Converting A Volkswagen Crossover Into An Off-Road Capable Machine

Please welcome the Volkswagen Atlas tuned by APR, a company well known for its Volkswagen Group projects. The new Atlas comes with a series of important upgrades that transform it from a decent, sensible family hauler into a beast-looking machine that feels more like the Hulk with its green vinyl wrap than it does something you’d use to take your kid to soccer training. The American tuning company that’s specialized in Volkswagen cars got its hands on an Atlas powered by a 2.0-liter, four-banger, and it went all Golf R on it, ultimately increasing the power, improving looks, and transforming the decadent machine into a show-off beast.

What Makes the Volkswagen Atlas by APR Special

2018 Volkswagen Atlas by APR
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Although this one looks quite alluring, the Atlas by APR has one superpower you don’t actually notice right away.

Although this one looks quite alluring, the Atlas by APR has one superpower you don’t actually notice right away. Its 2.0-liter engine has been dramatically retuned and it now delivers 350 horsepower and 350 pound-feet of torque. As this isn’t a small SUV by any measure, I find it quite amusing that APR set out to tune up the version with a four-cylinder engine and not the one with a 3.6-liter V-6. Regardless of this, the end result is rather interesting.

In order to update the power from the stock output of 235 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque, APR reached out to the Golf R for help. A Golf R turbocharger was used for the project. However, modifications needed to be comprehensive for the engine to work as well as one would expect. In that regard, APR engineers formed new carbon intakes, a cat-back exhaust system, and turbo inlet pieces. Clearly, the changes were so extensive that APR programmers had to do some wizardry to make the ECU do a good job of controlling all the new stuff.

2018 Volkswagen Atlas by APR
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This isn't an asphalt-loving SUV either

“With 350 horsepower and 350 pound-feet of torque a we’ve surpassed the output from even the larger V6 engine, and we’re working to push the envelope even further in the future. The combination of custom hardware and equipment from our current product line has really transformed the Atlas’ performance," Mitch Williams, CEO of APR, commented.

It is a rugged truck, instead. At least, it is trying to be one although it is, by nature, a crossover. The Volkswagen Atlas by APR gained numerous pieces to accomplish the most important task the APR team had in front of them. APR wanted to make the Atlas mean, robust, and serious.

In order to create a more substantial SUV, APR first had to machine new trailing arms and increase its ride height by 1.5 inches. Then, APR included its own 20-inch wheels with massive Toyo Open Country M/T tires. That’s some serious rubber for an SUV with a four-cylinder engine.

2018 Volkswagen Atlas by APR
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APR included 6-piston brake calipers and larger discs too.

The wheels hide new brakes as well. I did not expect them at all, but APR included 6-piston brake calipers and larger discs too. Neat! Completely changing the Atlas’ character, APR provided underside crawling LEDs for night off-roading.

Despite having such a comprehensive tuning package, this green and black Atlas is a one-off. Yet, APR will definitely offer some of the gear presented on this concept car (let me call it that). Only if you actually like it, of course. So, please do!

Further Reading

Volkswagen Atlas

2018 Volkswagen Atlas High Resolution Exterior
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Check out our full expert review of the 2018 Volkswagen Atlas!

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