Yesterday, Volkswagen took the wraps off the Atlas Tanoak ute concept at the New York motor show.
Unlike most utes/pickups, the Atlas Tanoak is based off the MQB passenger car platform used on the Golf, Polo, Tiguan and more – this is similar to the US-market Honda Ridgeline. It measures in at 5438mm long, 2030mm wide and 1844mm tall, while its cargo tray is measured at 1627mm x 1450mm x 530mm – ground clearance is rated at 250mm, 50mm over the production Atlas SUV. For reference, the Amarok sold in Australian and European markets is 5254mm long and 1944mm wide – that’s 184mm shorter and 86mm narrower.
The Atlas Tanoak is meant to be more practical than its competitiors, as it features a spare wheel that can be accessed even when the bed is full along with a special cargo bracket liek no other – it folds out the bed wall to act as a rack that can hold surfboards, canoes or other long pieces of equipment.
It is powered by the same naturally aspirated, 3.6L narrow-angle VR6 petrol engine as the regular Atlas, producing 206kW of power and 350Nm of torque. Power is sent to all 4 wheels through a special 4Motion all wheel drive system (with a low-range offroading mode) connected to an 8-speed automatic. 0 to 60mph (97km/h) is covered in a fairly lethargic 8.5 seconds.
The Atlas Tanoak’s styling is inspired by the Atlas Cross Sport concept also revealed this week – however it has been given a more rugged appearance with fender flares, a front bash plate, tow hooks and 20-inch wheels. This is in addition to cool front and rear wrap-around lights.
Inside, all passengers sit in special bucket seats. VW’s Digital Cockpit digital instrument cluster also features, as well as AWD system toggles and a Touareg-style infotainment system.
At this stage, Volkswagen says the Atlas Tanoak will not be produced and this is just a design study intended to gain the public’s opinion – however, if enough people show some love and support for it, they’ve said they’ll give it a second look. What do you think of it? If you like it, make yourself heard – I know I do! Leave your thoughts below.