Volkswagen Shows Off Atlas-Based Tanoak Pickup

Volkswagen's Atlas is quickly becoming one of the most versatile model ranges around. Last night, VW showed off the shorter and sportier Cross Sport and now here is the longer and stronger Atlas Tanoak pickup.

The Tanoak pickup stretches the Atlas by 401 mm, for a total length of 5,438 mm. VW calls it a mid-size truck, but for comparison that makes it 103 mm longer than a 2018 Honda Ridgeline. The body is raised as well, giving it 249 mm of ground clearance for off-road truck activities.

In the back, the bed is 1,628 mm long, or just a bit shorter than the 5.5-foot box common to full-size pickups. It can also hold a 4x8 sheet of plywood between the wheel wells, something most other small pickups like the 2018 Toyota Tacoma and 2018 Chevrolet Colorado can't manage.

Under the hood is the 3.6L V6 from the seven-seat Atlas. It makes 276 hp and 266 lb-ft of torque and is backed by an eight-speed automatic. Volkswagen's 4Motion all-wheel drive sends power to the wheels, and the concept has a low-range transfer case.

The styling is changed from the Atlas, with a more aggressive nose that's more appropriate for a pickup. The front lights extend into the fenders, and there is a bold Atlas logo in the bumper panel. Like the Cross Sport, the grille is lit with LED lights.

At the rear, the fenders are more strongly flared and cut into the rear door. LED taillights ring the tailgate and brake lights.

The interior of the concept borrows from the styling of the Atlas but has some significant changes. Controls for ventilation and other functions are now digital, and that interface combines with the digital cockpit and infotainment system screen to make a very LCD-laden cockpit. The shifter and 4Motion controller, meanwhile, have been designed to be easier to use with gloves on.

Unlike the Cross Sport, the Tanoak – named for a US Pacific Coast tree that can reach 41 m in height – isn't confirmed for production. Instead, Volkswagen is going to look at reactions to this concept before making a decision.

Atlas stretches its legs, decides it can carry more stuff 3/28/2018 12:00:00 PM