4 Wheel & Off Road - - DRIVELINES -

Those of you with long mem­o­ries prob­a­bly read “Volk­swa­gen’s pickup” and thought of the Rab­bit-based truck­let of the 1980s. VW’s At­las Tanoak pickup con­cept, in­tro­duced at the New York Auto Show, is a far cry from that. The dual-cab, short­box pickup is based on a stretched ver­sion of the MQB plat­form used for the com­pany’s At­las SUV. With an over­all length of 214.1 inches, the Tanoak (named for a species of tree na­tive to the U.S Pa­cific Coast) is about the same size as a crew-cab short­box Chevy Colorado or Dou­ble Cab longbed Toy­ota Ta­coma. Power comes from a 3.6L, 276hp V-6 en­gine mated to an eight-speed au­to­matic trans­mis­sion and VW’s 4Mo­tion AWD sys­tem, which in­cludes low-range gear re­duc­tion “for tougher off-road use.”

VW said there are no cur­rent plans to build the Tanoak, but the com­pany “is keen to gauge the re­ac­tions of buy­ers and me­dia, since pickup trucks are one of the big­gest vol­ume seg­ments in the U.S.”

True that, but…Since it’s based on the At­las SUV, the Tanoak is a uni­body ve­hi­cle, not a tra­di­tional body-on-frame pickup. VW may want to see how Honda is do­ing with its Ridge­line be­fore putting a lot of in­vest­ment be­hind what would be more of a lifestyle ve­hi­cle than a work­ing truck.

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