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Volkswagen Atlas Cross Sport Concept First Look

Volkswagen Atlas Cross Sport Concept First Look

In startup business culture, you're told to start small, but think big in scale. Volkswagen has turned that around with the new Atlas Cross Sport concept. Based on the burly Atlas three-row SUV, the Atlas Cross Sport downsizes the big SUV into a smaller, five-passenger package. How much smaller? VW says the new five-seater will be 7.5 inches shorter than its bigger counterpart.

Smaller in size it may be, but the Atlas Cross Sport still thinks big. VW has equipped the concept with a V6 engine augmented with dual electric motors, 355 total system horsepower, plug-in rechargeability, and 26 miles of electric-only range. The concept uses a six-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission hooked up to VW's 4Motion all-wheel drive, and it features drive modes optimized for pavement, performance, dirt and snow. VW could also offer a milder 310-hp powertrain with a smaller battery.

The Cross Sport concept even features a bit of dazzle with grille crossbars illuminated by white LEDs that function as daytime running lights. That's a party trick unlikely to make production, but a cool idea regardless.

A more likely idea to cross the finish line is the 12.3-inch Digital Cockpit screen with configurable graphics, instrumentation and navigation features. VW will start building the five-seat Atlas next year in Chattanooga, Tennessee.