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VW’s Atlas Cross Baja truck looks positively bonkers

Volkswagen turns its US-only SUV into a Baja 1000 competitor. TG approves

The 2019 edition of the Baja 1000 is currently underway in Mexico, but that hasn’t stopped Volkswagen from unveiling its plans for the 2020 race at the LA Motor Show. 

The giant jumping-jack you see above is the Atlas Cross Sport R race truck, and doesn’t it look mental? It’s still a prototype for now, but VW says this is essentially the car that’ll compete in the famous off-road race next year.  

It’ll go for glory in the Open Production Unlimited class, and shares a considerable number of parts with the road-going Atlas Cross. Nah, just kidding, of course it doesn’t.

It’s been developed in conjunction with Baja veteran Rhys Millen and Tanner Foust, who’ll drive the thing next November. Under the bonnet is actually the 2.0-litre four-cylinder engine from Volkswagen Motorsport’s WRC and Rallycross programmes. Said engine can cope with up to 600bhp, but here it’s detuned to around 480bhp to aid reliability. Sensible. 

We don’t know too much else about the oily bits because the truck is still in development, but we do know that the Atlas Cross Sport R’s livery will be chosen via a competition for America’s schoolchildren.

So, what do you reckon, Internet? Is this the best use of an SUV coupe yet?

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