A Volkswagen pickup? The idea is less farfetched than you’d think. For 2017, Volkswagen recently introduced the all-new Volkswagen Atlas SUV, a sleek and sturdy entry into the SUV segment. However, where there’s an SUV, there’s always potential for a truck – and with the introduction of the Atlas, VW is giving itself the opportunity to take the Atlas platform and transform it into a unibody pickup truck similar to the award-winning Honda Ridgeline.
While currently nothing is set in stone, Volkswagen of North America’s chief engineering office Matthew Erb revealed to the press that the company is exploring the possibility of creating a pickup out of the Atlas. The same way the Honda Ridgeline is based on its SUV cousin the Honda Pilot, the Volkswagen pickup would share VW’s MQB platform and powertrain options with the new Atlas.
As of the moment, according to Volkswagen representatives, the company isn’t committed to producing a pickup truck out of the Volkswagen Atlas SUV and bringing the model to US buyers. However, they aren’t dismissing the possibility, even going so far as to say they’d consider creating a more rugged, body-on-frame truck as well, albeit not a full-size option that would compete with the Ford F-150, Chevy Silverado, and Ram pickup. In the meantime, enthusiasts are waiting to hear more info on the potential VW truck.
If you’ve paid any attention to TV or social media lately, you may have seen a commercial ad or two for Amazon’s Alexa virtual assistant, a system that allows users to access a variety of services through voice command. After a recent announcement by Ford that its lineup will be integrating Alexa, Volkswagen followed suit, revealing the system will be available in upcoming Volkswagen models, though there’s currently no release date for the service.
Volkswagen already added its Car-Net suite of infotainment services to its vehicle lineup back in 2013, and Amazon’s Alexa will work in tandem with the services already provided by Car-Net. This includes allowing drivers to sync their smartphones with their vehicles, alerting authorities in case of airbag deployment, and locating, unlocking, and monitoring their vehicles from a distance. Additionally, Alexa will allow users to add destinations to the navigation system or even buy products through Amazon.
The Alexa virtual assistant will add another layer of accessibility to vehicles, allowing drivers to utilize voice command to keep their hands free and their eyes on the road. Additionally, the integration of the user’s Amazon account provides services not previously available in any vehicle on the road. Aside from Ford and VW, word says that Hyundai is also planning to integrate the assistant as well.