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Volkswagen just revealed a smaller version of the SUV that tried to solve its biggest problem in the US

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Volkswagen’s Atlas Cross Sport concept.Volkswagen

  • Volkswagen unveiled the Atlas Cross Sport SUV concept on Tuesday.
  • The Atlas Cross Sport is a smaller, five-seat version of the seven-seat Atlas, which was introduced in 2017.
  • Volkswagen said it will begin producing a five-seat Atlas based on the Cross Sport concept in 2019.

Over the past year, Volkswagen has increased and revamped its SUV offerings for an American market that can’t get enough of them.

In 2017, the automaker launched the Atlas as its flagship SUV, revamped its Tiguan compact SUV, and nixed the Touareg mid-size SUV for the 2018 model year. 

On Tuesday, Volkswagen unveiled the Atlas Cross Sport concept ahead of the New York International Auto Show. The Atlas Cross Sport is a smaller, five-seat version of the seven-seat Atlas, which was one of our favorite cars last year. Volkswagen will begin producing a five-seat Atlas based on the Cross Sport concept in 2019.

vw atlas cross sportVolkswagen

The Atlas Cross Sport has a more streamlined profile than the Atlas, is 7.5 inches shorter, and features a plug-in hybrid drivetrain that can produce 355 horsepower and 266 pound-feet of torque. With the plug-in hybrid drivetrain, Volkswagen estimates the Atlas Cross Sport would be able to accelerate from 0 to 60 mph in 6.5 seconds and reach a top speed of 130 mph.

While the Atlas Cross Sport has the same, 3.6-liter V6 FSI engine as the original Atlas, the Cross Sport adds two electric motors powered by a 18 kWh lithium-ion battery. Volkswagen said the vehicle defaults to an all-electric mode that has 26 miles of range. As the battery is exhausted, the V6 gasoline engine gradually takes over.

vw cross sportVolkswagen

Many of the vehicle’s interior features are controlled via a 10.1-inch touchscreen, and the driver can monitor the vehicle’s stats on a digital, 12.3-inch instrument panel.

Volkswagen said it could also apply the Atlas Cross Sport concept to a mild hybrid powertrain that would feature a 2.0 kWh battery, produce 310 horsepower, accelerate from 0 to 60 mph in 6.5 seconds, and match the plug-in hybrid’s top speed of 130 mph.

Before revamping its SUV lineup, Volkswagen had struggled to make headway in the US market due to its reliance on smaller passenger cars, a strategy that was successful in Europe, Asia, and South America, but didn’t align with American preferences for larger vehicles.

On Wednesday, VW revealed its Atlas Tanoak pickup-truck concept.

vw atlas cross sportVolkswagen

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