Volkswagen's SUV family affair begins

NYIAS: Volkswagen To Test The Waters For A US Built Unibody Pickup Concept

The overall length is 15.8 inches longer than the Atlas, for a total of 214.1 inches, while its wheelbase also has been extended by 11 inches to 128.3 inches.

Pickups accounted for about 16 percent of USA auto sales in 2017 and the best-selling vehicle is Ford Motor Co's F-Series pickup trucks.

In this case, as the name implies, that means the same architecture as the three-row Atlas SUV Volkswagen launched barely a year ago - and the two row Sport Cross Concept debuting in NY that will return in production form in 2019, part of what Volkswagen Group of America CEO Hinrich Woebcken refers to as the new "Atlas family". Toyota leads, with sales of nearly 200,000 Tacomas a year ago.

The new plug-in hybrid powertrain uses a turbocharged 3.0-litre V6 petrol engine developing 272hp and 350Nm of torque in combination with two electric motors - one mounted at the front developing 56hp and 220Nm and another at the rear with 112hp and 270Nm.

Analysts, and even some Ford executives in private conversations, say sellers of midsize trucks will likely be battling each in a market that will have modest growth at best.

The Honda Ridgeline is embarking upon round two of its unique social experiment, attempting to clearly demonstrate how much beefy looks do or don't matter to pickup truck buyers. That pushed the brand past the traditional truck seller GMC and its Canyon, to capture fourth place in the segment.

VW sells the Amarok pickup truck in Europe and other markets but not in the United States, where it faces a 25 percent import tariff.

Conventional drivetrains are expected to go with the vehicle when production begins in late 2019 in Chattanooga. But VW has struggled for 48 years now to reach new levels of US sales, and with an MQB-based Atlas family in the works in Chattanooga, it might finally be ready to answer President Johnson's Chicken Tax.

The front fascia of the Atlas Tanoak Concept is highlighted by LED headlights and strips that extend to the side of the truck.

The rear doors are very, very short, and barely noticeable as doors at a glance, with their handles buried within the C-pillar. It features plastic fender extensions and a protected underbody that houses a winch for upgraded capability.

Inside the Tanoak pickup concept. Behind the spacious five-passenger interior, the bed is 64 inches long and 57 inches wide. The gasoline (petrol) engine and front electric motor provide drive to the front wheels via a six-speed dual-clutch gearbox, while the rear electric motor powers the rear wheels, endowing the new Volkswagen models with four-wheel drive capability. The slider was made to be used with work gloves. Like most Volkswagens on sale today, it has a 12.3-inch fully-digital instrument panel with multi-info display and a 10.1-inch infotainment system. It is native to California and parts of OR and can grow to well over 100 feet in height.

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