At last year's New York Auto Show in April, Volkswagen showed the Atlas Basecamp concept, an Atlas SEL 4Motion outfitted from top to bottom with a raft of equipment to serve endurance mountain bikers. It's possible VW liked the response it got from showgoers, because CarBuzz discovered the carmaker applied to trademark the term "Basecamp" in November. Paperwork filed with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office seeks to reserve the title for "Automobile packages of premium features including structural and non-structural parts."
If VW puts the Basecamp name to work, a production version will likely appear noticeably less rugged than the concept. The show car stood taller with a 1.5-inch lift courtesy of H&R Springs, meatier 265/70 BFG All-Terrain tires on 17-inch Fifteen52 Traverse MX Concept wheels undoubtedly delivering a different ride than the standard 245/60 all-season tires on 18-inch wheels. An Air Design custom body kit punched up the sheetmetal with wider fender flares and metallic, skid plate accents. The Matte Platinum Gray and Black Uni paint job included a black hood to cut glare for the driver. Above, a 40-inch LED light bar fronted a FrontRunner Slimline II roof rack system, another ten-inch LED light bar at the back. The cherry in this case wasn't on top, but in the back, namely the Hive EX camping trailer bundling a queen-size bed, extendable canopy, portable toilet and shower with gas water heater, and a kitchenette with stove, fridge, and sink.
Nevertheless, some sort of Basecamp package or trim could make sense, seeing how overlanding and VanLife have turned earthen dust into gold dust. Elsewhere in the midsize class, Honda rolled out the adventure-specific Passport, the smaller Toyota RAV4 TRD Off-Road is a thing, the Kia Telluride already looks chunky and offers an a la carte menu of chunkier add-ons, GMC gave the Acadia an AT4 off-road package, the Nissan Pathfinder puts on airs with its Rock Creek edition, and the Subaru Ascent is, well, Subaru. The money's there, we could know soon whether VW plans to make a run at it.