Will the new VW Atlassell in the US?
AFTER the successful launch of the Atlas on the American market, Volkswagen is extending its model range with another SUV. This new SUV is based on the Atlas, has five seats and sports a coupé-like roof line.
Already offering a preview of the new model is a near-production concept car that will be presented at the New York International Auto Show next week. Like the seven-seat Atlas, this new five-seat version will also be produced at Volkswagen’s plant in Chattanooga, Tennessee, and it was specially designed and developed for the American market.
The SUV campaign is part of Volkswagen’s TRANSFORM 2025+ strategy, because SUVs are experiencing increasingly strong customer demand which makes them an important growth driver for Volkswagen. That is why the brand is significantly extending its product range. One of seven Volkswagen cars sold globally is already an SUV. By 2020, 19 SUV models will be offered internationally — from small vehicles in Polo format to large models like the Atlas. These strong products are responsible for a significant upward sales trend in all global regions. Consequently, in 2017 the core brand of the Group achieved sales growth that was multiple times better than the automotive market trend.
The new Atlas shows just how successful the new Volkswagen SUVs are. Since it was launched last year, more than 36,000 vehicles have already been sold. It has made a significant contribution toward boosting the SUV share to over 50 per cent in the USA.
Hinrich J. Woebcken, president and chief executive of Volkswagen of America emphasises this point as well: “The Atlas is providing a strong impetus to Volkswagen, and we are very pleased to add this new five-seat SUV, produced in Chattanooga, to our SUV line-up.”
Volkswagen will invest around 340 million US dollars in the vehicle’s market launch, in addition to investments of around 900 million US dollars already made to expand the plant for Atlas production. The five-seat version of the Atlas will then already be the third Volkswagen model to be built at the Chattanooga plant. This plant has been producing the US-version of the Passat since 2011 and the Atlas SUV since 2017.
Volkswagen is kicking off the next stage of a global SUV campaign, and at the New York Auto Show it is presenting a new version of the Atlas developed for North America. The concept car is a five-seat version of the Atlas mid-size SUV that was introduced in the USA in 2017 as a seven-seater, and it illustrates the potential for further versions in this model.
Like the seven-seat Atlas, the new five-seater is also based on the modular transverse matrix (MQB). When it comes to design aspects, the near-production concept car impresses with a sporty, compact rear body in coupe style. The side profile combines powerful proportions with a confident presence. A special dynamism is conveyed by the C-pillars, which are angled much lower in the style of a coupe compared to the seven-seater.
The five-seater that is based on the seven-seat Atlas will also be a very attractive product for customers. Advanced engines, an eight-speed automatic transmission, 4MOTION all-wheel drive and comfortable suspension will be offered, as will a comprehensive line-up of driver assistance systems and the latest technologies such as the active info display, adaptive cruise control (ACC), collision warning and emergency brake assist (front assist), automatic post-collision braking system, blind spot monitor, lane keeping system (lane assist) and parking steering assistance (park assist).