VW's Tanoak bakkie concept is nothing like an Amarok

VW's Tanoak bakkie concept is nothing like an Amarok

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. It's based on the same MQB architecture that underpins the Atlas SUV, but has an extended wheelbase, and spans a full 214.1 inches in length - 11 inches longer than the 7-passenger Atlas - with almost 10 inches of ground clearance. If so, it would become only the second modern pickup to be based on a crossover, rather than a traditional, truck-based platform.

The VW Atlas Tanoak concept is named after the species of tree that is native to the Pacific Coast in the U.S. The Atlas Tanoak concept is based on the same MQB platform as the Atlas and Atlas Sport concept, which makes it more of a Honda Ridgeline rival, than other body-on-frame midsize pickups, like the Toyota Tacoma. At the back, there's a 64-inch long bed, while the cabin has room for five. It's also got taller suspension emphasized by 20-inch wheels wrapped in off-road tires. The cab and bed are painted in Red Earth.

Ahead of the B-pillar, the Tanoak looks like a ruggedized Atlas - something that, as the giant block "ATLAS" below the grille suggests - VW is making no attempts to hide.

Created to be an affordable alternative to rivals such as the BMW X6, the Atlas Cross Sport should live up to its sporty credentials if it eventually arrives with the same powerplant as the concept.

Inside, the Tanoak follows the trend of more digitization in pickups with "the majority of functions" digitally controlled.

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The Ronald McDonald house that's attached to the hospital, we've been a part of that, seen some fantastic stuff happen there. Trying to project the mercurial left-hander's success has always proved hard , especially at a place like Augusta National.

The spacious interior of the Atlas Tanoak Concept caters to both traditional truck customers and a more tech-savvy audience. The concept features tech upgrades that include a bigger 10.1-inch touchscreen with proximity sensors and gesture control that manages infotainment and vehicle systems. The all-wheel-drive-mode control behind the shifter even has its own display and LED lighting.

The concept is powered by the company's 276hp 3.6-liter V6 engine paired to an eight-speed automatic and the 4Motion all-wheel drive system.

As far as controlling the automatic, "it was intentionally created to be very sturdy, so that it can be operated every day by people who are used to driving a pickup, even while wearing work gloves", Volkswagen noted in a release. Of course, we'll be in NY this week to tell you more about the vehicle.

But the big reason VW can't just ship the Amarok here is that pesky Chicken Tax, which greatly favors domestically produced trucks. Production sheet metal would undoubtedly be more conservative than what you see here.

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