Snow-covered frozen lakes make good show grounds for automakers bent on demonstrating superiority – or lack thereof – regarding drive and stability-control systems, which is why Volkswagen invited us to Quebec’s Laurentian region to sample 4Motion Atlas and Golf Alltrack models. Fortunately for us, the weather did not cooperate.
A tourism-busting weekend of warm weather preceded our visit, dilution the ice sufficiently that aforesaid VWs would have sunk in the unfrozen lake. The back-up plan meant we got real road time, with bumps, dips, stops, turns, and elevation changes ice simply does not supply. Though we got up to fifty two mph indicated only once, and dynamic loads were severely traction-limited, this was still better than verifying for the umptieth time that modern electronics are so quicker than most humans.
Volkswagen Atlas Description
The Atlas crossing uses the identical fundamentals All-Wheel-Drive(AWD) system as the Alltrack and Golf R, a 5-generation clutch-pack arrangement often mentioned as a Haldex system, that is made by BorgWarner. A console rotary dial selects one in every of four drive modes, while the mode button within it adjusts powertrain programming. The AWD control unit, pump, and clutch pack are packaged simply ahead of the rear axle center line, so the 4Motion models get a unique subframe.
Both the 235-horsepower turbo 2.0-liter four and 276-hp VR6 come with an eight-speed automatic, however only the VR6 offers the 4 Motion option. This is gently puzzling as early hints advised both would provide it, the VR6’s torsion output is not notably superior to the four’s, and the turbo would be advantageous at altitudes where all-wheel drive may be more desirable.
As far as traction goes on frozen roads with gradients to 15 % – and there extremely wasn’t much difference between the paved and “off-road” routes we drove – neither the Atlas nor the Alltrack might be forced to put a wheel wrong. Credit winter tires (Continentals on Alltrack, Pirelli Scorpions on Atlas) for part of that, however only at full throttle within the Atlas’s off-road mode did tire spin become obvious, that because wheel speed is helpful in sand.
Volkswagen Atlas Price
It’s price noting that 4Motion isn’t predictive, thus matting the gas from rest can slip the front tires part of a rotation, that fraction of a second in which the system reads slip and loads up the clutch pack, and it’s not variable side-to-side nor supposed as any kind of cornering enhancer.
Standard devices includes App-Connect (Apple CarPlay and android Auto) and LED headlights, with VW’s digital dash, a 480-watt Fender sound system, and driver assists including head-in self-parking among the choices. We’ve been told to expect Atlas costs to range from $30,000 to $48,000, roughly matching the spread between a front-drive four-cylinder base Toyota Highlander and the top platinum AWD V6 model.
We’ll know a lot of about the Atlas, including its full specifications, in a month or so. This brief drive showed that it should be competitive and will likely join the Jetta and new larger Tiguan atop VW’s sales charts. The brand’s first three-row crossover will arrive at dealers in may.