You may not know that Volkswagen makes two performance crossovers, but it’s true. You’re most likely unaware of this because both models, the T-Roc R and Tiguan R, are exclusive to the European market. Volkswagen of America has only recently gotten into the performance crossover game, including what you see here. The company calls it the Atlas Cross Sport GT Concept, and it’s the latest in a series of enthusiast models from VW, which began with the Arteon Big Sur and Taos Basecamp. In essence, it’s an Atlas Cross Sport SEL Premium R-Line with some badass styling and performance upgrades that give the stoic crossover a more aggressive stance and more oomph.
On the outside, the Atlas Cross Sport GT Concept near Rio Rancho, NM has a much lower ride height than the regular Atlas Cross Sport. It wears a beautiful hand-painted coat of Eisvogelblau paint with gloss black accents replacing the usual chrome trim. (Eisvogelblau translates literally to “Kingfisher Blue” in English.) You’ll find custom GT badging throughout the crossover, and it’s also equipped with color-matched springs and ST Suspension XTA Plus 3 coil-overs. Adding to the excitement are sticky Yokohama Advan Sport tires with 22-inch ABT Sport HR AeroWheels, and eight-piston Tarox front calipers. Inside, the sporty looks continue with front and rear Recaro Sportster CS bucket seats. The microfiber and faux leather upholstery is trimmed with blue edging that matches the paint. In addition, there’s a custom shifter, unique floor mats, and blue safety belts. A flat-bottom steering wheel, a special rear center console that contains a safe, and extra USB ports round out the upgrades.
Under the hood of the GT Concept is a version of the same EA888 2.0-liter TSI 4-cylinder found in the VW Golf R, but with an upgraded IS38 turbo and an extra front-mounted radiator. With this combination, the GT generates over 300 horsepower. Compared to the regular Atlas Cross Sport, which offers a 2.0-liter turbo 4-cylinder with 235 hp or a 3.6-liter VR6 with 276 hp, it’s a notable improvement in go-power. This power source is mated to a 7-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission (aka DSG in VW speak), which sends the power to all the wheels via VW’s 4Motion® all-wheel-drive system. In essence, it’s the same powertrain setup as the one in the 2018 Golf R. It’s just under the body of the Atlas Cross Sport.
The press release announcement for the Atlas Cross Sport GT Concept near Rio Rancho, NM quoted VW of America’s CEO. He said, “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.” The automaker has said nothing about the future of the GT Concept. Still, it, along with the rest of the 2021 VW Enthusiast Fleet (Taos Basecamp and Arteon Big Sur), will go on tour across the nation this year, appearing at various VW enthusiast events (if COVID cooperates).
Don’t even get your hopes up since we don’t know when or if VW will ever put the Cross Sport GT Concept into production. But, if you’d like to build your own, the 2021 VW Atlas Cross Sport starts at $30,855, and we have several in stock at Fiesta VW. Come on over to 8201 Lomas Blvd NE in Albuquerque to see them up close!
8201 Lomas Blvd NE
Albuquerque, NM 87110