VW Hints At Tanoak Production, Decision Likely Hinges On Demand

The New York Auto Show was full of surprises this year and one of the biggest was Volkswagen’s Atlas Tanoak concept.

The pickup was an instant hit but Volkswagen was careful to note “there are currently no production plans” for the model. However, the company didn’t seem to rule out the possibility altogether as the automaker said it was “keen to gauge the reactions of buyers and media, since pickup trucks are one of the biggest volume segments in the U.S.”

Volkswagen of America CEO Hinrich Woebcken recently expanded on those comments by telling Wards Auto the company could examine demand outside of the United States in order to build a business case for the pickup. As the executive noted, the Atlas crossover is exported to Russia and Middle Eastern markets so Volkswagen could potentially do the same with a production version of the concept.

If Volkswagen were to determine there is enough demand to sell the truck in markets besides the United States, it would likely go a long way in helping to justify a production model. Unfortunately, Woebcken wouldn’t say how many trucks the company would have to sell to make a business case and he noted production plans are “definitely not decided.”

If the concept were to be green lighted, it would likely be built in Chattanooga, Tennessee alongside the Atlas and the production version of the Atlas Cross Sport concept which will be launched next year. The model would presumably echo the concept which was based on the MQB platform and was billed as a “large midsize pickup.”

The concept was equipped with a 3.6-liter V6 engine that produced 276 hp (205 kW) and 266 lb-ft (360 Nm) of torque. It was connected to an eight-speed automatic transmission and an all-wheel-drive system which enabled the truck to run from 0-60 mph in 8.5 seconds.

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  • MarkoS

    Hey VW, Bring it with the same stance and presence, make it reliable, capable and very competitively priced and VW will have created its needed demand. Keep that detailing behind the cab and rear doors too, it ass to the affect. If the same look could be achieved with a 6 foot bed, that would be a advantage. Great design here VW, bring it!

  • MarketAndChurch

    I don’t see why they would be hesitant considering poor Passat sales. This truck and the smaller Atlas ute could be their breakthrough in the US market.

    • pxsupply

      I could not agree more

  • Since VW already had facility in the US, I wouldn’t see why not. Especially with the small pickup sales in US.

  • Dennis Scipio

    I like how the rear doors are cleverly hidden in that black cladding separating the bed.

    • Ilbirs

      Me too. VW managed to give a extended cab visual to something that is a crew one. If you look at the tailgate shape, seems that the cargo platform is lower than the lowest possible to a BOF compact truck and makes us guess that the team behind the project took good advantage from the unit body construction. There are rumors about the successor of T6 being underpinned by MQB and if we look at the T6 as it is now, it rivals and even surpasses some BOF trucks in payload, meaning that the T7 can go even further in these attributes and some of this engineering can be transplanted to a production version of the Tanoak.
      For now seem to me that VW made something way better than the second-gen Ridgeline and Honda’s attempt to mimick BOF compact trucks not only in design but also in a shallow bed that has a faux floor hiding an in-bed trunk with the spare tire in a very akward position.

  • DBP

    Fantastic design. Don’t change a thing. This should be rolling down the assembly line already…well maybe change the name.

  • TheBelltower

    Hopefully it will be as visually interesting as shown here. Most common pickups today look like the automotive equivalent of a mouth-breather.

  • Bo Hanan

    I think VW’s design language looks better on it’s trucks than it’s cars. This is a good looking truck. Inside and out.

  • Marcos Drawer

    This pickup could be a next generation of Amarok!

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