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Volkswagen Still Finalizing Name for Smaller Atlas SUV

29 March 2018

The VW company has emphasized that this auto represents a concept and that comes within the purview of the next generation of infotainment tech cars.

Chance of being mass-produced: Done deal.

On the eve of the NY auto show Volkswagen took the wraps off the Atlas Cross Sport concept, a five-seat version of the larger Atlas that went on sale about a year ago. Another Atlas concept will be unveiled on Wednesday at the NY auto show; in 2020, VW plans to sell a battery-electric SUV patterned after its I.D. Crozz concept. It will join the Atlas and Tiguan in 2019, with VW's SUV lineup to be further bolstered in 2020 with the all-electric I.D. The Atlas Cross Sport is created to bridge the gap between those two, providing SUV punters reason not to buy a BMW X4, for example. A close-to-production concept is a five-seat SUV instead of seven which has both power and presence.

Volkswagen will invest around $340 million in the new SUV's market launch - in addition to investments of around $900 million already made to expand the plant for Atlas production.

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The dual-cab, short-bed pickup is the first truck to be based on VW's MQB platform and is basically a design study created to gauge the audience's reactions. Sadly, we won't be getting that one, because we have the built-in-the-USA Atlas.

The streamlined body of this auto is linked with a sloping D-pillar and roofline spoiler.

There's a new grille, new daytime running LEDs and a more sculpted look to the front quarter panels than the Atlas, while the illuminated Volkswagen badge on the grille is actually illegal in Germany, but legal in the US. The horizontal side character line is extended across the rear end with aluminum trim that sweeps under the LED taillights. The Tanoak has a stretched 128.3-inch wheelbase - 11 inches longer than the Atlas. You've got the digital cockpit and a 10-inch infotainment system. The navigation system includes a new three-dimensional view in which the user can set up multiple layers with different information in each view.

The Atlas Cross Sport Concept uses the same 3.6 litre V6 FSI engine as the Atlas, which makes 276 hp and 361 Nm of torque. Shifting for the concept's six-speed automatic is via an electronic toggle shifter.

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The company noted that the Atlas Sport Cross impresses with a sporty rear body in coupé style and a plug-in hybrid drive (PHEV) with an all-electric driving range of 70 kilometers (NEDC) or 26 miles (EPA). That makes it similar to the Honda Pilot-based Ridgeline pickup, and means it has a car-like ride, a V6 engine and all-wheel-drive.

Volkswagen says the vehicle's engine can produce 276 horsepower and 266 pound-feet of torque and accelerate from zero to 60 miles per hour in 8.5 seconds.

Gary Gastelu is's Automotive Editor.

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Volkswagen Still Finalizing Name for Smaller Atlas SUV