Volkswagen has taken a beating in the U.S. market after it was discovered years ago that the automaker was purposely cheating with software designed to help its popular diesel cars pass emissions testing. VW is trying to put that behind it and get Americans interested in its cars again. A new concept called the Atlas Tanoak has debuted at the New York International Auto Show and with the market for mid-size trucks being so hot right now this could be exactly what VW needs to woo American buyers.
VW says that the Atlas Tanoak gets its name from a species of tree that is native to the Pacific Coast of the U.S. and can grow up to 135-feet high. The Tanoak is the first pickup that is based on the VW MQB or modular transverse matrix architecture. Under the hood lives a V6 making 276hp and 266 lb-ft of torque paired up with the VW 4MOTION AWD system and an 8-speed automatic transmission. That AWD system has a low-range gear reduction for off-road and Active Control allows for various off and on-road modes to be used. The truck can hit 60 mph in 8.5 seconds.
The Tanoak concept is 214.1-inches long, making it 15.8-inches longer than the Atlas it is based on. That length would make the Tanoak on the larger size mid-size truck. The vehicle is 79.9-inches wide and 72.6-inches tall with a 128.3-inch wheelbase, 11-inches longer than the Atlas 7-seat SUV. Along with the increased proportions, the Tanoak concept has a body that is nearly 2-inches higher than the Atlas and ground clearance of 9.8-inches.
The cargo bed of the truck is 64.1-inches long, 57.1-inches wide, and 20.9-inches high. VW says that it is large enough to haul bikes or surfboards with the tailgate in place and ATVs or dirt bikes with the tailgate down. A rail in the bed slides and can be used to carry canoes or ladders. The Tanoak concept is designed as a dual cab configuration with four doors and capacity for five passengers. Most functions inside the vehicle, including air conditioning, are digitally operated and the concept has a heavily redesigned instrument cluster, center console, and multifunction steering wheel from the Atlas SUV.
VW is clear that there are currently no plans to produce the Tanoak, but it "is keen to gauge the reactions of buyers and media, since pickup trucks are one of the biggest volume segments in the U.S." This concept really looks fantastic and could woo buyers from competitors like the new Ford Ranger.