We all know the VW Atlas Cross Sport as a five-seat version of the Atlas SUV. But as the German automaker unveiled its Atlas Cross Sport GT Concept, we’re pretty much convinced it has the gravitas to trounce other sporty crossovers like the Mazda CX-5 and Infiniti QX50.
The concept starts with a range-topping Atlas Cross Sport SEL Premium R-Line version with a 3.6-liter V6 engine, race-inspired R-Line exterior styling, and standard all-wheel-drive. But instead of having a V6, the folks at Volkswagen Chattanooga gave the concept a modified EA888 motor from the VW Golf R. It also gets a new front-mounted radiator (from the Mk7 Golf R) and a new IS38 turbocharger.
Pumping out no less than 300 horsepower, the 2.0-liter mill sends the grunt to all four wheels via a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic gearbox. Mind you, the 2.0-liter four-banger produces more power and torque than the stock V6 motor while being lighter, too.
“The launch of the all-new Golf GTI and Golf R got us thinking about how to inject some of that VW magic into our SUVs,” said Scott Keogh, CEO, Volkswagen Group of America. It seems VW started it right by giving the concept a properly sporting engine. If you’re wondering, the Mk8 VW Golf R is the most powerful Golf ever made. It has 315 horsepower and 310 pound-feet of torque from its high-strung EA88 2.0-liter four-banger.
But Volkswagen didn’t do it alone. It sought the help of long-time VW collector and professional auto builder Jamie Orr in dressing up the Atlas Cross Sport GT Concept. If you remember, Orr also created the Tiguan SE R-Line Black RiNo concept, a lowered and dressed-up Tiguan with a Thule bike rack. It also came with a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine with 184 horsepower.
After lobbying for the Golf R’s 300 plus-horsepower engine, Orr gave the concept four Recaro Sportster CS sports seats in place of the usual five-seat configuration. After painting the entire thing in striking Kingfisher Blue paint, the Atlas Cross Sport GT concept received gloss black exterior trim, GT badging, and a set of magnificent 22-inch ABT Sport HR aero wheels wrapped in Yokohama Advan Sport V105 ultra-high-performance tires.
Underneath, the concept has ST XTA Plus 3 coilover suspension with GT-concept springs and TAROX eight-piston front brakes. Those wheels not only look incredible, but it enhances the crossover’s ground-hugging vibe. “This concept is proof that it’s possible to build SUVs that could appeal to our performance enthusiast base,” added Keogh.
Meanwhile, the interior has custom Eisvogelblau blue trim and non-animal-based materials. The Atlas Cross Sport GT Concept may be a one-off, but it’s one of the best-looking and most desirable production-based concepts we’ve seen in a while.
Volkswagen Atlas Cross Sport GT Concept Gallery