2018 VW Atlas Weekend Edition Shows Off Its Practical Side in Chicago

It’s only a concept vehicle — at least for now

Don't let the name fool you: the VW Atlas Weekend Edition is not a production model.

Debuting at the Chicago Auto Show (February 11-20), it only serves to showcases cargo and entertainment solutions that can turn the three-row SUV into an even more practical and family-friendly vehicle.

According to VW, the name is a throwback to the "Weekender" packages offered on the classic Vanagon (T3) and Eurovan (T4) pop-up camper models.

Based on the SEL Premium grade equipped with the 276 hp 3.6-liter VR6 gasoline engine, eight-speed auto, and 4Motion all-wheel drive, the VW Atlas Weekend Edition concept integrates several aftermarket accessories.

These include the Urban Loader roof cargo box, which is a modern variation of the pop-up roof. Small when not in use, it can expand to swallow 17.7 cu-ft (501 liters) of cargo. Other practical accessories are the base carrier bars for attaching accessories for skis, snowboards, kayaks or bikes.

The concept also features side steps that make it easier to reach the extra roof storage and provides help for children to climb into the cabin. The 18-inch Prisma wheels with a custom anthracite gray finish are just for show, though.

Inside, the VW Atlas Weekend Edition comes with a cargo divider behind the second row of seats to allow pets to ride in comfort. Other accessories showcased by the SUV are the window and hood deflectors, a privacy cargo cover, a heavy-duty trunk liner with seat-back coverage, all-weather rubber mats, wheel locks, and splash guards.

Kids will surely appreciate the universal tablet mount offered for second-row passengers. The available Media Control feature can link Android and iOS tablets and smartphones to the car's sound system.

VW says many of the accessories seen on the Weekend Edition will be available at dealers when the Atlas goes on sale in spring 2017.