Taos Basecamp turns VW’s smallest crossover into a rugged adventure platform
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After grooming an Atlas for off-grid camping in 2019, Volkswagen keeps the theme robust with a concept named Taos Basecamp that gives its smaller crossover more off-road prowess. Some of the changes are purely visual, but the suspension upgrades allow adventurers to get the most out of the available all-wheel drive system.
The designers at Volkswagen’s California studio began by painting the Taos in Waimea Blue with a contrasting black paint job on the front, hood and roof, along with a handful of orange accents. They also added a sprinkle of Basecamp-specific exterior emblems and graphics, as well as protective trim in the form of a skid plate on the bottom of the doors.
According to Volkswagen, the actual skid plates protect the front and rear sections of the underbody, but a suspension lift from H&R Special Springs makes sure they won’t come into contact with rocks and other obstacles soon after. let the Taos leave the sidewalk. Plump tires wrapped around 17-inch wheels give the crossover more grip.
The fender flares add a final touch to the exterior look, while Thule provided a roof basket with integrated LED lights made by Baja Designs. Inside, the biggest change is a custom freight divider. Volkswagen notes that the concept also debuts a bluetooth-enabled frameless rearview mirror, although photos are not available.
Volkswagen hasn’t released any technical specifications, but the only engine offered on the regular production Taos is a 1.5-liter four-cylinder, and there is no suggestion that there is anything else under the hood. It produces 158 horsepower and 184 pound-feet of torque, and it probably spins all four wheels via the usual seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission. Front-wheel drive is the standard setup, but the layout wouldn’t suit a build like this.
There is no need to speculate on the sequel to the Taos Basecamp concept. Volkswagen explained that the crossover is a preview of an accessory package it will make available to buyers in the coming months. The bundle will include fender flares, skid plate-shaped trim pieces for the lower doors and a badge attached to the grille.
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