• Volkswagen introduced its new 2024 Atlas and Atlas Cross Sport at the Chicago Auto Show.
• Both models get a new 2.0L turbocharged 4-cylinder engine offering 269 hp and 273 lb-ft of torque.
• It will be easier to tell the Atlas from the Atlas Cross Sport, Volkswagen promises.
The Atlas first debuted in our market for 2018. Six years later, VW is making significant changes to its SUVto bring it up to date. The company mentions a major upgrade, but in reality, we can talk about a new generation, even if the structure of the model remains the same.
And we should be talking about models, plural, because Volkswagen presented two vehicles: the Atlas and the coupe-style version, the Atlas Cross Sport. Certainly in Canada, the two SUVs are major players in VW's lineup.
"The Atlas has struck a chord with Canadian consumers since its launch. With this update, the Atlas and Atlas Cross Sport will offer even more of the style, comfort and convenience our customers have been looking for," said Pierre Boutin, President and CEO of Volkswagen Group Canada.
Here is a summary of the changes to the models.
First of all, in terms of aesthetics, there is a new front-end signature. On all versions, apart from the ientre-level models, we note new LED lighting for the headlights, which are joined by an LED strip to add a bit more character. The logo is also illuminated at the grille. At the rear, the same approach is adopted on the same versions, with an illuminated Volkswagen logo.
Also at the rear, the Cross Sport variant's diffuser gets a more aggressive design than the current generation's, which will help differentiate the models more easily. It was one of the company's stated goals to creat more distinction between the two products.
New 18- to 20-inch wheels (21 inches with the R-Line package), as well as larger fins on the back of the roof, add style to both vehicles' profiles.
Inside, a significant upgrade has also been made, including the addition of more noble materials and more generous standard equipment. For example, all versions will now benefit from a heated steering wheel as standard, as well as ventilated front seats and the Climatronic three-zone automatic climate control system. On the richest trim level, there will be quilted leather with a diamond pattern. Also, all models will have, in addition to a 12-inch screen for the multimedia system, a 10.25-inch information screen in the instrument cluster.
As we have seen with other recently renewed models in the range, ambient lighting offering 30 colors will be available as an option. When it comes to technology, the new model will be on the cutting edge. The interior will even offer six USB-C ports as standard (two more can be added), as well as wireless connection to favorite applications. USB-C charging is even going to offer a fast 45-watt capacity.
HEre Volkswagen is simplifying things. The 3.6L V6 engine is going away, as is the base 2.0L turbocharged 4-cylinder configuration that offered 235 hp and 258 lb-ft of torque.
Now, all Atlasesrun on a different 2.0L turbo 4-cylinder good for 269-hp and 273 lb-ft of torque. An 8-speed automatic transmission is mated to it, and of course, 4Motion all-wheel drive is included. Note that towing capacity is preserved at 5,000 lb with this new engine.
It also promises to be more economical at the pump than the outgoing V6 engine.
The 2024 Atlas and Atlas Cross Sport are expected early in the third quarter of the year.
We'll of course be back with our driving impressions once we've attended the launch.