The Pickup of the Future? VW Atlas Tanoak Photo Gallery


Auto show concept vehicles serve many purposes. They allow design heads to evaluate the creativity of their departments, consumers to see what might end up at their local dealership in a few years and product planners to gauge interest from real consumers. The Volkswagen Atlas Tanoak concept mid-size pickup truck, which bowed Wednesday at the 2018 New York International Auto Show, does all three. Some of our favorite features include the integrated front bumper winch, retractable bed bars, and the hidden storage cabinet in the back of the bed wall. Some of the more confusing details include only four tie-down points in the bed, beefy tow loops on a unibody chassis, and no tow hitch. 

Here's a closer look at VW's take on the mid-size pickup class and where it may end up in several years. Putting a pickup truck bed on the back of a large SUV platform is not a new idea. In fact, it seems like every hardcore car guy we've talked to complains about pickups and their size, driving dynamics and handling. Maybe this concept is VW's attempt to address those issues; maybe it completely misunderstood what a pickup truck is all about; or maybe it's seeing a trend — along with Hyundai and Honda — of where the market is heading. But we'll leave that for you to decide.

For now, here's an up-close look at some of the Tanoak's finer details. photos by Christian Lantry




















I have suggested a modular truck bed for a long time.
The VW Atlas is a good start but not enough.
Make a bed that the sides fold down to a flat bed, or a side opening tailgate.
Even a dump bed with a simple torsion bar spring.
Better yet a bed that slides out where you can increase the length or even a hidden ramp that is hidden away that slides out from under the bed.
Even more extreme a cab with a back seat that can be folded in and out of the bed.
I will stand for hours looking at off-road 4x4 side-by-side utilitys with dump beds.
Taking a Polaris Ranger for an example, it has a single cyl 500-570cc engine that powers it to haul 1000 lbs and tow 2000 lbs with a torsion bar spring dump bed.

With the new 2019 Ford Ranger
All the competition will be in danger
Everyone to run to buy one
Then they know they won
We all know Ford is the best
It's no contest

How is this any different from an Avalanche or Sportrack?

How is this any different from an Avalanche or Sportrack?

@Old GM Guy
1. It isn't as butt-ugly as the Avalanche or Sportrack
2. It's unibody, with all the benefits and drawbacks therein.

If this is the future, than 1984 has arrived! L iberalism wil be the downfall of this nation!

Not really the future a cheaply put together for the US market

Taking a Polaris Ranger for an example, it has a single cyl 500-570cc engine that powers it to haul 1000 lbs and tow 2000 lbs with a torsion bar spring dump bed.

Posted by: Ecoboost Rules | Mar 30, 2018 1:40:27 PM

And that Polaris will pull your tiny trailer just as good as your ecoboost. LOL

Uh Huh, will be the future when the brands also provide trailers so the customer can actually haul and load something.
Would love to be in the planning meetings when they start talking about how "butch" they look and how cool the light bars are all over the thing, and how many urban people will love them for potted plants and things...
Trucks are for hauling and pulling stuff. Big heavy stuff. And doing hard work out of. OK planners?

If the Atlas concept makes it to the dealers.

Guess - or project the sales figures and why

On a tangent here poking hornets nest. Will the German ding Japanese or domestic?

I do admit this one has nicer rugged, rusty interior look than those from Toyotas. There are still people like me who like this kind of looks. I wonder if it's doable on my budget.

I like the shape and lines of the truck, but it sits too low as it looks a bit like a slammed truck. Body on frame for me.

The TRON like lighting seems fitting for an electric vehicle, not a truck as truck lighting needs to be functional instead of "cool looking". Also, breaking one would be very expensive to fix. VW, if your reading this, what is the most abused part of truck body? The pickup bed, including the tail gate. So, is the lighting covering a large surface such a good idea?

I can't see a truck like this being used for work, even weekend warrior stuff.

No tow hitch, really? And VW calls it a truck? Ummm, it's more a glorified sedan in my opinion.

I wouldn't buy or even consider one for the reasons noted above as it's likely to a bit pricey too.

What the heck

What I was getting at is why can't the truck manufacturers build a truck by copy from the design of the side-by-sides, only bigger and more heavy duty?
just take a look at the simple design of the dump bed using a torsion bar spring and a simple latch
look at the design of the bottom frame, it's just a solid piece of sheet metal that can handle the off-road abuse
I think if they would build a compact truck based on the same design it would sell like crazy and everybody would want one.
To me the engineering design of a utility side-by-side is a work of art.



I hear you, I was just poking fun at your ecoboost.
I agree with you but lift beds and pull down sides on a pickup would be very costly. can you imagin trying to dump a couple thousand pounds of sand or rocks from a dumping pickup!!! That would pull the front wheels off the ground. Lol
My side by side also has the tilt bed and I love that thing. I use it for almost everything from picking up rocks in my fields to spot spraying and still take it on camping trips with the kids and their 4 wheelers. Some John Deere side by sides have hydrlic lift beds, just push a button and up it go's.

I am, and am going to continuing, pronouncing its name " tan-oak". If VW had a sense of humor they'll make one of the paint options Tan Oak

If this is the future then I am going to keep holding on to my mid 2000s truck.

If I wanted a car, I'd buy one.

If I wanted a car, I'd buy one.

VW already has true midsize pickup Amarok and compact car based pickup Saviero. I can't see this Tanoak as anything else other than a small volume line filler for Chattanooga.

No compelling reason at all to buy this if VW actually manufactures it.

That's not "mid-sized." That's just a hair shy of full-sized.



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