April 2019 may feel like a decade ago, but in fact, it was just a year in the past when Volkswagen revealed its Atlas Basecamp, an overlanding-ready concept combining an off-road-optimzied version of the company’s midsize crossover and a matching Hive EX camping trailer. It was a bolt from the blue, a shock that made us reconsider how we thought about the carmaker’s biggest ride: not just as a soccer-parent soft-roader, but as an SUV that could actually handle serious outdoor adventure.
Given that, it’s not all that surprising that VW is bringing it to production.
Well, not that exact car, but something close to it. The Basecamp styling package for the VW Atlas brings much of the look and capability of the original concept to the production version: textured fender flares with splash guards and a matching textured front bumper guard help protect against flying rocks; satin silver rocker panels below the doors add to the off-road-ready look of the machine. (You can also grab some of these elements individually, if you don’t want to pop for the whole shebang.)
Best of all, the super-cool Fifteen52 Traverse MX wheels from the concept car are also coming to the production version, in a choice of radiant silver and frosted graphite colors. Those 17-inch wheels are smaller than the others that come on the Atlas, but for good reason: they’re meant to be paired with 245/70/17 all-terrain tires to burnish the off-road capability.
VW hasn’t announced how much the accessory pack will cost yet, but we’re hoping it won’t add more than a couple grand to the Atlas’s sticker. And sadly, that sweet camping trailer isn’t part of the deal — but if you’re looking for one of those, we’re happy to recommend a good one.
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