The German auto giant rocked up to this year’s edition of the New York International Auto Show with a surprise: a new VW pickup.
We don’t get too many shocks and surprises at motor shows these days, as most new models and concepts are heavily teased prior to the event, often with a raft of official images that show exactly what they look like.
We knew Volkswagen was going to be unveiling its new, smaller take on the seven-seat Atlas full-size SUV at the New York International Auto Show, and it did. But very few sources predicted the surprise VW had in store: the Atlas Tanoak pickup concept.
The Atlas Tanoak is a very intriguing model, and not just because it’s a fabulous-looking pickup based on the same platform as the Atlas SUV.
VW did not tease the car before the show, and when it was unveiled in New York the manufacturer said there were no plans to put it into production.
But Volkswagen may not be being entirely upfront about its intentions for this model. For a start, the company chose to unveil it at a motor show in a country literally obsessed with pickup trucks, so much so that the three biggest-selling vehicles in America last year were all full-size pickups.
Addtionally, the Tanoak is a midsize car, and not a full-size offering. This also makes sense for a production model because it’s hard to imagine a European manufacturer challenging the supremacy of America’s domestic full-size models, but the midsize segment – an area where foreign manufacturers have considerably more pedigree and experience – is growing quickly.
VW’s biggest-selling vehicle in America last year was the Jetta saloon, which sold just over 115 000 units. Toyota’s midsize Tacoma pickup truck sold almost 200 000, and the related Chevy Colorado and GMC Canyon moved almost 150 000 units between them in the same period.
The final piece of the jigsaw is the fact that for all intents and purposes, the Atlas Tanoak concept looks as much like a final production model as it is possible to imagine, especially on the inside. So while Volkswagen insists it has no plans to put the Tanoak into production, we may still see it happen. – AFP Relaxnews