Volkswagen may soon build a pickup for the U.S. market – and no, it’s not the Amarok
The midsize pickup market is heating up again, thanks to trucks like the Ford Ranger, as well as the likes of Toyota’s Tacoma and the Chevrolet Colorado. Volkswagen has built a midsize truck since 2010 – the Amarok – but they’ve never officially offered the truck in the U.S. market. However, they might soon enter the fray with this: The Atlas “Tanoak” Concept.
As its name suggests, the Atlas Tanoak is based on the company’s MQB platform. More specifically, an extended wheelbase Atlas. That means the Tanoak concept shares the Atlas’ 276 horsepower, 266 lb-ft torque 3.6-liter V6. It’s 214.1 inches long, 79.9 inches wide and 72.6 inches tall with a 128.3-inch wheelbase. On that basis, it’s 11 inches longer than an Atlas, enough to accommodate a bed that’s 64.1 inches long and 57.1 inches wide.
Additionally to the truck’s physical dimensions, the Atlas Tanoak Concept also sports 9.8 inches of ground clearance, two more inches than the Atlas SUV.
Redesigned interior, controls
Inside, the the Atlas Tanoak Concept features a heavily redesigned interior from the Atlas. Despite the similarities, the controls have a more rugged aesthetic than VW’s seven-seat family hauler. However, it does have a touchscreen infotainment display and the brand’s signature digital cockpit. Even the climate controls are operated digitally. The shifter looks like it has a nice, chunky feel to operate the Atlas Tanoak Concept’s eight-speed automatic transmission.
The Atlas Tanoak Concept has all-wheel drive, courtesy of Volkswagen’s 4MOTION system. Rather than using a dial, however, the “Active Control” is operated using a metallic slider, that’s designed to be used while wearing gloves. Information on torque split and approach, breakover, and departure angles aren’t available at time of writing.
If the Atlas Tanoak Concept makes it to production, Volkswagen will build it at their Chattanooga, Tennessee plant. Appropriate, as it would give the pickup the “made in America” reputation it needs to contend with its midsize rivals. Stay tuned to TFLtruck.com for more updates from the New York Auto Show! Subscribe to The Fast Lane Truck and TFLnow on YouTube for more video content published every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday! If you enjoy our content, please consider donating to TFL on Patreon.