New York Motor Show 2018: Volkswagen Atlas Tanoak Pickup Concept Unveiled

There are currently no production plans for the Volkswagen Atlas Tanoak Pickup Concept.

The Volkswagen Atlas Tanoak pickup truck concept made its world debut at the 2018 New York International Auto Show. Named after a species of tree that is native to the Pacific Coast in the US, the Atlas Tanoak is the first pickup based on Volkswagen’s MQB or modular transverse matrix architecture. Powered by a 276 bhp V6 FSI diesel engine, the Atlas Tanoak uses an 8-Speed automatic transmission and the 4MOTION all-wheel-drive system. Although there are currently no production plans for the Atlas Tanoak, Volkswagen is keen to gauge the reactions of buyers and media, since pickup trucks are one of the biggest volume segments in the US.

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Although the Volkswagen Atlas Tanoak is based on the production SUV, the pickup is completely redesigned. Up to the B-pillar, there are similarities, but the frontal treatment is more rugged, in keeping with a pickup truck’s mission. The headlights and front bumper, using round LED Daytime Running Lights (DRLs), were redesigned and extend into the side profile. The designers worked the Atlas logo into the front end, and integrated an animated lighting display. When the Atlas Tanoak is opened, the white VW logo gradually brightens. From there, the white light runs over the two crossbars of the grille and into the headlight surrounds. As soon as activation of the lighting strips has reached the headlights, the LEDs of the two strips in front briefly ‘swipe’ out from the logo and back until the LED headlights and distinctive, narrow, six-sided LED DRLs in the bumper activate.

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The Tanoak takes an entirely different path than the Atlas SUV from the B-pillars back. The rear doors of the dual cab are not very noticeable at first glance, because the handles are integrated into the C-pillars and are barely visible. The dual cab and its window surfaces emphasize the vehicle’s length. Another conspicuous departure from the SUV is the rear fenders, which have more strongly flared surfaces. The Atlas logo is integrated into the tailgate, which also features distinctive wrap-around, animated lighting. Red LED strips on the upper and lower areas of the tailgate transition into three-dimensional LED taillights on the sides. The VW logo is illuminated in white, and there is a white LED stripe in the cargo bed rail, which, when activated, illuminates the cargo bed. The lower part of the rear body is designed both as an underbody shield and a diffuser. Above each exhaust tailpipe sits a rugged tow-hook.

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The MQB architecture is one of the most innovative and flexible technical platforms in the automotive world, spanning vehicles from the European Polo subcompact all the way up to the Atlas midsize SUV. The Atlas Tanoak concept shows that MQB can potentially stretch even further. The Tanoak concept is 5438mm long, and 401mm longer than the Atlas, which makes it a large midsize pickup by US standards. The concept vehicle is 2029 mm wide and 1844mm tall, with a wheelbase of 3258mm, 279 mm longer than the Atlas seven-seater. The rail is mounted on the pickup bed and not at the back of the cab, but it can slide the length of the bed and thus doubles as a carrier for things like canoes and ladders.

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On the inside, the instruments, center console, and multifunction steering wheel are heavily redesigned from the Atlas SUV. The majority of functions, including the air conditioning, are operated digitally. The touchscreen infotainment system is positioned high up for easy operation, almost alongside the Volkswagen Digital Cockpit. Both these screens and the controls for the air conditioning merge to form a digitalized cockpit environment. Ambient lighting integrated into the instrument panel and the roofline console immerse the interior in yellow or blue light at night, depending on whether the vehicle is in Off-road or City mode.
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The Volkswagen Atlas Tanoak concept uses Volkswagen’s 3.6-litre V6 engine that produces 276 bhp and 360 Nm of torque. The engine provides power to the wheels via an 8-Speed automatic transmission and the 4MOTION all-wheel-drive system with Active Control. The Atlas Tanoak will sprint from 0 to 100kmph in 8.5 seconds.

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