With the unveiling of the Atlas Cross Sport concept at the New York International Auto Show, Volkswagen has confirmed its intention to produce a smaller, sportier version of its seven-seat Atlas SUV. The images of the model the German automaker released ahead of the show are officially of a concept, but it’s thought they are about as close to a production model as a concept gets.
At least we now know what the baby Atlas will be called because that was being kept under wraps until now. Atlas Sport was the wide favorite to be the name of the new VW crossover, so Atlas Cross Sport is pretty close. But as this is still officially only a concept the Cross part of the name could potentially yet be dropped for the final production model.
The production version is planned for various markets around the world, most notably China and the USA, where the five-seat second Atlas model will be built at Volkswagen’s Chattanooga plant in Tennessee. It’s expected to go on sale in 2019 and is part of a wider global SUV offensive the manufacturer has embarked upon under the name “Moving Forward.”
Designed to be an affordable alternative to rivals such as the BMW X6, the Atlas Cross Sport should live up to its sporty credentials if it eventually arrives with the same powerplant as the concept. That’s because this smaller take on the Atlas in its marquee concept form has the same plug-in hybrid unit under the hood that’s already in its full-size seven-seat sibling.
The unit in question is a combination of a 3.6-liter V6 petrol engine boasting 206kW and 360Nm of torque, and front and rear electric motors that add a further 40kW and 220Nm and 85kW and 270Nm, respectively. The battery is an 18 kWh lithium-ion affair that powers the seven-seat Atlas for up to 26 miles on electric only.
So, if the production version can muster a similar total as the 265kW and 670Nm of the concept, it really would be a contender. But a more likely scenario sees the mild hybrid fitted that pairs a V6 with a 2.0-kWh battery for a total of 231kW and starting off in hybrid mode. – AFP Relaxnews