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VW’s Atlas Weekend Edition concept is an accessories brochure on four wheels

Why it matters to you

With the accessory-packed Atlas Weekend Edition, Volkswagen show it remembers that SUVs were originally designed for the great outdoors, not the mall.

Volkswagen is encouraging motorists to explore the great outdoors with a concept called the Atlas Weekend Edition that’s geared-up for adventure. As its name implies, the SUV is based on the brand new 2018 Atlas that will go on sale in the coming months.

At first glance, the Weekend Edition looks like a regular Atlas SEL Premium that has been decked out with an array of accessories. And that’s exactly what it is. It showcases some of the accessories designed for Volkswagen’s biggest model, while channeling the legacy of emblematic camper vans like the original Bus and the Vanagon.

One of the most versatile add-ons is a modular cargo box mounted on a roof rack. The box is sleek and thin when it’s empty, but it can expand into a large, 17.7-cubic foot container when additional storage space is needed. Mud flaps, hood and window deflectors, and a LED light bar integrated into the grille complete the outdoorsy transformation.

The front seats are equipped with universal tablet mounts so the passengers riding in the second row stay entertained on long drives. A purpose-designed barrier keeps pets in the trunk, while all-weather floor mats keep mud and slush off the carpet. In-car Wi-Fi ensures the occupants — including the tablet-wielding young ones in the back — stay connected while on the go.

The Atlas Weekend Edition is powered by a 3.6-liter V6 engine that makes 280 horsepower and about 260 pound-feet of torque. The six-cylinder spins all four wheels via an eight-speed automatic transmission controlled by shift paddles and Volkswagen’s 4Motion all-wheel drive system.

Sorry, weekend warriors, but the Weekend Edition likely won’t be available as a stand-alone trim level when the Atlas arrives in showrooms in the spring. However, customers will be able to purchase most of the road trip-friendly add-ons detailed above separately from Volkswagen’s catalog of accessories.