Volkswagen Swoons Americans With Atlas Tanoak Pickup Concept

VW Atlas Cross Sport Concept teases 2019’s 5-seat SUV hybrid

Volkswagen's head of design Klaus Bischoff said that the truck is, "built for America by Americans" in reference to its plant in Tennessee where the Tanoak would be built if the automaker decides to put it into production.

The thesis of the Volkswagen Atlas SUV was to build a vehicle tailored to American tastes. Riding on the same wheelbase as the seven-seat Atlas, the Cross Sport concept is 7.5 inches shorter, with a jaunty, sporty roofline complementing the new dimensions.

VW has outfitted the concept plug-in hybrid with a choice between E-Mode, Hybrid, GTE, Off-road and Battery Hold/Battery charge modes.

The Volkswagen Company has showcased its Atlas Cross Sport at the New York Auto Show. At the back, there's a 64-inch long bed, while the cabin has room for five. According to the company, when the door is opened, the white VW logo on the grille gradually brightens, then the white light runs over the two crossbars of the grille and into the headlight surrounds.

The Atlas Tanoak is the second concept Volkswagen has revealed this week - it unveiled the Atlas Cross Sport concept on Tuesday.

The same exaggerated proportions continue at the rear, with the bed clearly distinct from the double-cab by virtue of a sweeping trim line.

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It looks great but, more importantly, it's useful functionality that other pickup makers aren't yet offering.

Ahead of the B-pillar, the Tanoak looks like a ruggedized Atlas - something that, as the giant block "ATLAS" below the grille suggests - VW is making no attempts to hide. Both Atlas concept cars feature extensively digitalized interiors. The all-wheel-drive-mode control behind the shifter even has its own display and LED lighting. This is somewhat in contrast to the gearshift controls, which VW says were created to be operated while wearing work gloves.

We don't know the exact figures, but the Atlas has pretty much become omnipresent.

Our biggest frustration, of course, is that VW is insisting that right now it has no production plans for the truck. Making its debut at the North America International Auto Show 2018, the concept vehicle is a hybrid what-if that teases just what the production Atlas 5-seater might offer when it goes on sale next year.

Powered by a 276-horsepower V6 FSI gasoline engine, the Atlas Tanoak uses an efficient eight-speed automatic transmission and the 4MOTION all-wheel-drive system. All we have to share at the moment is the teaser image you see here.

Inside, you'll find all the latest VW goodies like a 12.3-inch screen serving as the instrument cluster, as well as a 10.1-inch touchscreen with proximity sensors and gesture control serving as the infotainment hub.

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