Volkswagen To Show Their Own Pickup Contender In New York?

Volkswagen Atlas Cross Sport Concept

The Tanoak appears to be targeting the heart of the pickup market, with a dual-cab, short-bed configuration.

Enter the Volkswagen Tanoak.

In this case, as the name implies, that means the same architecture as the three-row Atlas SUV Volkswagen launched barely a year ago - and the two row Sport Cross Concept debuting in NY that will return in production form in 2019, part of what Volkswagen Group of America CEO Hinrich Woebcken refers to as the new "Atlas family".

Those numbers speak to the flexibility of Volkswagen's modular MQB platform.

The Atlas Tanoak Concept takes its name from a type of acorn tree called the tanoak.

VW says the Tanoak has completely unique bodywork, although there's no question it's influence stems from the Atlas.

After recently showing the new Touareg in Europe and China, Volkswagen is now debuting a new version of its Atlas midsize SUV at the New York International Auto Show: the Atlas Cross Sport concept.

But wait! you scream.

Volkswagen hasn't sold a pickup truck in the U.S since the early 1980, when a Rabbit light truck was built.

The Atlas Cross Sport also can cost-effectively extend VW's Atlas investment, and it builds on a solid foundation: The three-row Atlas won our most recent three-row SUV Challenge and was named Cars.com's Best of 2018.

No mention was made if and where the truck would be produced. On the center console, Volkswagen designers have redesigned the Atlas' shifter grip as well as its 4MOTION off-road control knob into a sturdy sliding mechanism, so that it can be more easily operated with gloved hands.

How much of this will make it from concept to production remains to be seen.

Interior. Inside the Atlas Sport Cross concept, the horizontal design remains dominant, emphasized by the instrument panel and infotainment screens.

But the big reason VW can't just ship the Amarok here is that pesky Chicken Tax, which greatly favors domestically produced trucks.

The production version of the VW Atlas Cross Sport will launch in the U.S.in 2019. Hence, the MQB-based Tanoak.

For what is billed as a midsize pickup, the Atlas Tanoak concept is not small - 214.1 inches long, 79.9 inches wide and 72.6 inches tall. That's half an inch longer than the Ridgeline, for those keeping track. The Atlas Tanoak concept also rides higher than the Atlas SUV with 9.8 inches of ground clearance and inside there's room for five.

The "Sport" in the model's name is justified by the presence of a 355-hp plug-in hybrid powertrain that combines the Atlas' 276-hp 3.6-liter V6 with two electric motors: a front-mounted one that develops 54 hp and 162 lb-ft, and a rear unit that makes 114 hp and 199 lb-ft.

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