Off-Roading

As the 2019 Baja 1000 is about to start, Volkswagen announces 2020 entry

Volkswagen is taking its new Atlas Cross to Baja in 2020.

Photo courtesy of Volkswagen AG

Race entrants and crews are heading down to Ensenada this week to take part in the annual Baja 1000 off road race. Volkswagen is already planning for next year, announcing that their Atlas Cross Sport R prototype race truck will compete in the 2020 Baja 1000.

The Class 7 Open Production Unlimited competition model was developed in conjunction with racer Tanner Foust and Rhys Millen. It is currently in the final stages of development and testing.

Volkswagen Atlas Cross Sport R 2020 Baja 1000 The model was co-developed by Volkswagen, Tanner Foust, and Rhys Millen.Photo courtesy of Volkswagen AG

"Racing as a sport has historically been limited to a very privileged group," said Saad Chehab, Senior Vice President, VW Brand Marketing. "However, Volkswagens competed at the very beginning of Baja racing, and we're excited to help keep the fun, youthful spirit of the competition alive by way of our Atlas Cross Sport R."

The model will get power from a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine that was first developed by Volkswagen Motorsport for use in its WRC and Rallycross programs. It can achieve 600 horsepower but has been detuned to get around 480 horsepower for the unique challenge of desert racing.

Volkswagen Atlas Cross Sport R 2020 Baja 1000 The SUV has been heavily modified for the challenge of desert racing.Photo courtesy of Volkswagen AG

Foust, the 2019 ARX Rallycross champion, will be one of the drivers in next year's race. "I know what this combination of engine and drivetrain is capable of," he said. "I'm really excited to see this bit of Beetle DNA live on in the Atlas Cross Sport R and am itching to get behind the wheel."

The vehicle's livery will be crowdsourced. Volkswagen will be inviting designers from schools and colleges nationwide to participate in the design process with a competition that will be announced in early 2020.

Volkswagen will partner with The Conservation Fund to plant more than 1,000 trees for every mile raced during the 2020 Baja 1000.

Volvo is giving away $1 million in new cars if someone scores a safety during Super Bowl LIV.

Photo courtesy of Volvo Car Corporation

Whether you're rooting for the Chiefs or 49ers, you'll probably want to root for one of them to score a safety during Super Bowl LIV on February 2, 2020. During what the Swedish automaker is calling "Volvo Safety Sunday", if one team scores a safety during the game, random contest entrants will become winners.

According to Volvo, "A safety is a relatively rare and unpredictable scoring play in football that occurs when an offensive team is tackled, loses or fumbles the ball, or commits a penalty in their own end zone. The result of the play is two points to the defensive team, who receives possession of the ball via a free kick."

The campaign celebrate more than one million lives saved by Volvo safety innovations. The automaker has a number of safety innovations under their belt:

  • 1972: First rearward-facing child safety seat concept
  • 1991: Side-Impact Protection System (SIPS)
  • 1998: Whiplash Protection System (WHIPS)
  • 1998: Inflatable Curtain airbags
  • 2002: Roll-Over Protection System (ROPS)
  • 2003: Blind Spot Information System (BLIS)
  • 2008: City Safety collision sensing system
  • 2010: Pedestrian Detection with Full Auto Brake
  • 2013: Cyclist Detection
  • 2014: Run-off Road Protection
  • 2016: Connected Safety (Slippery Road Alert, Hazard Light Alert)
  • 2019: E.V.A (Equal Vehicles for All) Initiative and data sharing

To get entered to win, visit VolvoSafetySunday.com and design your own Volvo car. Submit a unique configuration code as an entry between January 20, 2020 and just before kickoff on February 2, 2020 to be registered.

Entrants can choose one of any 2020 Volvo models currently available in the U.S., in any trim and color.

Full rules, terms and conditions can be found at volvosafetysunday.com. a pledge to give away $1 million in cars if a safety occurs during football's biggest night on February 2, 2020.

Photo courtesy of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles N.V.

There are some SUVs that are great for carrying a large amount of cargo. Others that you can practically fit your entire extended family into. Some are great for easing down the road in style. The trucks and SUVs that made this list are proficient off-roaders that are also great for families.

To find the best ones, AutomotiveMap's writers have spent thousands of hours behind the wheel, in what some (those of us that like to get vehicles muddy and don't mind jostling around) may call "ideal circumstances". Here are our picks.

​2020 Subaru Outback

Photo courtesy of Subaru of America, Inc.

Jesus Garcia: The redesigned 2020 Subaru Outback is an all-wheel drive wagon that can do everything an off-road crossover can without looking like one. It serves as a great off-road adventure vehicle and alternative to anyone looking to avoid buying CUV.

​2020 Jeep Cherokee Trailhawk

Photo courtesy of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles N.V.

Nicole Wakelin: The 2020 Jeep Cherokee Trailhawk is comfortable with room for the family and their stuff during the week and the capability to have fun on the weekends.

2020 Jeep Gladiator

Photo courtesy of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles N.V.

Harvey Briggs: Room for five, legendary jeep capability, and I can bring my dirt bikes with me? Sounds like my kind of family off-road adventure. The 2020 Jeep Gladiator is an easy choice for off-roading families.

2020 Jeep Wrangler

Photo courtesy of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles N.V.

Sue Mead: The 2020 Jeep Wrangler is a true off-road chops with iconic styling and 4WD hardware. It's also a modern-day road ride. The Rubicon model is available for extreme adventurers, but other trim levels can handle some pretty extreme off-roading. The new 3.0-liter EcoDiesel engine has better fuel economy than the previous edition and potent torque.

Perry Stern, AutoNXT: The Wrangler is unmatched for off-road prowess, and the Unlimited offers room for the whole family with added thrill of removing the roof and doors.

Rolls-Royce Cullinan

Photo courtesy of Rolls-Royce Motor Cars

Eileen Falkenberg-Hull: Families deserve to go off-roading in style and the Cullinan is up to the task. I drove a version of the half-million dollar car up the face of Snow King Mountain and on the bumpy dirt roads of Grand Teton National Park during a full day of testing and was suitably impressed. Plus, it's the only Rolls-Royce model that seats five.