New Model News

Volkswagen unveils new 2020 Atlas Cross Sport fastback SUV

There is a new model in the VW SUV lineup, the 2020 Volkswagen Atlas Cross Sport.

Photo courtesy of Volkswagen AG

Volkswagen could not be restrained. In a vehicle design era where every two- and three-row luxury SUV is seemingly being re-conceived with a fastback design, it was only a matter of time before the Volkswagen Atlas got the treatment.

And here it is, the 2020 Volkswagen Atlas Cross Sport.

"Building off the success of the Atlas seven-seater midsize SUV, we see an opportunity for a five-seater model that offers even more style and almost as much interior space," said Scott Keogh, CEO, Volkswagen Group of America. "We look forward to entering this growing segment with the Atlas Cross Sport, which offers outstanding Volkswagen technology, driver-assist features, style, and value."

2020 Volkswagen Atlas Cross Sport The front of the Volkswagen Atlas Cross Sport is similar to the Atlas, but not identical.Photo courtesy of Volkswagen AG

The new SUV is 2.8 inches shorter than the current Atlas and 2.3 inches closer to the ground. It's the same 78.3 inches wide as the 2019 Atlas and rides on the identical 117.3-inch wheelbase.

At its front, the Atlas Cross Sport has a three-bar chrome grille and a distinctive new light signature. These looks are very similar to what was seen on the Volkswagen concept that was first seen at the 2018 New York Auto Show.

2020 Volkswagen Atlas Cross Sport The rear of the Atlas Cross Sport features a sloping roofline and less square appearance than the Atlas.Photo courtesy of Volkswagen AG

The look is rounded out with a sculpted rear bumper, and chrome accents on the lower body sides, rear bumper, and windows. R-Line models features more heavily sculpted bumpers with chrome and piano black treatments and available 21-inch aluminum-alloy wheels.

VW is giving buyers the same powertrain options in the Atlas Cross Sport as they have in the Atlas - a 235-horsepower turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder or the 276-horsepower 3.6-liter V6.

2020 Volkswagen Atlas Cross Sport The interior of the Atlas Cross Sport is more premium than in the Atlas, alluding to what is coming in the larger model.Photo courtesy of Volkswagen AG

The model has interior upgrades over the Atlas. There's a new steering wheel and available stitching accents on the door inserts and seats. There's a more modern list of available features including wireless charging, heated rear seats and steering wheel, ventilated front seats, rear sunshades, and the Fender Premium Audio System with 12 speakers. The Volkswagen Digital Cockpit configurable instrument display is available on the SEL and SEL Premium trims.

It comes standard with forward collision warning with braking, blind spot monitoring, and rear traffic alert. Other safety and driver assistance features are available including adaptive cruise control, park distance control, traffic jam assist, and dynamic road sign display.

2020 Volkswagen Atlas Cross Sport The Atlas Cross Sport has a good amount of passenger and cargo space despite its sloping roofline.Photo courtesy of Volkswagen AG

The Atlas Cross Sport has 111.8 cubic feet of passenger space. There is 40.3 cubic feet of cargo space behind its second row seats and that number expands to 77.8 cubic feet with the second row folded. Though the new model has less space than the original Atlas SUV, it still has more space than many other three-row SUVs.

The Chattanooga-made 2020 Volkswagen Atlas Cross Sport will be available in eight trim levels: S, SE, SE w/Tech, SE w/Tech R-Line, SEL, SEL R-Line, SEL Premium, and SEL Premium R-Line. The model will go on sale in Spring 2020 with pricing announced closer to that date.

Trending News

Nuts & Bolts

 
 

Production of the Volkswagen ID.4 will mark the automaker's first all-electric SUV launch. The ID.4 will have about 310 miles of range, depending on the drive package.

Photo courtesy of Volkswagen AG

Volkswagen is investing heavily into electric vehicles (EVs), even in the U.S. where the models make up a smidgeon of the sales each year. The company has already begun expanding its Chattanooga, Tennessee factory to build a North American center for the engineering and assembly of EVs.

That doesn't mean that they're just working on cars. They're working on the design of the "things" that go into cars as well. Much of this will happen at the Engineering and Planning Center (EPC) in Chattanooga. Breaking ground on the center is set to happen soon with the expectation of it being fully operational by spring 2021.

Volkswagen Chattanooga plant Volkswagen is investing $800 million and adding 1,000 jobs at its Tennessee plant. Photo courtesy of Volkswagen AG

The EPC will feature a unique, state-of-the-art high-voltage laboratory that is designed to develop and test electric vehicle cells and battery packs. These cells and packs are slated to be assembled in the U.S. before being inserted into vehicles.

"There are two ways that auto companies approach the development of electric vehicle batteries," said Wolfgang Maluche, Vice President of Engineering at Volkswagen of America. "A lot of them will farm out the development and testing of batteries to another company, and some will actually do the work of developing and testing in-house. We are doing the latter."

The lab will include pressure testers, explosion-rated climate chambers and – perhaps the most unique – a custom multi-axis shaker table (MAST), which is designed to test the integrity of vehicle components in some of the roughest conditions they might face on the road.

According to Volkswagen, most automotive labs have MASTs, "but almost none were designed for electric vehicle batteries". EV batteries present their own set of testing challenges because of their size and weight. They typically weight hundreds of pounds each, making them the heaviest component in an EV.

"The battery is not only shaking; it is going through a series of harsh conditions to test its durability in a variety of possible environments, from the South Pole to the Sahara," said Jason Swager, the Director of Electrical Development. "We needed to build a MAST that could withstand the immense force and frequency that we need to test these batteries."

Volkswagen describes the process:

"To run a MAST at such high frequencies, Volkswagen had to design its own tool rather than using an outside supplier. The supports for the MAST will be buried 12 feet under the lab's floor and buttressed with concrete to help withstand the forces in use. Volkswagen's new lab will be only the second location in the country with a MAST of this size."

Volkswagen is building the lab to LEED standards. "This lab was planned to be as sustainable as possible," said Maluche.

The production version of the Volkswagen ID.4 EV is expected to be revealed soon. It will be produced at the factory. The company recently celebrated the 1 millionth vehicle to roll off the line at the plant.

Trending News

 
 

The Audi E-Tron is being made more affordable.

Photo courtesy of Audi AG

Longer range, cheaper price. That's the bottom line for the 2021 Audi E-Tron. The all-electric SUV was the first in the E-Tron family to debut and go on sale and the a big step toward the brand's commitment to electrifying 30 percent of its U.S. model lineup by 2025.

Though Audi has revised the model's packages and lowered pricing, it's still pretty much the same SUV. Same fascia, body lines, wheels, brakes, and battery.

About that battery ... Software adjustments have made it so that drivers can now get 222 miles of all-electric range out of the 95 kilowatt-hour battery - an increase of 18 miles. The net energy amount goes up to 86.5 kilowatt-hours, nearly three kilowatt-hours more than the 2019 model.

2021 Audi E-Tron Sportback Audi sells the E-Tron in two varieties: E-Tron SUV and E-Tron Sportback.Photo courtesy of Audi AG

The SUV retains its standard 355 horsepower (it can go up to as much as 402 horsepower with Boost Mode) and can get from zero to 60 mph in 5.5 seconds using Boost Mode.

The all-wheel drive SUV will start at $65,900, an $8,900 dip from the starting MSRP of the 2020 Audi E-Tron. The model trim level lineup tops out at $79,100. A potential federal tax credit for purchasing an Audi E-Tron up to $7,500 may apply. There is a $1,095 destination charge.

The Premium (base) trim level is available with the Convenience Plus Package, which includes the Driver Assistance package and Black exterior trim kit. It comes standard with 20-inch five-spoke wheels; a heated steering wheel; quad-zone climate control; lane departure warning; heated front seats; a power lift gate; Audi Virtual Cockpit Plus; heated, auto-dimming, power-folding exterior mirrors with memory; Homelink; Integrated Toll Module; and comfort pre-conditioning.

The E-Tron Premium Plus grade comes standard with charge ports on both the driver and passenger side of the vehicle. It also gets the Driver Assistance Package; ambient interior lighting; heated and ventilated 12-way power-adjustable front seats; matrix-design LED headlights; 3D Bang & Olufson Sound System; and wireless device charging.

2021 Audi E-Tron Sportback The Audi E-Tron Sportback is more expensive than the traditional E-Tron SUV.Photo courtesy of Audi AG

The highest grade E-Tron Prestige adds a head-up display; individual contour front seats with massage functionality; Full Leather package; multi-color LED interior ambient lighting; dual-pane acoustic glass; an air quality system; power door closers; and rear sunshades.

The E-Tron Sportback, a sloped-roof version of the same SUV, has a higher starting price - $69,100. The E-Tron Sportback Premium Plus is $78,000 and the E-Tron Sportback Prestige is $82,300. It has an EPA-estimated range of 218 miles, has a 5.5-second zero to 60 mph time, and delivers up to 402 horsepower with Boost Mode engaged.

The standard features list for each of the E-Tron Sportback's grades is nearly identical to what is offered in the E-Tron SUV.

Trending News