VW's Tanoak bakkie concept is nothing like an Amarok

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The images of the model the German automaker released ahead of the show are officially of a concept, but it's thought they are about as close to a production model as a concept gets.

Chance of being mass-produced: Done deal.

These numbers so perfectly match the Ridgeline's, in fact, that we're inclined to believe VW has every intention of bringing the Tanoak to market.

Volkswagen is considering a jump into the midsize pickup segment with a USA -made truck that could be built in Tennessee, sources familiar with the matter told Automotive News.

Also it is part and parcel of the SUV drive begun by VW. The Atlas Cross Sport aims to appeal to those buyers who want a trimmer, more personal mid-size SUV and don't want or need the cargo and seating capacity of the three-row Atlas.

There is no word yet as to when will Volkswagen officially reveal the five-seat Atlas in production form.

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The dual-cab, short-bed pickup is the first truck to be based on VW's MQB platform and is basically a design study created to gauge the audience's reactions. However, this particular Atlas is shorter in length which also allows it to have shorter overhangs for a sportier look. Headroom for the second row may be a little tighter - a trade-off for the slanted C-pillars and rakish roofline with panoramic moonroof that stretches into a rear roof spoiler with black fins.

There's a new grille, new daytime running LEDs and a more sculpted look to the front quarter panels than the Atlas, while the illuminated Volkswagen badge on the grille is actually illegal in Germany, but legal in the US.

How Big Is The Atlas Tanoak Exactly? 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. The navigation system includes a new three-dimensional view in which the user can set up multiple layers with different information in each view.

The resemblance to the Atlas SUV - not to mention the smaller Atlas Cross Sport Concept - is certainly clear. The active LED lighting features are replicated at the rear. Shifting for the concept's six-speed automatic is via an electronic toggle shifter.

As for its powertrain, there's a classic gas engine, rather than the hybrid and all-electric drivetrains that VW has been touting for all of its other recent concepts and production models. As for Off-road, the vehicle stays in all-wheel drive mode, with the front electric motor - supplied with energy by the V6 engine - is employed exclusively as a generator and is the energy source for the electric motor on the rear axle. That, the automaker suggests, could mean a 0-60 miles per hour time of 5.4 seconds and a 130 miles per hour top speed.

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