The Canadian tuning company APR, known for upgrading various Volkswagen products, has turned its attention to the 2018 – the US-Only three-row crossover (its cousin the Volkswagen Teramont is offered in the Middle East and China).
And the results are an Atlas with quite a bit of power and even some improved off-road capability. Whether it looks better has our office divided, mainly because of the flashy green exterior.
The mechanical upgrades are impressive though, particularly the ones related to power. APR began with an Atlas with the turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine. It’s the base engine, making 235 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque on premium fuel, which is less than the optional VR6 engine. But turbo engines are easy to get more power out of.
APR did it by swapping in a turbocharger with the same specifications as the one in the Golf R. It was supplemented by a new intake, turbo inlet, exhaust downpipe, muffler delete, custom cat-back, and an ECU tune. The result is an Atlas that makes 350 horsepower and 350 pound-feet of torque, much more than the VR6. APR also says that its Atlas has all-wheel drive, too. Since VW doesn’t offer the Atlas with the four-cylinder and all-wheel drive in the U.S. or Canada, APR must have added the all-wheel-drive components later.
The power is surely welcome in the big crossover, and even more so because of this particular model’s wheels and tires. It has 20-inch wheels with 275-mm wide mud terrain tires. APR also added some more ground clearance with a custom 1.5-inch suspension lift including new rear trailing arms. To bring this faster SUV with bigger tires to a stop, the company added 6-piston brake callipers and larger rotors.
The company says this SUV is a one-off, but that it’s considering offering parts for the Atlas in the future. At the very least, we would expect a number of the engine upgrades to become available since the four-cylinder is related to those in other Volkswagens.