Revealed today at the New York Auto Show is the Atlas Tanoak Concept. And, back in the 1980s it had an El Camino-like model, based on the original VW Rabbit, on sale in the U.S. But that pint-sized, underpowered model didn't last long and few cared as it slipped into oblivion. The Atlas Cross Sport aims to appeal to those buyers who want a trimmer, more personal mid-size SUV and don't want or need the cargo and seating capacity of the three-row Atlas. The concept also features sporty, contoured seats for all five passengers. "What's more, it would be built in the Chattanooga assembly plant in Tennessee, instead of being imported from elsewhere; the Amarok, for example, is built in Argentina".
Both Atlas SUVs derive from a family of VW front-wheel-drive, transverse-engined vehicles collectively dubbed MQB. Sadly, we won't be getting that one, because we have the built-in-the-USA Atlas. On this show auto at least, the grille bars also light up and can function as daytime running lights. At the rear, aluminum accents pick up the side character lines, with LED lights above that.
Ahead of the B-pillar, the Tanoak looks like a ruggedized Atlas - something that, as the giant block "ATLAS" below the grille suggests - VW is making no attempts to hide.
The concept displays output from its complex drivetrain on interior screens, which include a 10.1-inch central display with proximity sensors and gesture control.
Volkswagen chose to use hybrid and plug-in hybrid powertrains with the Atlas Sport, at least for for the concept vehicle. New distinctive six-sided LED daytime running lights are a prominent feature at the front, too.
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Volkswagen says the Atlas Tanoak is powered by the company's 3.6-liter naturally aspirated V6, with 276 horsepower and 266 pound-feet of torque.
All-electric "E-Mode" would offer 26 miles of range on a full charge, with the V6 engine decoupled from the engine by disengaging the clutch and all power supplied by the 114-hp motor at the rear axle.
The Atlas Cross Sport concept is able to sprint from 0 to 60 miles per hour (0-96 km/h) in just 5.4 seconds and hit a top speed of 130 miles per hour (209 km/h).
Perhaps more likely as an electrification option is a mild-hybrid version of the Atlas Cross Sport, which Volkswagen says would use a 2-kwh pack to deliver net power of 310 hp and 0-to-60-mph acceleration in 6.5 seconds. The Atlas is now sold in North America, Russia and China.
Gary Gastelu is FoxNews.com's Automotive Editor.