Volkswagen is ready to put the recent past behind it and build a more profitable future in the United States with the introduction of the all-new 2018 VW Atlas SUV. This is a three-row vehicle capable of carrying seven people in relative comfort.
Volkswagen calls it a midsize SUV, but it’s a vehicle of unibody construction that will compete with the likes of the Ford Explorer, Toyota Highlander, Honda Pilot, and Mazda CX-9 just to name a few. I call the Atlas the full-size crossover, and it may be just what VW needs to gain popularity and increase market share.
Many of the specifications are not yet known, but we know that the Atlas will be available with a choice of two engines: a 2.0-liter turbocharged four with 238 horsepower or the 3.6-liter VR6 with 280 horsepower. Both engines will be paired with an 8-speed automatic transmission. The turbo four will only be available in FWD, but the VR6 can be optioned with the latest 4Motion AWD system.
Exterior dimensions of the Atlas are very similar to those of the segment-leading Ford Explorer. The Atlas will go on sale in 2017 and more information will be available soon. The SUV will show up at the 2016 LA Auto Show next week, and we presume more details will be released.
In the meantime, thanks to Andrew Merrill for sending these high quality images of the Atlas test vehicle in the wild, and on an Arizona interstate.
Check out the official debut of the new SUV from Santa Monica, California.