Volkswagen Unveils Newest Atlas Cross Sport SUV Concept

It's not Volkswagen's first pickup, though, with the first-generation Touareg originally previewed in 2000 with the Advanced Activity Vehicle concept.

Volkswagen has confirmed plans for a new five-seat variant of its Atlas SUV with the unveiling of the arresting Cross Sport concept at the 2018 NY motor show. It also gets is own grille and lighting designs, and a front bumper that boastfully displays the Atlas name. Otherwise, while the majority of the truck's interior is new, the Tanoak bears a solid resemblance to the Atlas on which its based.

A handful of gearheads might now be piping up, "Wait, Volkswagen does build a pickup already", and it's true, it did launch a model in some overseas market, dubbed the Amarok, through its Commercial Vehicles unit back in 2010. With a wheelbase of 128.3 in., it's designed as a dual-cab truck with spacious seating for five. The cargo bed is 64.1 inches long and 57.1 wide (50.4 inches between the wheel wells) and can easily fit ATVs and dirt bikes with the tailgate down.

VW says the Tanoak has completely unique bodywork, although there's no question it's influence stems from the Atlas.

2019 Volkswagen Atlas Cross Sport Concept Rear
VW Atlas Cross Sport Concept teases 2019's 5-seat SUV hybrid

It's not clear when or if a plug-in Atlas model would go on sale, although Volkswagen reiterated its plans to put a production version of its 200-plus-mile ID Crozz all-electric compact crossover on sale during 2020. VW isn't exactly hiding the fact: The vehicle's full name is actually the "Atlas Tanoak pickup concept", which makes the family connection explicit. Screens dominate the dashboard and most of the cockpit, with large touchscreens for the infotainment system and Volkswagen's digital cockpit instrument cluster, along with a touchscreen below for HVAC and other controls. It's based on the same MBQ platform and powered by a 276bhp 3.6-litre V6, which drives through all four wheels and an eight-speed automatic gearbox. Behind it is a 4MOTION Active Control for the all-wheel drive system, with On-Road, Sport, and Snow profiles. The transmission also features a low-range gear reduction for off-road crawling over more serious terrain. Further giving the concept its rugged and sporty charm are the flared wheel arches, 22-inch directional-style alloy wheels wrapped in 285/40 tires, kinked-up C-pillar and the L-shaped LED taillights.

Especially if that pickup is built in the United States, where pickups roam unchallenged at the top end of the sales leader boards.

Volkswagen also stated right now it does not have production plans for a USA pickup but "is keen to gauge the reactions of buyers and media, since pickup trucks are among the biggest volume segments in the U.S".

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  • Sonia Alvarado