The Volkswagen Atlas Tanoak is an all-American pickup

29 March, 2018, 02:10 | Author: Marjorie Miles
  • VW Atlas Cross Sport Concept teases 2019’s 5-seat SUV hybrid

The Volkswagen Atlas will both shrink and expand in 2019.

It is a concept to test the market reaction to the project, with Volkswagen insiders insisting they could turn it into a production reality in its Chattanooga, Tennessee plant "pretty quickly".

Vehicle buyers seem to have an unquenchable thirst for SUVs and Volkswagen is only too happy to oblige, in this case by previewing a new Atlas concept at the New York International Auto Show.

Sharing the same MQB platform as the seven-seater version, the five-seat Atlas Cross Sport Concept comes with the exact same wheelbase.

The shorter body sits 190.8 inches long, and 68.3 inches tall.

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The headlamps themselves are different from the seven-seat Atlas, and the daytime running lights match up neatly with the illuminated slats on the grille. In essence, VW's drawn a Range Rover Sport on a more restrained budget. The steering wheel is a chunky, thick-rimmed affair that feels like it could've been pulled from a sports vehicle. The pickup concept bears a noticeable resemblance to its three-row Atlas sibling and boasts the model's logo on its rear tailgate.

The Cross Sport's drivetrain marries today's 3.6-liter V-6 with a pair of electric motors, one at the front and one at the rear.

With that drivetrain, Volkswagen estimates the Atlas Cross Sport would be able to accelerate from zero to 60 miles per hour in 6.5 seconds and reach a top speed of 130 miles per hour.

Volkswagen says the vehicle defaults to an all-electric mode that has 26 miles of range. A 6-speed dual-clutch transmission handles gear changes.

Volkswagen also says a mild-hybrid version of the powertrain is possible, with the same electric motors and gas engine but a smaller 2.0kWh battery.

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This concept would be a large midsize pickup.

Off-Road mode the Cross Sport uses the engine to drive the front motor acting as a generator to power the rear motor for greater traction than the battery pack alone can supply.

Even with the bigger battery, the hybrid's forte wouldn't be all-electric driving. The front-mounted motor produces 54 hp and 162 lb-ft and the rear motor makes 114 hp and 199 lb-ft, for a total powertrain output of 355 hp and an undisclosed-but likely impressive-amount of torque.

As well as the customary traction modes the driver can choose, from Eco to Comfort to Sport and Snow, the Atlas Cross Sport lets drivers select among E-Mode, Hybrid, GTE, Off-road and Battery Hold/Battery charge modes. Data such as phone book contact images or CD covers shown on the 10.1-in touchscreen can also be transferred to the Digital Cockpit display.

The solution to any sales target is, increasingly, more SUVs and more pickups.

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