Chicago: What’s under these wrappers? Glad you asked. They’re covering the substantially new 2024 Atlas and Atlas Cross Sport. VW of America’s CEO, Pablo Di Si presented these new SUVs at Revel Motor Row during the 2023 Chicago Auto Show’s media preview.
These mid-size SUVs represent a sea change at VWoA. In 2013, about 91% of VW’s American sales were sedans. Now, 83% of its deliveries are SUVs. And Di Si wants to increase that number. He told the VW Autoist he sees a slot for yet another crossover in VW’s lineup.
Di Si, touts a number of Atlas upgrades meant to improve customer satisfaction and retention. The first item is a new 169-hp, 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine with 273 lb-ft of torque. That’s up 28% compared with the departing V-6. He says customers want more urgency when they step on the go pedal. Now, they’ll get it. Another update is a softer, more luxurious interior. You’ll find stitched leatherette on the dashboard with LED ambient lighting. Quilted seating apes a Bentley.
The new power plant, the carry-over eight-speed automatic motivate the Atlas and Atlas Cross Sport with or without 4Motion all-wheel-drive.
Exterior embellishments included new signature front (IQ) LED lighting and full-width (IQ) LED rear lamps. VW’s Digital Cockpit bright video display instrumentation is standard. Dashboard and steering wheel controls use touch sensors. Unlike the 2024 Toyota Grand Highlander (revealed yesterday) with its large HVAC knobs, the Atlas places dark, touch-and-then-slide temperature touch controls in a trough below the infotainment screen. The spiffy door cards have rocker-style window switches.
VW plans a press-opportunity Atlas walkaround and lunch, tomorrow, at its Chicago show booth.