With its new dizzying vision of the future in Geneva, Volkswagen has once again turned things into reality at the New York International Auto Show with new SUV and pickup truck concepts. But just because these types of cars that Americans buy makes them no less extravagant. Both the Atlas Tanoak Truck and its SUV cousin Cross Sport have LED badges, headlights, and running lights that stream over the crossbars. The effect is like something from Blade Runner .
Do not let the glowing faces distract you from important specifications such as powertrain. The Cross Sport is powered by the same 3.66-liter V6 as the Atlas, but the concept adds a pair of electric motors, one in front and the other in the back. Volkswagen says the plug-in hybrid drive delivers 355 horsepower and an anticipated 26 miles of purely electric range. A conventional mild hybrid version of the same powertrain would deliver 31
The Atlas Tanoak has a similarly brilliant face, although VW is currently warned It is not planned to bring the pickup into production. (The automaker said the same for the I.D. Buzz Microbus Thrubback, and is now expected to roll off the assembly line by 2022.) It's a mid-size pickup, which will likely compete with new trucks like the Ford Ranger.
VW obviously tries to quench America's intrepid appetite for SUVs and crossovers, but there are other forces in the game. The diesel gate scandal continues to cast a long shadow over the German automaker's business, even though it is an inspiration to VW's renewed interest in electrified drives. Several executives have gone to jail and VW is involved in billions of dollars of settlement money.
But do not look at it, look over here! A new SUV next to the I.D. Crozz, a keen electrical concept that is expected to go into production in 2020. The company is making money for lineup refresh and brand rehabilitation, but it will be left to consumers to see if VW is worth saving.