When you think of Volkswagen, the first thing that comes to mind might be the classic Beetle, Rabbit, and van. But in 2018, Volkswagen is expanding their horizons and unveiled a pickup concept that is a really good-looking truck. On Wednesday at the 2018 New York International Auto Show, Volkswagen revealed the Atlas Tanoak pickup truck concept, but don’t get too excited because it probably won’t happen.
VW’s pickup truck concept is based on the Atlas SUV, but its 11 inches longer to accommodate the bed that is 64 inches long and 57 inches wide. The quad cab Atlas Tanoak rides two inches higher off the ground than the Atlas SUV to allow it to go off-roading. The large midsize pickup is powered by a 3.6-liter V6 engine with 276 horsepower and 266 pound-feet of torque. The pickup truck has an eight-speed automatic transmission and 4Motion all-wheel drive.
Volkswagen developed the Atlas Tanoak because pickup trucks reign supreme in the U.S. and the German automaker is testing the waters in the United States to gauge interest. However, Volkswagen’s press release doesn’t sound like the Atlas Tanoak is happening anytime soon. “Although there are currently no production plans for the Atlas Tanoak, Volkswagen is keen to gauge the reactions of buyers and media, since pickup trucks are one of the biggest volume segments in the U.S.” That’s a bummer.
Another reason you won’t see the Volkswagen Atlas Tanoak in the U.S. is because of President Lyndon B. Johnson. In 1963, Johnson imposed the chicken tax, which is a 25% tariff on potato starch, dextrin, brandy, and light trucks imposed on France and Germany in response to tariffs placed by France and West Germany on the importation of American chicken. So while the Volkswagen Atlas Tanoak is beautiful, don’t expect to see it here in the United States.