New York - Let’s just start out by saying that this is not any kind of harbinger for the next generation Amarok - although there’s no saying that it won’t lend at least some of its design DNA to Volkswagen's next-generation one-tonner.
But ultimately the Atlas Tanoak Concept - revealed at the New York Auto Show on Thursday - is a completely different beast. As the first half of its name implies, the double cab is based on the Atlas mid-sized SUV, which was designed primarily for the US market and we’ll assume the same of this pick-up concept.
So yes, there’s no ladder frame to be found beneath this vehicle. Like the Honda Ridgeline, the concept is a unibody pick-up, in this case based around VW’s flexible MQB unibody platform - which means it’s actually got more in common with a Golf GTI or a Passat than a plaas bakkie.
But small it isn’t! Measuring 5438mm in length, the Tanoak Concept is actually longer than a double cab Amarok, and it’s not short on horsepower either, with motivation coming from VW's 206kW normally aspirated V6 FSI engine mated to an eight-speed autobox and VW’s 4Motion all-wheel-drive system.
A fully digital cockpit and extensive mood lighting serve as further car-like incentives for buyers that might never have considered a pick-up.
But will VW build it? The official word is that there are no concrete plans for now, but the company will gauge public reaction and respond accordingly. But think about it.. the German carmaker desperately wants a pick-up for the American market and so far the Amarok has not been deemed fit to fill that role, so our money would be on this one making it to the production line at some point in the future.
Unlikely that it would ever come to South Africa though.