Volkswagen Atlas Prepares for a Second Facelift, 2024 Model Gets LED Light Bar

1 month, 1 week ago - 9 February 2023, autocar
Volkswagen Atlas teaser
Volkswagen Atlas teaser
Closely related to the Volkswagen Teramont for the Chinese market, the Volkswagen Atlas entered series production at the Chattanooga assembly plant in Tennessee in 2017 for the 2018 model year.

The mid-size crossover received a refresh at the 2020 Chicago Auto Show for the 2021 model year. The Atlas will get another facelift for 2024 at the 2023 Chicago Auto Show, arguably the most extensive yet for the family-oriented crossover.

Teased on social media prior to its February 9th debut in Windy City, the Atlas won’t be mistaken for anything else on the road at night. Volkswagen refashioned the front end with a thin strip of light-emitting diodes, an LED light bar that connects the LED headlights. The illuminated Volkswagen badge adds to the visual drama, and the shadowy teaser also reveals two sporty-looking air vents.

It’s hard to tell whether the bumper-integrated vents are functional or not. If they’re actually designed to channel air somewhere, that somewhere would be – without a shadow of a doubt – the front brakes. The Atlas is quite a heavy crossover, tipping the scales at 4,261 pounds (1,933 kilograms) for the SE FWD spec with the 2.0-liter turbo.

The second teaser photo shared by Volkswagen on social media offers a glimpse of the interior. The interior of the Atlas Cross Sport, that is, which rocks ambient lighting in the passenger area of the dashboard. The illuminated CROSS SPORT script on the dashboard is pretty cool as well, but the gloss-black air vent bezel isn’t as cool. Not only does it attract dust, but it’s also prone to fingerprints and scratches. A matte finish would’ve been more like it.

There’s also a gloss-black trim piece connecting the passenger’s air vent bezel to something located in the center of the dashboard. Speaking of which, the upper part of the dashboard features a textured material that looks genuinely nice on an otherwise boring crossover like the Atlas.

Currently priced at $35,150 for the three-row version and $34,460 for the less practical Cross Sport, the Atlas is certain to retain the four- and six-cylinder engines of the 2023 model. Both powerplants are connected to an eight-speed automatic transmission. Both feature a 3.60 final drive, and both can be optionally equipped with AWD.

The intercooled and turbocharged 2.0-liter engine is a four-cylinder lump with 235 horsepower on deck. Designed for premium fuel, the EA888, as Volkswagen calls it, belts out 258 pound-feet (350 Nm) at 1,600 revolutions per minute. Customers who specify the V6 are actually getting a VR6, which is essentially a narrow-angle V6. The German automaker decided on a 10.6-degree angle between the cylinder banks in order to fit a common cylinder head.

Codenamed EA390, the naturally-aspirated engine makes 276 horsepower at 6,200 revolutions per minute and 266 pound-feet (361 Nm) at 3,600 revolutions per minute with regular unleaded gasoline. The I’m-actually-a-VR6 engine offers the most towing capacity, as in 5,000 pounds (2,268 kilograms) with both front- and all-wheel drive.

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