Volkswagen Goes Full Send with Atlas Cross Sport R

Volkswagen to take on the Baja 1000 with in-house-created race truck.

Volkswagen is redoubling its commitment to motorsport with its newly unveiled VW Atlas Cross Sport R, which will race in the SCORE Baja 1000.

VW didn't tap external resources for this endeavor, preferring to keep the effort in-house, and the truck is powered by a WRC-derived turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine. The Volkswagen Motorsport-developed powerplant can churn out a beastly 600 horsepower. However, the engine will be detuned to a still-healthy 480 horses for the race in order to provide "an optimized balance of performance and reliability—in other words, so it don't get blowed up.

The race truck will complete as a Class 7 rig, which includes "unlimited four-wheel vehicles," according to SCORE's regulations. Racers are allowed to use naturally aspirated engines up to 4.5 liters of displacement and forced-induction engines of up to 3.5 liters, while six is the maximum cylinder count. Finally, an entrant's engine and its body must be made by the same manufacturer.

Rallycross champion and VW brand ambassador Tanner Foust will drive the Atlas Cross Sport R in the Baja 1000, although it won't make its first appearance there until the 2020 edition of the race—what you see here remains on the conceptual stages. Eventually, though, it will sport a livery created by design students and—hopefully—take on other bad-ass factory trucks like the 2021 Ford Bronco R and the Honda Ridgeline race truck. In addition, the company says it will work with The Conservation Fund to eventually plant one tree for every mile of the race to help offset its environmental impact.

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