Volkswagen has taken the veils off the Atlas, a new seven-seater SUV based on its flexible modular transverse matrix (MQB) platform that almost spans the brand’s entire range by now.
The Atlas is built at Volkswagen’s Chattanooga plant in Tennessee exclusively for the North American market. It is also expected to be made available in China where it will be known as the Teramont.
Measuring 5,037mm long by 1,979mm wide by 1,768mm tall, the Atlas is bigger, in fact, than even the Touareg, Volkswagen’s flagship SUV, though we suspect that like the US market Passat, the Atlas is built to a lower price point.
These massive dimensions inevitably give the Atlas a bulkier look than any other Volkswagen on sale, but the familiar styling cues of the family remain present. Standard LED headlights and integrated LED daytime running lights provide a unique frontal visual signature. LED tail lights are optional.
Inside, the Atlas cabin appears to be a familiar Volkswagen fare, styled with restraint, but finished with taste. Onboard connectivity is provided by Volkswagen’s Car-Net system capable of integrating with three major smartphone platforms – Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and MirrorLink.
Safety equipment is extensive, featuring adaptive cruise control, autonomous emergency braking, blind spot warning with rear traffic alert, lane departure warning, and active parking assist. Also included is automatic post-collision braking by automatically applying the brakes when a collision is detected by the airbag sensor, minimizing the probably of further collisions.
A choice of two powertrains will be offered for the American market, a 2.0 TSI four-cylinder turbo with 238hp, as well as a 3.6 VR6 with 280hp. Mated with an 8-speed automatic transmission as standard, the Atlas 2.0 TSI is front-wheel driven only, whilst the 3.6-litre model can be had in either front- or all-wheel drive configurations.
The Atlas will be officially launched for the North American market in Spring 2017.