Far From Suburbia: Volkswagen's Atlas Basecamp Concept

Matt Posky
by Matt Posky
far from suburbia volkswagen s atlas basecamp concept

Volkswagen will bring a modified version of the Atlas to the New York Auto Show this week, aimed to appeal to outdoorsy types. VW calls it the Atlas Basecamp Concept, claiming it offers “a go-anywhere attitude to the brand that is already synonymous with road-trip culture.”

That seems like a fair assessment. While the Atlas isn’t the most off-road-friendly vehicle on the market, it rides the line between everyday usefulness and being just capable enough to make it down a gently gnarled trail. Volkswagen is wisely trying to highlight the latter aspect without making outrageous claims about how it can tackle any terrain. It’s only supposed to get you to the base camp, hence its name. The peak is all you.

However, it should prove more capable than the standard model. Using a Volkswagen Atlas SEL Premium as its starting point, the Basecamp Concept receives tactical-looking Platinum Gray and Black Uni matte paint with orange accents. Its 3.6-liter VR6 engine is down for 276 hp and comes with an eight-speed transmission, paired with Volkswagen 4Motion all-wheel drive (including selectable drive modes). A set of fifteen52 Traverse MX Concept wheels debut on the Basecamp Concept, wrapped in 265/70R17 all-terrain tires.

Air Design provided the custom bodykit, while H&R delivered a new suspension setup — raising the Atlas’ ride height by about 1.5 inches. Front Runner provided the automaker with a Slimline II roof rack system incorporating bike holders and LED light bars, while VW tossed in some interior accessories from its own catalog. But the most interesting item has to be the Hive EX trailer this thing tows.

Featuring matching wheels and tires, the trailer is collapsable and can be expanded whenever the time comes to utilize its portable toilet, heated shower, queen-sized bed, electrical outlets, or kitchenette (which includes just about every convenience but a dishwasher). It also makes the vehicle more about enjoying nature than surviving it or bending it over your knee to deliver a spanking — which is perfect for the Atlas.

It looks more hardcore than it probably should, but it’s also a work in progress, doing double duty to help VW promote some aftermarket items. Volkswagen has not indicated whether or not it will build the Basecamp, though it did say those wheels should enter series production at fifteen52 this autumn. Meanwhile, the vehicle itself will be on display at the the 2019 New York International Auto Show and the 2019 SEMA Show.

[Images: Volkswagen]

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7 of 28 comments
  • Zipster Zipster on Apr 15, 2019

    Todd-a Take away your powerful vehicle and you are a eunuch.

    • See 4 previous
    • Gtem Gtem on Apr 16, 2019

      @gtem That's cool man, sounds like we share a passion for the outdoors. I just don't see the need for constant condescension towards seemingly everyone around you (judging by the history of your posts on the site). I'll use my 4Runner to take my family out into the woods to camp and when he's older, my son and I can go on more serious backpacking trips. You just come across as a resentful, lonely person. A guy full of p*ss and vinegar who drives his Prius around and judges everyone.

  • Zipster Zipster on Apr 16, 2019

    You are basically right!

  • SCE to AUX Good summary of the circus, Matt.The UAW members should see this as typical uniparty pandering - nothing more. As I said before, no President should be visiting a picket line.They should also realize that their jobs depend more on their employers than the government.UAW jobs were evaporating long before modern EVs came around. Ironically, more EVs are built by non-union workers, anyway, because the UAW's employers can't figure out how to scale up. Tesla already employs about 2/3 as many people as Ford or GM.
  • Parkave231 Something's fishy here.
  • Kcflyer I should have said clowns, plural. I guess the only difference between Trump and Biden going to Michigan is that Trump will know that he is in Michigan.
  • SCE to AUX The surface rust on the sanded areas indicate the owner has had this car for several years, then despaired of the project scale.Too many unknowns - interior soft goods, wiring, bushings, etc - these are the things that slow a project down and drive costs through the roof. Drivetrain and body work are pretty straightforward.Could turn out nice if you invest several years and multiples of the purchase cost into it.
  • Fred Nothing like a nice project to help relieve the stress of life.