Volkswagen shows off Atlas Tanoak pickup truck at NY auto show

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The Atlas Cross Sport is also wider and lower by about an inch each, giving the SUV a much more planted stance than the family-friendly Atlas. The Ford F-150, in particular, was not only the best-selling truck in the American market, but the top-selling vehicle, period, with volume coming to almost double that of the leading SUV, the Toyota RAV-4.

Against the seven-seat Atlas, the truncated Cross Sport is 7.5 inches shorter, though its wheelbase remains the same and it will be built on the same assembly line as its longer sibling. While just a concept, it gives us an impression of what a future USA -market VW pickup could look like - and it's not exactly a modern Rabbit.

Volkswagen brought a surprise to NY in the form of a pickup truck concept-something VW fans (and perhaps only VW fans) have been clamoring for since we can remember. While the Atlas Cross Sport concept previews a new five-passenger Atlas, the Atlas Tanoak concept could be an early look at a future VW pickup.

But there's a big bed in the back, and almost ten inches of ground clearance underneath.

Vehicle buyers seem to have an unquenchable thirst for SUVs and Volkswagen is only too happy to oblige, in this case by previewing a new Atlas concept at the New York International Auto Show.

Unlike Volkswagen's Atlas Sport Cross concept, the Tanoak is conventionally powered. The cab and bed are painted in Red Earth.

Like its intended foes, the Tanoak isn't being considered as a hard-core working pickup, but as a lifestyle machine with a greater focus on luxury and comfort and equipment and a more secondary focus on carrying ability.

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Also borrowed from the Atlas is the Tanoak's engine choice.

A fully digital cockpit and extensive mood lighting serve as further car-like incentives for buyers that might never have considered a pick-up.

A number of thoughtful pickup truck touches are found inside, including a redesigned shifter that's easier to handle while wearing work gloves. Of course, we'll be in NY this week to tell you more about the vehicle.

While VW has no plans to produce the truck, it signals the company's increased attention to the preferences of United States consumers. That vehicle is a smaller version of the Atlas SUV, which was introduced last year for the 2018 model year.

Inside, there's a 10.1-inch central touchscreen with proximity sensors and gesture control, integrated into the horizontal-themed dashboard.

Where this theory runs into trouble is with the same Volkswagen customers who have long wanted such a pickup, as the midsize truck's diesel powertrain and (relatively, mind you) smaller dimensions were seen as selling points. Measuring 5438mm in length, the Tanoak Concept is actually longer than a double cab Amarok, and it's not short on horsepower either, with motivation coming from VW's 206kW normally aspirated V6 FSI engine mated to an eight-speed autobox and VW's 4Motion all-wheel-drive system.

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