Volkswagen Swoons Americans With Atlas Tanoak Pickup Concept

Volkswagen Swoons Americans With Atlas Tanoak Pickup Concept

Volkswagen Swoons Americans With Atlas Tanoak Pickup Concept

Described as a "near-production concept", the Atlas Cross Sport should provide a pretty good indication of the actual production version that is scheduled to hit the USA market next year.

"Tanoak draws from the heritage of American pickup trucks while being more of a lifestyle vehicle", said Hinrich Woebcken, president of VW of North America. Compared to the current 7-seat Atlas it's 7.5-inches shorter in overall length.

That's not to say it's a small SUV, mind. Volkswagen designed the Tanoak as a dual-cab, five-seater with a bed that is 64.1 inches long, 57.1 inches wide (50.4 inches between the wheel wells), and 20.9 inches high. The daytime running lights not only extend all the way across the two-bar grille to the illuminated VW badge, but are animated with it. Combined with a steeper rake to the C-pillars, narrower windows, shorter overhangs, and a Cross Sport-exclusive two-bar grille, the concept looks distinctly sporty. There's a contrasting spoiler with black side fins. It also dwarfs the 167.5-inch VW Golf.

The Atlas Cross Sport's dashboard is dominated by three big displays: the 12.3-inch Volkswagen Digital Cockpit, 10.1-inch central touchscreen with proximity sensors and gesture control, and a smaller touchscreen for the climate control settings.

The Atlas Cross Sport also has various traction modes the driver can select, from Eco to Comfort to Sport and Snow. Dedicated buttons for ESC, E-Mode, and GTE-Mode are also included. Atlas Sport was the wide favorite to be the name of the new VW crossover, so Atlas Cross Sport is pretty close. The front motor adds 54 hp and 162 lb-ft, while the rear adds 114 hp and 199 lb-ft.

They're powered by an 18 kWh li-ion battery that VW has tricked away in the center tunnel, and altogether give the SUV 355 HP and 494 lb-ft of torque. The net output of 355 hp lets the Atlas Cross Sport run to 60 miles per hour in 5.4 seconds, VW claims, and pushes it to a top speed of 130 miles per hour.

Perhaps more likely as an electrification option is a mild-hybrid version of the Atlas Cross Sport, which Volkswagen says would use a 2-kwh pack to deliver net power of 310 hp and 0-to-60-mph acceleration in 6.5 seconds.

The default Hybrid mode uses battery power at low speeds, and blends energy drawn from both sources, using regenerative braking to capture otherwise lost energy. The gas engine, meanwhile, would drive the front wheels in Hybrid mode.

How much of this will make it from concept to production remains to be seen.

Both Atlas SUVs derive from a family of VW front-wheel-drive, transverse-engined vehicles collectively dubbed MQB. A hybrid SUV with space for five would certainly fit that roadmap nicely.

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