VOLKSWAGEN’S PICKUP CONCEPT
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.