Volkswagen is previewing the next step in its crossover offensive in North America with the presentation of the five-seat Atlas Cross Sport concept.
As the name suggests, the crossover is based on the seven-seat Atlas but it features a sportier exterior with a unique front fascia and distinctive LED headlights. Bigger changes occur farther back as concept adopts a rakish windscreen, a sloping roof and angular C-pillars.
Other notable styling details include muscular wheel arches, a tailgate-mounted spoiler and 22-inch aluminum wheels.
The overall design is more striking than the standard Atlas and this is partially due to its smaller size. Overall, the concept measures 190.8 inches (4846mm) long, 68.3 inches (1734mm) tall and 79.9 inches (2029mm) wide. For comparison, the seven-seat Atlas is 198.3 inches (5036mm) long, 70.0 inches (1778mm) tall and 78.3 inches (1989mm) wide.
VW loves digital displays
While the interior design isn’t as flashy as the one used on the new Touareg, it features a 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster and a 10.1-inch touchscreen infotainment system which has proximity sensors for gesture control. The concept also has a third display which provides access to the climate control settings as well as the heated and ventilated seat functions.
The stylish two-tone cabin also has brushed aluminum trim, metallic accents and piano black surfaces. There’s also a luxurious steering wheel and a 4MOTION Active Control knob that provides easy access to the on-road, off-road, sport and snow settings.
What’s hiding under the hood?
The concept is equipped with a plug-in hybrid powertrain that consists of a 3.6-liter V6 engine, two electric motors and an 18 kWh lithium-ion battery pack. This enables the crossover to produce a combined maximum output of 355 hp (264 kW). Volkswagen says this should enable the model to accelerate from 0-60 mph in 5.4 seconds, hit a top speed of 130 mph (209 km/h) and travel up to 26 miles (41.8 km) on electricity alone.
Interestingly, Volkswagen hinted at the possibility of a traditional hybrid which would use the same powertrain but adopt a smaller 2.0 kWh battery. The company says this particular variant would be rated at 310 hp (231 kW) and could run from 0-60 mph in 6.5 seconds before topping out at 130 mph (209 km/h).
Made (and sold) in the USA
Volkswagen didn’t say much about the production model but it will be based on the MQB platform and built in Chattanooga, Tennessee. The automaker has also hinted the model will come with advanced engines, an eight-speed automatic transmission and a 4MOTION all-wheel drive system.
Article updated with live images from the NY Auto Show