Volkswagen has revealed an MQB-based pickup concept in New York, in the form of the (stunning) Atlas Tanoak.
Named after a species of tree native to the Pacific Coast of North America, the dual-cab pickup is 5438mm long, 2030mm wide and 1844mm tall, with a cargo tray measuring 1627mm x 1450mm x 530mm.
Ground clearance is a handy 250mm, an increase of 5cm over the standard Atlas SUV.
Our very own Amarok measures 5254mm long and 1944mm wide, for the sake of comparison. Volkswagen says the Tanoak a mid-size truck in North America, designed to carry bikes, boards or smaller boats. With the tailgate open, there’s room for dirt bikes as well.
To that end, the car has a special cargo bracket in the bed, which can be raised to make carrying canoes or larger bits of outdoor equipment easier. Think of them like smarter, more capable roof racks or sports bars.
In a cheeky swipe at the Honda Ridgeline, which has its spare wheel under the floor of the bed, Volkswagen notes the car’s spare is accessible when the car is fully loaded.
Power comes from a 3.6-litre V6 FSI petrol engine shared with the wider Atlas range, making 206kW and 350Nm. It puts power to all four wheels through a 4Motion all-wheel drive system, paired with an eight-speed automatic transmission. The 60mph (97km/h) sprint takes 8.5 seconds.
When you’re properly off-roading, there’s also a mode “that provides a low-range gear reduction” – whether that’s proper low-range, or an electronic off-road wizard like that of the Amarok remains to be seen.
As for the styling? Volkswagen has taken its inspiration from the Atlas Cross Sport concept unveiled earlier this week, but made it more rugged with chunky wheel-arch extensions, a mean-looking bash plate, big tow hooks and 20-inch wheels. Although the wraparound lights are a pure, concept flight of fancy, the rest of the design doesn’t look all that far from production ready…
Inside, both front and rear passengers sit in individual bucket seats. The Volkswagen Digital Cockpit features up front, along with unique sliders to program the 4Motion all-wheel drive system and climate controls.
They sound fiddly, but Volkswagen says they’ve been designed for people in chunky work gloves to operate – we’ll have to take their word on that one, though.
Now, the really big question: will it be produced? At this point it’s a no. The company says it’s purely a design study, there to gauge public feedback (and media feedback) surrounding a VW in one of America’s largest segments. If you like it, tell them you like it. They might build it.