NEW YORK – Volkswagen unveils the Atlas Cross Sport concept, a 5-seat CUV that closely previews a second Atlas model planned to go on sale in North America in 2019 as part of a global utility-vehicle offensive initiated by the German automaker under the title “Moving Forward.”
To be produced alongside the 7-seat Atlas at VW’s Chattanooga plant in Tennessee, the Cross Sport is positioned as a more affordable alternative to the likes of the BMW X6, Jaguar F-Pace and Porsche Cayenne.
As with the Atlas SUV, it is based on VW’s MQB (Modularen Querbau – modular transverse architecture) platform.
When it reaches showrooms next year, the new VW will be offered with a choice of conventional gasoline engines and two new hybrid powertrains, including a plug-in gasoline-electric system showcased in the Cross Sport concept.
Stylistically, the Cross Sport closely resembles the bigger Atlas but with some subtle changes giving it a more sporting slant than its more practical sibling. The overall look draws inspiration from the earlier CrossBlue GTE concept unveiled at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit in 2017 – itself a precursor to the Atlas SUV.
The main departure between the two models is evident at the rear, where the Cross Sport’s roofline plunges far more than the Atlas and sports a shallower greenhouse and racier C-pillar.
With a length of 190.8 ins. (4,846 mm), the Atlas Cross Sport is 7.5 ins. (191 mm) shorter and also is slightly wider and lower than the Atlas while sharing the same 117.3-in. (2,979-mm) wheelbase.
The concept also showcases a new plug-in hybrid powertrain that combines a turbocharged 3.0L V-6 developing 276 hp and 258 lb.-ft. (350 Nm) of torque with two electric motors – one mounted at the front developing 57 hp and 162 lb.-ft. (220 Nm) and another at the rear producing 114 hp and 199 lb.-ft. (270 Nm). An 18.0-kWh lithium-ion battery powers the motors.
Together, the three power sources provide the Atlas Cross Sport PHEV with a combined system output of 355 hp and 494 lb.-ft. (670 Nm) of torque, channeled through a 6-speed dual-clutch gearbox and electronic propeller shaft to all four wheels.
Pure EV range is estimated at 26 miles (42 km), while total range is 620 miles (998 km). VW puts performance at 5.4 seconds 0-60 mph (99 km/h) with a limited top speed of 130 mph (209 km/h).
Also revealed in New York is a conventional, non-plug-in gasoline-electric hybrid powertrain that relies on the same engine and electric motors, but with a lower combined system output of 310 hp with the same torque. Its smaller 2.0-kWh Li-ion battery provides a 1.5-mile (2.4-km) all-electric range and an overall range of 595 miles (958 km).