NEW YORK -- The Volkswagen Atlas Basecamp Concept, a beefy version of the German brand's three-row crossover displayed last month at the New York auto show, is "highly likely" to make it to the U.S. market in some form, the brand's North American CEO says.
The matte-painted Basecamp, which is based on a top-end Atlas SEL Premium, sports fifteen52 Traverse MX Concept wheels and 265/70R17 all-terrain tires. It also features a custom body trim kit, a 1.5-inch (38mm) lift kit with coil-over springs, a roof rack system with bike holders and front- and rear-mounted light bars. In New York, the Atlas Basecamp Concept was displayed hitched to an off-road capable compact expedition trailer with matching wheels and tires.
Scott Keogh, CEO of Volkswagen Group of America, said the Basecamp Concept presents an opportunity for Volkswagen to get its large crossover — and its dealers — further into the lucrative world of lifestyle accessories, where he sees opportunities for some "upgraded packages" for Atlas.
"I think if you look where the Basecamp is, it gives a visual expression which you can see quite clearly, which I think consumers identify with," Keogh said. "I think what's still on the table is, do we want to add mechanical differentiation as well for a more rugged profile?"
Keogh said Volkswagen's designers and engineers were "getting some ideas" about where else to take the Atlas. "I think it's highly likely that we will bring something like that as a line. We have the R line, which is the performance side of our equation. And we now think there's an opportunity for a rugged Basecamp package now. We'll get some ideas and see how it goes."