Images via VW

The VW Atlas Tanoak: A Concept Truck Worth Checking Out

Volkswagen shows off its tough side with the VW Atlas Tanoak, its new pickup truck concept.

The New York Auto Show is in full swing, and manufacturers are seizing the opportunity to debut what they've recently been working on.

This year, VW took a different route with its new concept truck, which surprised more than just a handful of people.

The Atlas Tanoak, which is named after a species of tree found on the Pacific Coast, is Volkswagen's first pickup in the U.S. market since the mid 1980s.

And, you may have guessed by its name, it is based off the Atlas SUV and designed as a dual-cab, short-bed truck.

This unexpected debut had two main motives: VW wanted to prove the flexibility of its MBQ platform, and how it can "potentially stretch even further." In addition to that, they wanted to see how Americans would react to the idea of a VW truck in the mix once again.

While it is more of an unconventional move for Volkswagen, it's certainly getting a lot of buzz.


Measuring at 214.1 inches long, the Tanoak is considered a large midsize truck. Wheelarch extensions with side marker lights, rear fenders and high-gloss 20-inch wheels come equipped.

In terms of muscle, you'll find a 3.6-liter V6 that delivers a strong 276 horsepower and 266 lb-ft of torque. It comes paired to an eight-speed automatic transmission, and VW's 4MOTION all-wheel drive system is offered.

Since it is a pickup truck, Volkswagen outfitted a low-range gear for increased stability on rough surfaces. It also features a ground clearance of 9.8 inches.

The cargo bed boasts 64.1 inches of storage room, which is lengthened 26.1 inches when the tailgate is lowered, equaling a total of 90.2 inches.


Right now, VW has no concrete goal for this concept other than showing the U.S. market the potentiality of a new Volkswagen truck.

Heinrich J. Woebcken, Volkswagen's North American CEO, comments, "We really showed this as a concept without a clear production plan behind it. Our intention [is] to demonstrate that we very seriously look into the American needs. ... Volkswagen wants to be part of this market much more seriously than in the past."

At the auto show, VW chief designer Klaus Bischoff said it's "the most American Volkswagen ever." And obviously, he's not wrong.

Whether the Tanoak goes into production or not is still up in the air, it's an incredibly interesting concept that seems like it could be decent contender in the segment.