Volkswagen of America, Inc. unveiled the latest enthusiast build for 2021, the Atlas Cross Sport GT Concept. Combining fresh styling updates and a unique color palette with a modified 2.0-liter TSI® engine, lowered suspension, and custom wheels, the concept shows the sporty potential of the Chattanooga-assembled midsize SUV.
“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,” said Scott Keogh, CEO, Volkswagen Group of America. “This concept is proof that it’s possible to build SUVs that could appeal to our performance enthusiast base.”
The Atlas Cross Sport GT Concept started with a production vehicle assembled in Chattanooga, which was then modified by Volkswagen enthusiast Jamie Orr. The performance-enhanced SUV concept features a four-seat configuration and incorporates the striking blue color Eisvogelblau, translating to “Kingfisher Blue,” currently available on select Volkswagen products in Europe. The concept was hand painted by the Chattanooga production team.
Using a 2021 Atlas Cross Sport SEL Premium R-Line as its base, the GT Concept took several months to create and includes a host of unique touches. The build comprises 22-inch ABT Sport HR AEROWHEELs, wrapped in Yokohama Advan Sport V105 UHP 285/35R22 tires; ST Suspension XTA Plus 3 coilovers with color-matched and GT Concept -branded springs; TAROX eight-piston front brakes; and concept gloss black exterior trim replaces the existing chrome finishes. In addition, custom GT badging is integrated throughout the vehicle.
“We really wanted to draw attention to the many great attributes of the Atlas Cross Sport, particularly its strong exterior styling, and evaluate its potential performance capabilities,” said Sean Maynard, Enthusiast and Motorsport Marketing Specialist for Volkswagen.
Under the hood is a version of the EA888 2.0 TSI engine found in the Volkswagen Golf R, with an IS38 turbo and an additional front-mounted radiator from a Mk7 Golf R. It generates more than 300 horsepower. A seven-speed DSG® automatic transmission was paired with the standard 4Motion® all-wheel-drive system to handle the extra power.
“The production model has excellent acceleration, braking and handling for its size, but we knew we wanted to push the car even further so it could live up to its GT name,” Orr said.
The eye-catching Eisvogelblau color was weaved throughout the interior of the car—from the bespoke RECARO Sportster CS seats to the custom blue gear shift and safety belts. Orr’s team also incorporated colorful accents to the steering wheel and custom Volkswagen Accessories floor mats to create a cohesive look. All of the modified interior materials are non-animal based.
Rounding out the custom interior seating layout is a one-of-a-kind rear center console, which follows the design language of the front console. Inside the storage compartment is a Volkswagen Accessories convenience safe and additional USB charging ports.
“I have had the opportunity to drive standard production Atlas Cross Sport vehicles in a variety of different conditions and environments, which has proven to me what a capable platform it is,“ Orr said. “The production model has excellent acceleration, braking, and handling for its size, but I knew we could build a car that could maximize its potential and live up to the GT name.”
“It’s been a lot of fun creating this concept,” Orr says. “Hopefully, it’ll get a smile out of people.”
After being presented to the Volkswagen Chattanooga production team by Scott Keogh and Jamie Orr, the Atlas Cross Sport GT Concept will be at select events across the USA later this year.