VW's new bakkie - awesome Atlas Tanoak concept revealed at New York auto show

New York  -The Volkswagen Atlas Tanoak bakkie concept makes its world debut at the 2018 New York International Auto Show.

The *Atlas Tanoak is the first bakkie based on Volkswagen’s MQB or modular transverse matrix architecture. It's powered by a 205kW V6 FSI engine coupled to an eight-speed auto and features 4Motion all-wheel-drive.

When will it be launched?

Although there are currently no production plans for the Atlas Tanoak, Volkswagen says it's keen to gauge the reactions of buyers and media, since bakkies/pick-up trucks are one of the biggest volume segments in the US.

VW said: "The MQB architecture is one of the most innovative and flexible technical platforms in the automotive world, spanning vehicles from the European Polo subcompact all the way up to the Atlas midsize SUV. The Atlas Tanoak concept shows that MQB can potentially stretch even further."

The Tanoak measures 5.4 metres long, 2m wide and 1.85m tall, with a wheelbase of 3.2m.

Image: VW/Supplied

The body of the concept vehicle has been raised nearly 5cm compared to the Atlas SUV, yielding ground clearance of 24cm. Designed as a dual-cab, five-seater, the Atlas Tanoak pickup has a cargo bed that is 1.6m, 1.4m wide and 0.5m high.

This allows for easy transport of cargo such as bikes or surfboards with the tailgate in place, and ATVs and dirt bikes with the tailgate down. The spare wheel is located under the cargo bed, making it accessible even when fully loaded.


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Image: VW/Supplied

A unique feature of this bakkie  is a rail that is mounted on the load bed. Normally, the rail is fixed by the back of the cab but it can slide the length of the bed and thus doubles as a carrier for things like canoes and ladders.

Drivetrain

The Atlas Tanoak concept uses Volkswagen’s 3.6-litre V6 engine capable of 205kW and 360Nm.  The engine provides power to the wheels via an eight-speed automatic transmission and the 4Mootion all-wheel-drive system with Active Control.

Drivers can select from various on- and off-road modes within seconds for optimal grip on dry, wet, slick or unpaved surfaces. For tougher off-road use, the bakkie also has a mode that provides a low-range gear reduction. Either on- or off-road, the Atlas Tanoak rides on newly designed 20" wheels that wear 275/55 tyres. The vehicle will sprint from 0-100km/h in 8.5 seconds.

Image: VW/Supplied

*Named after a species of tree that is native to the Pacific Coast in the US.