You wouldn’t know it from looking through Volkswagen’s North American lineup, but the German automaker actually does produce performance versions of some of its SUVs. There are R-badged T-Roc and Tiguan models available in Europe, but neither has made across the pond.
So enjoy this new concept the company has just unveiled for what it is and no more. Volkswagen calls this slick crossover the Atlas Cross Sport GT Concept, which is basically an Atlas Cross Sport given a shock R treatment.
A quick look at the model and the visual and performance tweaks it has gotten makes you think that VW could actually make this, and wish they would. Scott Keough, VW of America CEO, did his part to enflame the passions – or at least the hopes – of VW performance enthusiasts:
“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. This concept is proof that it’s possible to build SUVs that could appeal to our performance enthusiast base.”
- Scott Keough, CEO, VW of America
Possible doesn’t mean it will happen, of course, but we can still marvel at this prototype, designed in collaboration with one of those aforementioned enthusiasts, Jamie Orr, and which has a modified version of the Golf R’s 2.0L 4-cylinder turbo engine. Here it gets a new turbocharger and a different radiator for improved cooling, and delivers an output of 300 hp working with a 7-speed DSG transmission and all-wheel drive.
The concept also features a lowered suspension and rides on 22-inch ABT Sport HR Aerowheels (fitted with Yokohama Advan Sport tires), which are harnessed by oversized Tarox 8-piston front brakes.
In case you’re wondering, the distinctive colour of the model is called Kingfisher Blue, which can be had on VW models in Europe. There are GT badges sprinkled here and there.
Inside the space has also been modified, starting with a four-seat configuration, all of the seats being reinforced Recaro buckets. The rear centre console is unique, plus there’s the distinctive blue again.
Volkswagen says it plans to take the Atlas Cross Sport GT Concept on tour this summer, so expect it to appear at certain auto shows in the U.S.