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VW Unwraps Hybrid Atlas Cross Sport SUV Concept in New York

VW Unwraps Hybrid Atlas Cross Sport SUV Concept in New York

By Philly Murtha, March 28, 2018
This week, Volkswagen previewed an Atlas Cross Sport Concept at the 2018 New York International Auto Show. VW’s 5-seat plug-in hybrid (PHEV) Concept is a smaller version of its 7-seat Atlas midsize SUV introduced in 2017. Plans are to build a production Cross Sport, alongside the midsize Atlas at VW’s Chattanooga, TN, plant in 2019.

VW’s Atlas Cross Sport Concept is built on VW’s new MQB (modular transverse matrix) platform and is 7.5-inches shorter than the current Atlas, but retains the same wheelbase. Styling is “coupe-like with a sportier stance”, VW officials say.

The Concept’s plug-in hybrid system, which would be VW’s first in the U.S., relies on two electric (front and rear) motors with energy from an 18 kWh lithium-ion battery that partners with a V-6 engine ( the same engine as in the current Atlas), to produce a combined 355 horsepower. In pure electric mode, the Concept travels 26 miles before recharge. With a smaller battery and mild hybrid powertrain, VW claims the Concept accelerates from 0-60 mph in 6.5 seconds, with a top speed of 130 mph. 

On the outside, the Atlas Cross Sport Concept features an illuminated two-bar grille instead of three bars on the current Atlas, although both SUVs share LED lighting systems incorporated into their grilles. Short front and rear overhangs, flared wheel arches above 22-in. aluminum alloy wheels plus a roof spoiler with black side fins complete the look.

Inside, the Atlas Cross Sport Concept features an instrument panel with a 10.1-in. infotainment system screen that operates through sensor and gesture control in conjunction with a 12.3-in. Digital Cockpit. Graphics and layout change with selected driving profile—Snow, Sport, On-Road, or Off-Road. Navigation display appears in 2D or 3D views.

Ramping up its lineup of SUVs is important to VW’s growth strategy for the U.S, officials state, noting that 54% of February sales were Tiguan or Atlas SUVs. In addition to the upcoming Atlas Cross Sport, VW also has shown an all-electric I.D. Crozz that launches in 2020. 
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