Volkswagen is seriously considering launching an unibody pickup, which will be based on Atlas three-row crossover. This truck would be part of Volkswagen’s efforts to expand it’s product lineup in the U.S. The news first started to spread after the CarBuzz talked with Volkswagen’s North America’s chief engineering officer, Dr. Matthias Erb on 2017 Detroit auto show.
We still wait patiently for Volkswagen to confirm their plans about Atlas-based pickup. The Atlas-based truck would be squarely aimed at the Honda Ridgeline. The Ridgeline just like the Pilot on which it’s based, have the SUV’s unibody construction, also transverse engine arrangement and crossover-like driving characteristics. So according to that fact, we belive that Volkswagen will be using it’s Atlas SUV as inspiration for new unibody pickup when it comes to mechanical and design.
Volkswagen Atlas Pickup will use very similar styling as it’s counterpart Atlas Suv from the C-pillar forward. The current styling of Volkswagen is widespread, witch you can also see on a Golf or on a Touareg, so we don’t expect big changes in exterior styling. Atlas Pickup from front side will have the Atlas SUV’s two-bar grille and LED headlights. Changes in design will be noticeable in slightly different lower bumper. But in order to be noticed you will have to put Atlas Suv and Atlas Pickup side by side. The Atlas strong fenders and character lines blending perfectly into the cargo bed will be also familiar on the Atlas Pickup. Truck will be unibody, space between the cab and bed will be just visual add-on. The floor of the cabin and of the bed will be stamped out of a continuous piece of metal. High glass will be wrapped around the fenders, led taillights stopping just before the tailgate maintaining traditional pickup look. We believe that Volkswagen will come up with some innovative ideas of tailgate design and not replicate the Ridgeline’s Dual-Action tailgate. That also goes for any in-bed storage options. To stay consistent with the Atlas SUV, Atlas Pickup will have similar black cladding along it’s power portion, adding some ruggedness to his look.
The interior in the Volkswagen Atlas Pickup will be similar or maybe even the same as in the Atlas Suv. It will not be the first time that we see something like that done, for example take the Honda Pilot and Ridgeline. Which means that Atlas Pickup cabin will have a clean minimalistic design, but still modern and luxurious. Volkswagen’s digital gauge cluster will make the jump, as will its Car-Net infotainment system with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. Dual zone climate controls will also be included in the cabin, three-spoke steering wheel and console-mounted gear shifter. What will see changes in Atlas Pickup are the second row seats. We can hope that will be something innovative as Honda’s done for Ridgeline, but will have to wait and see. The top priority for Volkswagen it has to be to make the Atlas Pickup interior volume and configurability adjusted, that can be practical and family friendly. For more details will have to wait and see what Volkswagen has more to offer.
Engine and Performance
When it comes to Atlas SUV you can chose between one of the two available engines. The standard mill is a 238-horsepower, 2.0-liter turbo four-cylinder, while an optional 3.6-liter VR6 offers more grunt, with 280 horsepower. Both engines mate to an eight-speed automatic transmission with a manual shift mode. If your priority is fuel efficiency, best choice is four-cylinder because it’s only paired with Front-wheel drive sistem. The VR6 is available with VW’s 4Motion AWD. If your choice is the 4Motion system, what you need to know is that there a driver-selectable drive modes for different terrain conditions. And those modes are Snow, Sport, On-Road, and Off-Road. Operated by a knob on the center console, the system will allow the driver to select what terrain he’s currently traversing, giving the Atlas’ computers a chance to adjust driving characteristics like throttle response, ABS and traction control systems, and power distribution between the front and rear axles. It would be smart move from Volkswagen to transfer these powertrain options to the Atlas Pickup. That way customers would have opportunity to purchase something more suited to their needs. Compared with the Ridgeline which is only available with one engine, Volkswagen would have an advantage, but Honda Ridgeline is available with FWD or AWD. Atlas Pickup will sprint from 0 to 60mph in 8.5 seconds, his top speed will be 115 mph.
2019 Volkswagen Atlas Pickup price
Volkswagen has not yet released the price for the 2018 Atlas so we can’t predict how much will the price for 2019 Atlas Pickup be. In Top Speed review for The 2018 Atlas it’s speculated that it’s price will start around $33,000 and reach a range-topping price around $45,000. They also predict that Volkswagen will probably match initial price of Honda Ridgeline which starts at $29,475 for the 2017 model. So taking that into account start price for Atlas Truck is expected to be around $30,000.