With the USA market in mind, Volkswagen created one of its largest SUVs. The carmaker, which is known for small cars like the Beetle, but now it’s offering something on the large end of the scale- a new seven-passenger crossover SUV that it calls the Atlas.
Most obvious North American-focused Vehicle of the company marks a “new chapter” in its history there, as it seeks to marks a clean break from the diesel emissions saga.
The company invested 900 million euros in re-fitting the site for Atlas, which was previewed years ago by the CrossBlue concept. The full-size crossover will be made exclusively in Chattanooga, Tennessee alongside the US-market Passat.
As you would expect, no diesel will be offered. Instead buyers get their choice of a 2-liter turbo engine good for 238 horsepower or a 3.6-liter VR6, knocking out 280 horses. The Atlas is the biggest vehicle VW makes, so one would expect the larger engine to be the big seller. Both engines will get the same 8-speed automatic transmission.
At 16.5 feet long, Atlas would be a three-row SUV that’s bigger than the brand’s present largest offering, the Touareg SUV, although it still would be considered a midsize. Atlas will be made at Volkswagen’s plant in Chattanooga, Tenn., with plans to export it to certain markets where large SUVs are as popular as they are in the U.S., like Russia and Middle East.
Even as it offers a big new SUV, Volkswagen has said repeatedly that it is going to concentrate more on building electric cars and other fuel-efficient vehicles. It says it will have 30 electrified models by 2025.