We first saw the Atlas Cross Sport as a concept at the 2018 New York Auto Show.

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It has now evolved to prototype form on its way to a 2020 model year.

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The production model will have a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine standard.

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However, we sampled the 3.6-liter V6 with 276 horsepower and 266 pound-feet of torque.

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The Cross Sport can tow 5,000 pounds and will be available with a tow package that includes an updated cooling system and alternator.

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In the heat of Death Valley the Cross Sport kept occupants cool while pulling hills from sea level to 4,000 feet in elevation.

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Hot-weather testing also ensures that the battery and brake lines can withstand the heat as can the bearing and the suspension components. 

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Even the exhaust system and firewall have been wired up to monitor these flaming temperatures. 

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The Cross Sport has the same wheelbase as the Atlas, but it's about 6 inches shorter overall and features a more sloping roofline.

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No word on pricing but we expect the 2020 Volkswagen Atlas Cross Sport to be on sale early next year. Keep scrolling for more photos. 

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