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Volkswagen's Midsize Pickup Tests the Waters

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March 28, 2018

Volkswagen is showing a midsize pickup concept based on its Atlas midsize SUV at the New York International Auto Show that the company is using to test media and customer response before it commits to a production schedule.

The Atlas Tanoak is named after an evergreen, beech tree that’s found along the coastline mostly in northern California and Oregon, Volkswagen announced. The hardwood trees can grow up to 135 feet high.

The midsize pickup will be built on VW’s MQB or modular transverse matrix architecture that also underpins its Atlas midsize SUVs. Volkswagen will add a five-passenger Atlas alongside its existing seven-passenger Atlas, VW has also announced.

The Atlas Tanoak is powered by a 276-horsepower V-6 FSI gasoline engine that delivers power through an eight-speed automatic transmission to its 4Motion all-wheel drive system.

The pickup measures 214.1 inches in length, which is about 2 inches longer than the Toyota Tacoma Double Cab — the leading seller in the segment. The Tanoak would offer a “dual-cab” configuration that would offer rear non-bench seating. Ground clearance would be nearly 10 inches.

Volkswagen is testing several features, including a movable cargo rail over the bed. The interior offers mostly digital controls and instrumentation.

The midsize pickup segment has been one of the most active in the automotive industry in the past few years with new additions since late 2014 of the Chevrolet Colorado, GMC Canyon, refreshed Tacoma, and next-generation Honda Ridgeline. Ford will begin selling its 2019 Ranger at the end of this year.

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