The Volkswagen Atlas and Atlas Cross Sport are two solid, spacious crossovers – but neither of them are all that fun to drive. The company hopes to change that tune with the new Atlas Cross Sport GT Concept, which gives the staid SUV a more aggressive upgrade.
The Atlas Cross Sport GT Concept is the latest in a line of "enthusiast builds" for 2021, following the Arteon Big Sur and Taos Basecamp before it. Based on the factory R-Line model, this Atlas has an upgraded ST suspension with lowering springs that brings it closer to the pavement, unique 22-inch ABT Sport HR Aerowheel rims, and Tarox eight-piston front brakes that afford the Atlas extra stopping power.
The exterior wears a hand-painted Kingfisher Blue paint job, which is only available from the factory on select European VW models. Gloss black exterior trim replaces the stock chrome finishes, and custom GT badging is integrated throughout the vehicle. The interior sports a matching Eisvogelblau color inside atop the bespoke Recaro seats, gear shifter, and seat belts. And there's even a unique rear center console that follows the design language of the front console.
Powering this Atlas concept is the same turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder from the Golf R, but now with an IS38 turbo and an additional front-mounted radiator. That gives this Atlas a hearty 300 horsepower (223 kilowatts), mated to a seven-speed DSG gearbox and all-wheel drive.
"We really wanted to draw attention to the many great attributes of the Atlas Cross Sport, particularly its strong exterior styling, and evaluate its potential performance capabilities," said Sean Maynard, enthusiast marketing specialist for VW.
But don't get your hopes up, VW has no plans to put the Cross Sport GT into production (as far as we know). If you want to build one just like it, though, the Atlas Cross Sport starts at $30,855 in the US.