VW dips toe in pickup waters with unibody Tanoak

29 March, 2018, 02:10 | Author: Darren Santiago
  • NYIAS: Volkswagen To Test The Waters For A US Built Unibody Pickup Concept

Chance of being mass-produced: Done deal.

The German automaker known for its compact passenger cars unveiled the Atlas Tanoak pickup truck concept on Wednesday, in one of the biggest surprises of the New York Auto Show. The company says that 54 percent of its USA sales already are being generated by the new-for-2018 Tiguan compact SUV and the current three-row Atlas mid-size family SUV.

Although the Tanoak concept pickup is based on the Atlas SUV and features VW's modular transverse matrix architecture called MQB, the designers gave the truck plenty of its own looks.

VW also just showed a new two-row Touareg SUV in China, but it is not headed for the U.S. The new Touareg has been moved upscale. The Cross Sport will be the model which will bridge the gap between the standard three-row seating Atlas and the Tiguan.

There is no word yet as to when will Volkswagen officially reveal the five-seat Atlas in production form. Its dimensions and unibody platform, as opposed to the traditional body-on-frame for pickup trucks, positions the Atlas Tanoak Concept as a midsize pickup akin to the Honda Ridgeline.

The centre console, steering wheel and instruments have been heavily redesigned from the Atlas SUV.

The streamlined body of this auto is linked with a sloping D-pillar and roofline spoiler.

Officially Volkswagen has no plans for the Atlas Tanoak to make production, but they are keen the gauge the reaction of both buyers and the media. It also gets is own grille and lighting designs, and a front bumper that boastfully displays the Atlas name. At the rear, the LED taillights are placed above an aluminum trim line that accentuates the SUV's width - as does the aluminum trim piece that unites the tailpipe surrounds. The Tanoak has a stretched 128.3-inch wheelbase - 11 inches longer than the Atlas. Most interior settings are controlled digitally through a touchscreen infotainment system. The navigation system includes a new three-dimensional view in which the user can set up multiple layers with different information in each view. Officially making its public debut in the Big Apple is the Volkswagen Atlas Cross Sport Concept. The concept, which is close to production, has the same 3.6-liter V-6 engine as in the Atlas, producing 276 hp and 266 lb-ft of torque. The gasoline (petrol) engine and front electric motor provide drive to the front wheels via a six-speed dual-clutch gearbox, while the rear electric motor powers the rear wheels, endowing the new Volkswagen models with four-wheel drive capability.

The net power among all three sources is 355 hp, VW says, letting the Atlas Cross Sport sprint from 0 to 60 miles per hour in just 5.4 seconds.

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