Chance of being mass-produced: Done deal.
VW hasn't said exactly what drivetrain will be found inside the production 5-seat Atlas next year, but it's dropping some heavy hints now. Its crew cab accommodates five passengers.
The German carmaker says that despite the Tanoak being based on the Atlas SUV, the bodywork has been completely redesigned, especially from the B-pillar back.
Both Atlas SUVs derive from a family of VW front-wheel-drive, transverse-engined vehicles collectively dubbed MQB. The result is still an imposing Atlas in the front paired with a short and sporty overhang in the rear. Sadly, we won't be getting that one, because we have the built-in-the-USA Atlas.
Officially Volkswagen has no plans for the Atlas Tanoak to make production, but they are keen the gauge the reaction of both buyers and the media. The grille bars are illuminated and serve as LED daytime running lights. Meanwhile, the Atlas Tanoak pickup - with its cargo system - is an ideal choice for driving across America's expansive landscapes. Screens dominate the dashboard and most of the cockpit, with large touchscreens for the infotainment system and Volkswagen's digital cockpit instrument cluster, along with a touchscreen below for HVAC and other controls.
Volkswagen chose to use hybrid and plug-in hybrid powertrains with the Atlas Sport, at least for for the concept auto. Pinstripe LED lighting runs the shoulder-line of the cabin, changing between blue and yellow depending on which drive mode you're in. The unit in question is a combination of a 3.6-liter V-6 petrol engine boasting 276 horsepower and 266 lb. -ft. of torque, and front and rear electric motors that add a further 54 horsepower and 162 lb. -ft. and 114 horsepower and 199 lb. -ft., respectively. Shifting for the concept's six-speed automatic is via an electronic toggle shifter. Both powertrains would give the concept a top speed of 130 miles per hour.
Volkswagen said it could also apply the Atlas Cross Sport concept to a mild hybrid powertrain that would feature a 2-kWh battery, produce 310 horsepower, accelerate from zero to 60 miles per hour in 6.5 seconds, and match the plug-in hybrid's top speed of 130 miles per hour. The pickup concept bears a noticeable resemblance to its three-row Atlas sibling and boasts the model's logo on its rear tailgate.
Gary Gastelu is FoxNews.com's Automotive Editor.