Previews upcoming accessories for enhanced practicality

The Volkswagen Atlas made its public debut at the 2016 Los Angeles Auto Show as the company’s largest SUV to date. A three-row SUV with plenty of room for seven people, the Atlas rides on the Volkswagen Group’s MQB platform, which is shared with the slightly smaller Skoda Kodiaq. As the crossover is being prepared to arrive in dealerships in the Spring of 2017, Volkswagen unveils the Weekend Edition at the 2017 Chicago Auto Show.

Designed to demonstrate how the Atlas can be "enhanced with smart accessories," the Weekend Edition is actually more of a concept car rather than a limited-edition model scheduled for production. Volkswagen says it is inspired by the “Weekender” packages offered on the classic Vanagon and Eurovan pop-up camper models and integrates several accessories that enhance the its versatility.

Simply put, Volkswagen is preparing the Atlas for a tough North American market disputed by offerings from Ford, General Motors, and FCA, by matching the vast customization options buyers can get for Detroit-made SUVs. We’ve seen a similar strategy at Chevrolet recently, with many almost production-ready concept sporting upcoming accessories and features.

Many of the accessories showcased on this conceptual Atlas will be available from Volkswagen dealers when the Atlas goes on sale in Spring 2017. Let’s see what the Germans are offering in the review below.

Continue reading to learn more about the Volkswagen Atlas Weekend Edition.

  • 2017 Volkswagen Atlas Weekend Edition
  • Year:
    2017
  • Make:
  • Model:
  • body style:

Exterior

2017 Volkswagen Atlas Weekend Edition High Resolution Exterior
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2018 Volkswagen Atlas High Resolution Exterior
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Comparison Volkswagen Atlas Weekend Edition vs Volkswagen Atlas production model

Needless to say, a quick glance is enough to notice that the Weekend Edition isn’t a regular Atlas. The styling features may be identical to the standard SUV, but the new accessories help it stand out among its siblings.

The first feature that catches the eye is the carbo box on the roof. Dubbed Urban Loader, it offers up to 17.7 cubic feet of cargo room (only five cubic feet short of the Golf’s trunk space) when expanded. When empty, it offers a sleek appearance with limited impact on the SUV’s aerodynamics. Remove the Urban Loader and the carrier bars can be uses for accessories such as skis, snowboards, kayaks or bikes.

2017 Volkswagen Atlas Weekend Edition High Resolution Exterior
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2017 Volkswagen Atlas Weekend Edition High Resolution Exterior
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2017 Volkswagen Atlas Weekend Edition High Resolution Exterior
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The first feature that catches the eye is the carbo box on the roof.

Down below, the Atlas received wheelbase-long side steps for easy access to the roof, as well as helping smaller persons get into the vehicle. The window and hood deflectors, as well as the splashguard enhance the concept’s practicality. The Weekend Edition is rounded off by wheel locks and a set of 18-inch Prima rims finished in Anthracite Gray.

Interior

2017 Volkswagen Atlas Weekend Edition High Resolution Interior
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Inside, Volkswagen added various accessories to enhance comfort and practicality. The front seatbacks are fitted with a universal tablet mount that enables passengers to bring along just about any type of touchscreen tablet. Volkswagen says that the mount’s design is innovative, providing easy access to the home button on the most common models, while enabling the devices to use the Media Control feature using Wi-Fi technology for Android and iOS.

A robust cargo divider mounted behind the second-row seats provides a safe barrier for pets, including large dogs, which can ride in comfort when the trunk section is empty. There’s also a heavy-duty trunk liner with seat-back coverage, a privacy cargo cover, and all-weather rubber mats.

2017 Volkswagen Atlas Weekend Edition High Resolution Interior
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2017 Volkswagen Atlas Weekend Edition High Resolution Interior
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Inside, Volkswagen added various accessories to enhance comfort and practicality.

It’s all cool so far, but I’m a bit disappointed that Volkswagen didn’t create a unique upholstery for this concept, but maybe things will change as the Atlas arrives in showrooms and the company begins rolling out more special-edition models.

Drivetrain

2017 Volkswagen Atlas Weekend Edition High Resolution Exterior
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The Weekend Edition is based on the SEL Premium model, which means it is powered by the turbocharged, 3.6-liter V-6 engine rated at 276 horsepower. The unit mates to an eight-speed automatic transmission and can be optioned up with the 4Motion all-wheel-drive system. Although it’s nice of Volkswagen to mention this, this piece of information isn’t exactly relevant, as the accessories should be available for every model in the lineup. This means that customers will also be able to add them to trims powered by the 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine, which generates 235 horsepower.

Conclusion

2017 Volkswagen Atlas Weekend Edition High Resolution Exterior
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2017 Volkswagen Atlas Weekend Edition High Resolution Exterior
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Factory customization isn’t exactly mainstream when it comes SUVs, but the U.S. market has plenty of offerings. For instance, Chevrolet Accessories are available for a wide range of models, while Mopar offers numerous parts for Dodge and Fiat crossovers. Volkswagen is obviously aiming its new line of accessories in the same direction and this is a good thing. With the Atlas conceived primarily for the North American market, Volkswagen needs to be able to compete with what local automakers have to offer. Making the Atlas a customizable SUV with enhanced practicality is definitely the way to go in this crowded segment.

  • Leave it
    • * Not much has changed inside and out design-wise

Press Release

The all-new 2018 Volkswagen Atlas that will hit American roads this Spring was designed to let people live a life as big as their imaginations. At the 2017 Chicago Auto Show, Volkswagen of America, Inc., will demonstrate how the Atlas can be enhanced with smart accessories in a new concept, the Atlas Weekend Edition.

2017 Volkswagen Atlas Weekend Edition High Resolution Exterior
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Volkswagen enthusiasts may appreciate the throwback to the “Weekender” packages offered on the classic Vanagon and Eurovan pop-up camper models. The Atlas Weekend Edition integrates several available accessories that enhance the Chattanooga-built SUV’s versatility with innovative cargo solutions.

The Weekend Edition concept is based on an SEL Premium model, equipped with a 3.6-liter VR6® engine making 276 hp and an eight-speed transmission, paired with Volkswagen’s advanced 4Motion® all-wheel drive with Drive Mode Select.

2017 Volkswagen Atlas Weekend Edition High Resolution Exterior
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Riding on 18-inch Prisma wheels finished in a custom anthracite gray, the Atlas Weekend Edition features a modern variation of the pop-up roof—the Urban Loader cargo box. When empty, the Urban Loader offers a sleek, minimized appearance; when needed for hauling, it can expand to a 17.7 cubic-foot container. In addition, the Weekend Edition features base carrier bars for attaching accessories for skis, snowboards, kayaks or bikes. Reaching the extra roof storage or helping small children into the vehicle is easy with practical side steps.

2017 Volkswagen Atlas Weekend Edition High Resolution Interior
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Inside the Atlas Weekend Edition, a robust cargo divider provides a safe, pet-friendly barrier behind the second row, so that pets can ride in comfort. The Weekend Edition’s second row also features an innovative universal tablet mount that allows passengers to bring any popular variety of touchscreen tablet along for a getaway. The design provides easy access to the home button on the most common models, and the tablets can use the Atlas available Media Control feature using Wi-Fi technology for Android and iOS tablets and smartphones.

2017 Volkswagen Atlas Weekend Edition High Resolution Exterior
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Other Volkswagen accessories built into the Atlas Weekend Edition concept include window and hood deflectors, a heavy-duty trunk liner with seat-back coverage, a privacy cargo cover, all-weather rubber mats, splashguards, and wheel locks. Many of these accessories will be available from Volkswagen dealers when the Atlas goes on sale in Spring 2017.

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