VW Atlas Tanoak concept could preview a pickup

29 March, 2018, 02:11 | Author: Shannon Newton
  • VW electric microbus

The Volkswagon Atlas Tanoak concept is a pickup version of the popular Atlas SUV that VW is thinking about building in the USA. The cab and bed are painted in Red Earth. The Ford F-150, in particular, was not only the best-selling truck in the American market, but the top-selling vehicle, period, with volume coming to almost double that of the leading SUV, the Toyota RAV-4. The automaker has gradually been increasing the amount of exterior lighting it has been building into its recent cars and concepts, but the Atlas Tanoak pushes that to even greater levels. It's echoed by a silver rail that arches over the top, and which can slide along on rails to act as a support for upright cargo like surfboards or sheets of plywood. Otherwise, while the majority of the truck's interior is new, the Tanoak bears a solid resemblance to the Atlas on which its based.

It looks great but, more importantly, it's useful functionality that other pickup makers aren't yet offering.

Inside, the Atlas' auto roots are showing, but in all the right ways.

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Moving inside, the concept's layout is almost identical to that of the seven-seat Atlas, but there are more gizmos here to befit its status as a show auto. The first screen lies between the steering wheel.

Then there's the technology.

Moving inside, a 10.1-in touchscreen with proximity sensors and gesture control provides access to all infotainment functions for both driver and front passenger, while the 12.3-in Volkswagen Digital Cockpit with 1,440 x 540 pixel resolution lets the driver control and view driving mode and navigation information. Underneath there's a second display, for the HVAC functionality.

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As far as controlling the automatic, "it was intentionally created to be very sturdy, so that it can be operated every day by people who are used to driving a pickup, even while wearing work gloves", Volkswagen noted in a release. Tanoak is also 15.8 inches longer than the three-row SUV overall, with its 128.3-inch wheelbase adding another 11 inches.

The current Atlas is powered by a 2.0-liter inline-four or a 3.6-liter V6 generating 276 hp (206 kW) and 266 lb-ft (361 Nm) of torque.

We don't know the exact figures, but the Atlas has pretty much become omnipresent. Still, according to Klaus Bischoff, Executive Director of Volkswagen Design, the go-anywhere looks aren't just for the show. "In principle we could build this".

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Speaking at a press event Tuesday evening, Volkswagen Group of America CEO Hinrich Woebcken said the Atlas Tanoak concept is being used to measure whether there are opportunities for Volkswagen to expand into segments where it doesn't now play, just as the sedan-heavy brand has moved aggressively into crossovers in the last few years. We'll have to wait and see.


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