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Volkswagen Atlas Cross Sport SUV concept unveiled

29 March, 2018, 02:12 | Author: Janis Wilson
  • NYIAS: Volkswagen To Test The Waters For A US Built Unibody Pickup Concept

If the response to the concept is positive a production version of the concept would likely be built at the same Tennessee plant as the Atlas.

Bigger than the Amarok, the new Tanoak concept vehicle is more than five metres long and will be the first pickup ever built off Volkswagen's incredibly versatile MQB architecture.

VW has made its most-American vehicle even more American, by turning it into a pickup.

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. At the back, there's a 64-inch long bed, while the cabin has room for five.

Volkswagen today at the New York International Auto Show revealed a concept of its new five-seat SUV based off the seven-passenger Chattanooga-built Atlas. Its LED headlights frame a grille split by two horizontal bars, versus the three on the three-row Atlas.

The Tanoak appears to be targeting the heart of the pickup market, with a dual-cab, short-bed configuration. A second version of the Atlas Cross Sport has a conventional hybrid drive without an external battery charging function (HEV).

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It looks great but, more importantly, it's useful functionality that other pickup makers aren't yet offering. Both Atlas concept cars feature extensively digitalized interiors. The active LED lighting features are replicated at the rear. Measuring 5438mm in length, the Tanoak Concept is actually longer than a double cab Amarok, and it's not short on horsepower either, with motivation coming from VW's 206kW normally aspirated V6 FSI engine mated to an eight-speed autobox and VW's 4Motion all-wheel-drive system.

The centre console features a newly designed shifter grip for the eight-speed automatic gearbox while the Active Control modes can be selected via a metallic slider and has been created to be used even when the driver is wearing work gloves.

As we write this, we have little more to go on than what was included in the press release.

Inside, there's a 10.1-inch central touchscreen with proximity sensors and gesture control, integrated into the horizontal-themed dashboard.

While VW has no plans to produce the truck, it signals the company's increased attention to the preferences of U.S. consumers. Such a powertrain would yield 310 hp and a 6.5-second time to 60 miles per hour, and this setup seems likely to make the jump from concept to production for both versions of the Atlas.

Where this theory runs into trouble is with the same Volkswagen customers who have long wanted such a pickup, as the midsize truck's diesel powertrain and (relatively, mind you) smaller dimensions were seen as selling points.

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