VW Atlas Cross Sport first prototype drive

To get to Death Valley you could fly into Las Vegas and drive a couple hours or, in my case, drive the four-and-a-half hours from L.A. I’d had about enough of airports to last a lifetime so I drove, even though the day I went was the hottest day of the year thus far. I cranked the a/c in my puny press car till it was blasting at full-wallop, stopped only for gas and junk food, and when I stepped out of the car at the aptly named Furnace Creek, it was like stepping into the full force of the world’s largest hair dryer operated by the world’s most sadistic hair stylist.
“How can people function in this?” I rhetorically asked no one in particular.
“Quit yer wimperin’, you wimp,” said a voice inside my head, one of several that are usually in there arguing.
The Valley itself was full of German tourists happily driving the Mustang convertibles they’d rented at SFO, all of them with the tops down, all of them perfectly happy to be experiencing “The Wild West Tour,” as these things are marketed by travel agencies in Der Vaterland, the marketing being done in the middle of winter, no doubt.
“Ja, velcome,” said some German test engineers who didn’t seem to mind the frying-pan intensity of the 118 degree-summer day.