Volkswagen Stuck a Golf R Engine Into Their New Atlas Concept

The Volkswagen Atlas Cross Sport debuted in 2020, competing with other two-row SUVs, like the Honda Passport. After two years on the market, Volkswagen decided to transform the Atlas into an entirely new vehicle, at least performance-wise. 

According to Jalopnik, modifications slated for this concept model will bring a whole new level to performance crossovers. The idea for the transformation came from the engine of one of its other vehicles. 

What we have with the Volkswagen Atlas Cross Sport

The Volkswagen Atlas Cross Sport GT concept in blue shadowed by a sunset
The Volkswagen Atlas Cross Sport GT concept | Volkswagen of America, Inc. Newspress Limited

The Volkswagen Atlas Cross Sport came onto the scene as an affordable rival to the Audi Q8. This five-seater SUV has a roofline with a steep slope in the rear and a couple of other aggressive styling points that give it a sportier look than the standard Atlas model. 

Under the hood is a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder producing 235 horsepower or a 3.6-liter V6 engine that generates 276 horsepower. Other features include an eight-speed transmission, an 8-inch touchscreen display, a Fender premium audio system, and an optional 4Motion all-wheel drivetrain. When it comes to fuel economy, it gets you about 24 mpg, which isn’t too bad.

Since Volkswagen is seeing mega sales of its electric vehicles, it wouldn’t be surprising to see a model like the Atlas Cross Sport get an electrified update in the future. While the ID.3 and ID.4 models are available in the European market, the only fully electric drivetrain currently hitting dealerships in America is the ID.4

What’s coming up for the Volkswagen Atlas?

With the help of a VW fan, this automaker has big plans for the Volkswagen Atlas Cross Sport. A few modifications are in the works to transform the SUV, beginning with the name, which is to be called the Atlas Cross Sport GT concept model. 

One of the changes planned is a new color, which is called Kingfisher Blue. At this time, though, it is only available in Europe. Next, Volkswagen will turn its attention to the suspension system, where it plans to lower it with the ST Suspension XTA Plus 3 system. There will also be 22-inch Sport HR Aero Wheels and Tarox eight-piston brakes in the front. 

The most exciting addition to the Atlas Cross Sport is the engine that Volkswagen chose to pull from the Golf R. To best match the new concept model, the automaker plans to drop a tweaked 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder that produces a little over 300 horsepower. Pair it with a DSG seven-speed transmission, and you’ve got yourself a nice little performance crossover. 

According to Auto Blog, VW’s new concept model will come with some interior changes as well. Instead of having room for five that we have now, it will drop to a four-seater, utilizing Recaro bucket seats in all spots. Replacing the center seat in the rear section is a console offering some storage space for passengers. 

What does the Golf R offer?

The same four-cylinder engine will be installed in the Golf R for the 2022 model, but it will receive a few different tweaks than the Atlas Cross Sport GT concept. With this version, you can get around 315 horsepower and 310 lb-ft of torque. You get the seven-speed dual-clutch paired with it, but in the American market, you can get the six-speed manual as a bonus option. 

Since the Golf R is tweaked for performance, it can go from 0 to 62 mph in only 4.7 seconds with all-wheel drive. However, its dual-clutch gearbox is set up to power the rear axle shafts individually, which means you can control the speed a bit more by sending more power to the outside rear wheel when going around a corner fast. 

You’ll also get a 10.25-inch display for the Digital Cockpit Pro system, in-vehicle WiFi, a 10-inch infotainment screen, and LED headlights. A little ambient lighting on the exterior gives it a nice luxurious touch. The price for the Golf R is set for $43,645, according to Jalopnik.

Volkswagen plans to transform the Atlas Cross Sport into something that’s even sportier and more performance-focused. According to Volkswagen‘s media site, the Atlas Cross Sport GT concept model, with its customized engine, is set to be shown off at some select events. 

RELATED: 2020 Volkswagen Atlas Cross Sport: How Does it Differ From the Atlas?