Up front, the new five-seat SUV sports a bold grille featuring full width LED light bands and illuminated badge that act as daytime running lamps to help accentuate its width. It also receives a more structured front bumper than its seven-seat sibling, with the lower section featuring a wide central air duct and large outer air ducts, intersected by matt aluminium highlights.
Further back, the Atlas Cross Sport adopts a contoured bonnet, prominent wheel arches filled with 22-inch wheels shod with 285/45 tires (tyres) as well as a heavily raked windscreen and structured flanks with a deeply etched swage line along the deep doors.
The main departure between the two Volkswagen SUV models is evident at the rear; the Atlas Cross Sport receives a more heavily plunging roofline than the existing Atlas SUV. It also sports a shallower glasshouse and racier C-pillar styling than its more practical sibling.
The rear, meanwhile, is dominated by a pair of high set LED tail lamps as well as a large tailgate featuring an aerodynamic enhancing spoiler above the rear window and a full width LED light band that wraps around into the rear fenders.
With a length of 4847mm, width of 2030mm and height of 1736mm, the Atlas Cross Sport is 190mm shorter, 41mm wider and 42mm lower than the existing Atlas SUV, with which the new Volkswagen model shares its 2980mm wheelbase.
As well as previewing the appearance of the upcoming production version of the Atlas Cross Sport, the concept on show in New York also serves to showcase a new plug-in hybrid (PHEV) powertrain being developed by Volkswagen as an option to the existing gasoline engines offered in the Atlas SUV.
The new plug-in hybrid powertrain uses an atmospheric 3.6-litre V6 gasoline engine developing 276bhp and 258lb ft of torque in combination with two electric motors – one mounted at the front developing 57bhp and 162lb ft and another at the rear with 114bhp and 199lb ft.