though it came just as a concept, the truck could easily become production model. The carmaker didn’t say anything regarding the possibility, but the concept looks quite serious and ready for massive production, so why would they miss the chance to earn some money?
The Volkswagen Atlas Tanoak rides on a flexible and quite familiar MQB platform, which is basically unibody architecture. In case you’ve forgotten, VW offers the Amarok workhorse outside of North America, but the option is mated to a body-on-frame construction and has nothing in common with the Tanoak. Now, while the German carmaker knows that the Amarok has no chance at U.S. soil, they are pretty sure that the new model can be very successful. How come? Well, Honda introduced the Ridgeline truck which turned into a jackpot and several other automakers are planning to make their unibody mid-size trucks, which means that the segment grows rapidly.
With exactly 214.1 inches in length, the Atlas Tanoak pickup exceeds mid-size truck footprint, but that’s okay because it’s still just a concept, so the carmaker still can cut off some inches. Though, the extra space can be an extra quality. Thanks to space, the vehicle can be more competitive in the segment. For instance, the all-new U.S.-specs Ranger is almost 3 inches shorter, while the ultra-popular Ridgeline lacks 4 inches. Compared to the seven-seat Atlas SUV, the pickup sibling adds 11 inches more between its wheels. It also rides two inches higher than the SUV. All the measures are okay because regardless of the extra inches here and there, the Volkswagen Atlas Tanoak would still be able to fit in every standard garage which is not the case with full-size trucks.
Styling-wise, well, the concept truck has lots of in common with the 7-seat Atlas which is expected since it’s influenced by the crossover. Still, the truck adds a bit of ruggedness in order to assure the potential buyer that the workhorse can go off-road without too many problems. Aside it hosts amazing grille design and interesting headlights, the pickup rides on 20-inch wheels, which is amazing. In addition, the cabin provides seating for five adults, as well as some standard features like 12.3-inch instrument cluster and 10.1-inch infotainment touchscreen.
Still, the cabin details are not important as ultra-smooth ride. After all, that’s all about because the unibody construction provides almost car-like driving. Everything is even better with a standard 4Motion all-wheel-drive system and 3.6-liter V-6 that produces 276 horsepower and 266 pound-feet of torque. The mill is hooked to an 8-speed automatic transmission and allegedly able to achieve 0-60 mph in 8.5 seconds.
If Volkswagen decides to build the option it will be produced at Chattanooga plant together with the Atlas SUV and one smaller crossover which has been previewed at the 2018 NY auto show as the Atlas Cross Sport concept.