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VW’s new Atlas Tanoak is the pickup truck for the future

by Danny Zepeda | March 29, 2018March 29, 2018 12:00 pm PST

VW this week unveiled the Atlas Tanoak at the New York International Auto Show. It’s the realization of a rumored project the European automaker was working on, jumping aboard a segment it is has long opted to stay out of. Needless to say, the Atlas Tanoak looks like the pickup truck you envisioned would be driven in the future.

VW took heavy inspiration from the Atlas SUV when it designed the Atlas Tanoak pickup truck. By that, we mean it borrowed the chassis, engine and overall design and slapped on a flatbed to the rear.

That’s not a bad thing. The translation from SUV to pickup truck actually works great for the Tanoak. It looks like a beautiful pick up truck you want to be seen.

VW did slightly alter some design cues. The front grill is new, with an embossed “Atlas” name sitting at the center where the bumper runs. It’s not to my liking, but some might enjoy it. With this being a concept, VW is likely to ditch the big name when production stars on the vehicle. Right below the name lives a winch, which is a good detail. It adds to ruggedness of the truck.

In the back is where the real changes happened. A flatbed measuring just over five feet long occupies the rear end, promising to carry the most arduous load imaginable. The overall frame of the Tanoak is 16 inches longer than the standard Atlas.

VW didn’t hold back with futuristic touches. In the front, everything lights up. From the grill, to the big fog lights and even the logo. A similar pattern was used from the tail lights. Bright red LEDs run across the rear door with the center VW logo lighting up white.

Powering the Atlas Tanoak will be the same engine found in the Atlas SUV. That would be a VR6 engine that produces 276 horsepower and 266 pound-feet of torque. Volkswagen says it will rev up to 60 miles per hour in a brisk 8.5 seconds.

There’s no word yet on when the Atlas Tanoak will make its way into consumer hands or how much it will end up costing.

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Danny Zepeda

Born and raised in Southern California, Danny grew up on a steady diet Pixar, Star Wars and Steven Spielberg movies. Unbeknownst to him, this was...

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