"This is the biggest and boldest Volkswagen we have ever built in the United States, delivering the distinctive design and craftsmanship we're known for, now with room for seven," said Hinrich J. Woebcken, Volkswagen CEO of North America Region.
The Volkswagen Atlas opens up an important segment for the brand: midsize SUVs, as the Americans call them, already formed a tenth of all new registrations in the USA in 2015. For the first time, Volkswagen's Atlas now offers a model in this high-volume class in the category between the Tiguan and the Touareg that is fully tailored to American needs.
Building on the modular transverse matrix (MQB) from Volkswagen, the Atlas is born with the latest Volkswagen design DNA. Classic proportions and clean lines that create a sense of timelessness and precision. Up front, standard LED headlights and LED Daytime Running Lights combine for a unique visual signature, with optional LED taillights to complete the look.
With a length of 5,037 mm, a width of 1,979 mm and a height of 1,768 mm the Atlas is larger than any other Volkswagen on sale in the USA.
Inside, the Atlas makes maximum use of its dimensions to offer space for seven adults and their luggage. The third row can be easily reached by an innovative folding seat solution. Clear, driver-centric displays enhance the driving experience. In addition, the optional Active Info Display (called the "Volkswagen Digital Cockpit" in the USA) allows drivers extensive options for configuring the display.
Volkswagen Car-Net offers a wide range of online services, including standard App-Connect technology that offers integration with the three major smartphone platforms – Apple CarPlay™, Android Auto™ and MirrorLink®. The new Atlas model also features a Fender® Premium Audio System offering a sophisticated sound experience with twelve speakers and a 480 Watt amplifier.
The Atlas offers a selection of premium SUV driver assistance features. Depending on the equipment line, these include: Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC); Forward Collision Warning and Autonomous Emergency Braking (Front Assist); Blind Spot Monitor with Rear Traffic Alert; Lane Departure Warning (Lane Assist), and Parking Steering Assistant (Park Assist).
The Atlas is also the only vehicle in its class to offer the Automatic Post-Collision Braking System. This automatically initiates a deceleration of the vehicle when a primary collision is detected by the airbag sensors, thus helping reduce residual kinetic energy and, in turn, the chance of additional damage.
The new Volkswagen Atlas arrives with a choice of two powertrains: a 2.0-liter four-cylinder TSI with gasoline direct injection and turbo charging with 175 kW / 238 PS and the already available 3.6-liter VR6 engine with 206 kW / 280 PS. Both engines route power through an eight-speed transmission.
The Atlas can be configured either as front-wheel-drive or with 4Motion all-wheel-drive in combination with the VR6 engine. The 4Motion system has a Driving Mode Selection feature that allows the driver to select specific parameters based on driving conditions. US Environmental Protection Agency EPA fuel economy estimates will be released ahead of the launch in Spring of 2017.
The Atlas will be built alongside the Passat for North America at the Volkswagen Chattanooga assembly plant (Tennessee). Volkswagen has invested an additional €900 million in the facility. The Chattanooga plant is the only automotive manufacturing facility in the world to receive Platinum certification for its environmental excellence by the U.S. Green Building Council's Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design (LEED) program.
From the end of 2017 this large SUV will be offered in the Russia and Middle East markets.