All of us, in our own ways, make our vehicles our own, but some people take it to an entirely different level. These people are enthusiasts and Volkswagen embraces the innovations these enthusiasts bring to the table.
The latest enthusiast build for 2021 is the Atlas Cross Sport GT Concept, which started with a production vehicle assembled in Volkswagen’s Chattanooga, Tennessee, factory and then was modified by Jamie Orr, a professional car builder, driver, parts hunter, logistics manager and journalist. The result is fresh styling updates, unique color palette and a modified 2.0-liter TSI engine with lowered suspension and custom wheels.
“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.”
Using a 2021 Atlas Cross Sport SEL Premium R-Line as its base, the GT Concept took several months to create. The build has 22-inch ABT Sport HR Aerowheels, ST Suspension XTA Plus 3 coilovers with color-matched and GT Concept-branded springs and Tarox eight-piston front brakes. It sports a concept gloss black exterior trim on a striking blue body color, Eisvogelblau (Kingfisher Blue), currently only available in Europe. The Chattanooga production team hand painted the vehicle.
Under the hood is a version of the EA888 2.0 TSI engine found in the Volkswagen Golf R, with an IS38 turbo. It also has an additional front-mounted radiator from a Mk7 Golf R. It generates more than 300 horsepower and is paired with a seven-speed DSG automatic transmission with the standard 4Motion all-wheel-drive system.
“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,” said Orr.
The Interior Upgraded
Inside, Recaro Sportster CS seats were installed using the Eisvogelblau color as an accent. Orr’s team also incorporated accents to the steering wheel and custom Volkswagen floormats. The addition of a one-of-a-kind rear center console allowed for the installation of an a USB charging port.
“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,” said Orr. “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.”
Keogh and Orr presented the vehicle to the Volkswagen Chattanooga production team. The concept vehicle will be at select events across the United States later this year.
For more on the production Atlas Cross Sport, see the vehicle’s latest kudos here.