Volkswagen bringing Ridgeline-fighting pickup to NY?

Volkswagen bringing Ridgeline-fighting pickup to NY?

by Ronan Glon

The Atlas-derived model will make its debut as a concept.

Officially, Volkswagen is only bringing a five-seater Atlas to this week's New York auto show. Rumors claim we'll also see a second concept car that will take the form of a lifestyle-oriented, Atlas-derived pickup aimed at the Honda Ridgeline.

The yet-unnamed model will not be related in any way to the body-on-frame Amarok sold in international markets. It will be a unibody truck built on Volkswagen's modular MQB platform, according to anonymous sources who spoke to Automotive News.

We don't have technical specifications yet. Since it's based on the Atlas, odds are it will use either the turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder or the naturally-aspirated 3.6-liter V6. It will come with 4Motion all-wheel drive.

The publication adds Volkswagen hasn't approved the model for production yet, but higher-ups eagerly support it as a way to help turn around the brand's American division.

"[Volkswagen boss Herbert] Diess has supported it from a very early phase in the project," an insider told Automotive News.

Officials still need to make a sound business case before signing off the concept, and they're waiting to see the public's reaction. If the truck gets the green light, it will be built alongside the Atlas and the Passat in the company's Chattanooga, Tennesse, factory.

Volkswagen hasn't sold a pickup in America since it retired the Pennsylvania-built Rabbit Pickup in 1984. In Europe, the brand makes the aforementioned Amarok to compete against the Toyota Hilux and the Ford Ranger. In the 1990s, Volkswagen also marketed a re-badged Hilux named Taro in select European markets.

Note: 2000 Volkswagen AAC concept pictured.