It seems Volkswagen is warming to the idea of building a production version of its Atlas Tanoak concept, with the Wolfsburg-based brand now saying the V6-powered bakkie “may be on the cards”.

When VW whipped the covers off the concept back in March 2018, it said that it had no plans to put the unibody bakkie into production. However, a US-based executive earlier in August stated that the automaker was “carefully” studying the business case.

Now, ahead of the Atlas Tanoak concept’s display at Monterey Car Week in Pebble Beach, Volkswagen has hinted that a production model is looking more and more likely. If it does become a reality, VW says the Atlas Tanoak would find itself doing battle in “Northern America's vehicle class with the highest volumes”.

"The Atlas Tanoak is our version of the American dream – a genuine pick-up with clear-cut Volkswagen elements and a futuristic, digital vehicle interior architecture," said Klaus Bischoff, head designer at Volkswagen.

Unlike the Amarok, which runs on a ladder-frame chassis, the Atlas Tanoak concept rides on the automaker’s latest modular passenger vehicle architecture (MQB), and appears closely related to the seven-seater Atlas.

Named after a species of tree native to the Pacific Coast in the United States, the Atlas Tanoak concept measures 5 438 mm long, 2 029 mm wide and 1 844 mm tall, with a wheelbase of 3 259 mm. That makes it a little larger than the Amarok, which measures 5 254 mm long, with 3 095 mm between its axles.

The double-cab bakkie seats five and is powered by a 3,6-litre V6 petrol engine (worth 206 kW and 360 N.m), mated to an eight-speed automatic transmission and 4Motion all-wheel drive. VW says it will hit 100 km/h from standstill in around 8,5 seconds.