From Vermont’s Kingdom Trails to Moab, Utah, mountain biking has grown in recent years to become a favorite outdoor sport of millions of Americans. The Volkswagen Atlas Basecamp Concept, on display at the 2019 New York International Auto Show, demonstrated how the Atlas could be transformed into a mountain biker’s dream touring machine.
The Basecamp starts with a 2019 Atlas SEL Premium, powered by the 276-hp VR6 engine paired with 4MOTION® all-wheel drive; that combination bolsters the off-road1 presence of the Atlas with a new stance. Custom fifteen52 brand Traverse MX Concept wheels wearing 265/70R17 all-terrain tires debuted on the Basecamp, ahead of the anticipated production at fifteen52 this fall. The Basecamp Atlas also rides 1.5 inches higher thanks to coil-over springs from H&R Special Springs.
The Basecamp Concept wears a combination of matte-finished Platinum Gray and Black Uni paint, with orange accents and a rugged body kit from Air Design. There’s a 40-inch LED bar up front and a 10-inch light bar on the rear with fog lights for extra illumination. The roof sports a FrontRunner Slimline II expandable roof-rack system with a low profile that’s easier to load bicycles and creates less wind drag than taller basket-type racks.
To complete the touring setup, a custom HIVE EX trailer could provide tow-along lodging in the wilderness. Wearing the same wheel/tire combo as the Basecamp, the HIVE EX trailer holds a queen-size bed with a mini-kitchen to store and cook food in the wilderness. With heating options, portable toilet, and hot shower along with a roof-mounted bike rack, the HIVE EX has almost every need covered.
Alex Earle, exterior design manager at the Volkswagen Design Center California and avid cyclist, envisioned the Basecamp concept as the answer to what a perfect, mountain-biking-friendly SUV might look like.
“Whether you are taking on a series of challenging single-tracks with your favorite mountain bike or enjoying a relaxing evening under the night sky, the versatility of the Basecamp Concept provides ideal mobile solutions for just about any adventure,” he says.