It's been almost a year since the 2019 New York International Auto Show and kind of a lot has happened since then, both in the automotive industry and in the world in general, so you'd be forgiven for not remembering Volkswagen's Atlas , even though it was pretty neat.
Still, just because it slipped your mind doesn't mean that the folks from Wolfsburg haven't been hard at work making some of the cooler aspects of the concept available for purchase by the motoring public as an accessories package. If you like the Atlas, but wished it was a little more macho-looking, here's your chance.
Among the bits on offer are new "off-road inspired" wheels that are being made for Volkswagen by fifteen52, aka that wheel company that outfits all of Ken Block's Gymkhana cars. These wheels, dubbed Traverse MX, are a totally reasonable 17 inches in diameter, and VW recommends off-road tires in 245/70/R17 to complete the look.
The Basecamp concept's body kit is coming back too, produced by a company called Air Design; the package adds beefy black plastic cladding to the Atlas' wheel arches and rockers as well as new front and rear bumper trim with provisions for trailer hitch access. It's doesn't make for an over-the-top look, and that's good because if that's what you want, you probably wouldn't be shopping for an Atlas.
"The Basecamp package is a quite dynamic and quite sporty, cool cosmetic package that goes in the opposite direction of the R-Line, and makes it look more rugged," said Hein Schafer, senior vice president of marketing, product and strategy for VW USA, in a conference call.
The Basecamp accessory kit will retail for around $2,500. It will include two Basecamp-specific fender badges, though VW reps assured us that the pieces of the kit would be available individually. The Fifteen52 wheels would retail for approximately $1,000 for a set of four, without tires. Volkswagen estimates that a dealer could install the whole package in four or five hours.
Will any of these new Basecamp bits turn your Atlas into a Camel Trophy-ready off-roader? Obviously not, but it's a nice change-up from the usually staid-looking Atlas. And choice is a good thing, right?
Volkswagen isn't sure quite yet when you'll be able to get your hot little hands on the Basecamp kit, but I suspect it will coincide with the release of the facelifted Atlas sometime in the near future.