In ancient Greek mythology, Atlas and his brother sided with the Titans in their war against the Olympians. When the Titans were defeated, Zeus condemned Atlas to stand at the western edge of Earth and hold up The Heavens on his shoulders.

It makes sense Volkswagen's all-new mid-size SUV is named after the mythological character. VW's newest vehicle is tasked with holding the weight of the automaker up so their revenue does not sink any further. To say it's a monumental task is only half the story...but that is for another blog entry.

Check out some photos and video we took at the reveal along with the official press release listing features and more.

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Pricing hasn't been announced, but several of our analysts agree that if Volkswagen makes pricing ultra-competitive, the Atlas may succeed holding the brand up for years to come. 

 


PRESS RELEASE BEGIN

VOLKSWAGEN UNVEILS THE 2018 ATLAS, AN ALL-NEW SEVEN-PASSENGER SUV BUILT IN AMERICA FOR THE MODERN AMERICAN FAMILY

Oct 27, 2016

The Chattanooga-built Atlas arrives with a full slate of available driver assistance and technology features, a massive interior and a choice of two powertrains

  • Largest Volkswagen ever assembled in America
  • Five trim levels, priced for the heart of the competitive SUV market
  • Available interior features include innovative Volkswagen Digital Cockpit instrumentation
  • Two engine options: four-cylinder TSI® turbo or the available powerful VR6®, both with eightspeed automatic transmission
  • Seating for two adults in the third row, with innovative access system
  • Based on the award-winning Modular Transverse Matrix (MQB) architecture
  • Optional 4Motion® all-wheel-drive system on VR6 models or standard front-wheel-drive

Santa Monica, Calif. – The 2018 Volkswagen Atlas, unveiled tonight on the Santa Monica Pier at the end of historic Route 66, launches a new chapter in the company’s American history. Built in Tennessee, the seven-passenger Atlas offers class-competitive levels of technology and spaciousness combined with hallmark Volkswagen driving dynamics and attention to detail, all at a price designed to draw customers’ attention in the family SUV segment.

“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, CEO of the North America Region, Volkswagen. “The Atlas marks a brand new journey for Volkswagen to enter into the heart of the American market.”

Engineered from Volkswagen’s award-winning Modular Transverse Matrix (MQB) architecture, the Atlas draws on the latest Volkswagen design DNA to create a bold new look in the SUV segment. At 198.3 inches long, 77.9 inches wide, and 69.6 inches high, Atlas is larger than any other Volkswagen on sale in the U.S., yet it retains 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.

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, one that works even with child seats installed in the second row. Simple, driver-centric displays enhance the feeling behind the wheel rather than distracting from it; while the available Volkswagen Digital Cockpit allows drivers to reconfigure how they view vehicle information.

The available Volkswagen Car-Net® system provides a full suite of connected vehicle services, including standard App-Connect technology that offers integration with the three major smartphone platforms—Apple CarPlay™, Android Auto™ and MirrorLink®. The vehicle also features an available Fender® Premium Audio System that is the most sophisticated yet seen in a Volkswagen, with 12 channels, a 480-watt amplifier and 12 speakers.

The Atlas offers available driver assistance features that had been previously been reserved for premium SUVs, at an affordable level. 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), which actively helps the driver steer the car back into its lane; and Parking Steering Assistant (Park Assist).

Also, the Atlas is the only vehicle in its class to offer the Automatic Post-Collision Braking System. This builds on the premise that a collision is rarely a single, instantaneous action, but rather a series of events that follow the initial impact—the most significant of which can cause additional collisions. The Automatic Post-Collision Braking System addresses this by applying the brakes 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 Atlas arrives with a choice of two powertrains: the 2.0-liter turbocharged and direct-injection TSI® four cylinder with 238 horsepower or the available 3.6-liter VR6 engine with 280 horsepower. Either engine routes power through an eight-speed transmission to help maximize engine efficiency, and the Atlas can be configured either as front-wheel-drive or with available 4Motion all-wheel-drive in VR6 trims. The 4Motion system has a Driving Mode Selection feature that allows the driver to select specific parameters based on driving conditions. EPA fuel economy estimates will be released ahead of the launch in the Spring of 2017.

The Atlas is built alongside the Passat at the Volkswagen Chattanooga assembly plant, the result of an additional $900 million investment by Volkswagen in the facility. The Chattanooga plant is the only automotive manufacturing facility in the world to receive Platinum certification by the U.S. Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design (LEED) program.

 

About Volkswagen of America, Inc.
Founded in 1955, Volkswagen of America, Inc., an operating unit of Volkswagen Group of America, Inc. (VWoA) is headquartered in Herndon, Virginia. It is a subsidiary of Volkswagen AG, headquartered in Wolfsburg, Germany. VWoA’s operations in the United States include research and development, parts and vehicle processing, parts distribution centers, sales, marketing and service offices, financial service centers, and its state -of-the- art manufacturing facility in Chattanooga, Tennessee. The Volkswagen Group is one of the world's largest producers of passenger cars and Europe's largest automaker. VWoA sells the Beetle, Beetle Convertible, CC, e-Golf, Golf, Golf Alltrack, Golf GTI, Golf R, Golf SportWagen, Jetta, Passat, Tiguan and Touareg vehicles through approximately 651 independent U.S. dealers. Visit Volkswagen of America online at www.vw.com or media.vw.com to learn more.

Notes: This press release and images of the 2018 Atlas will be available at media.vw.com.

“TSI”, “VR6”, “VW”, “Volkswagen”, all model names and the Volkswagen logo are registered trademarks of Volkswagen AG. “Car-Net” is a registered trademark of Volkswagen Group of America, Inc. “CarPlay”, is a trademark of Apple Inc. “Bluetooth” is a registered trademark of Bluetooth SIG, Inc. “MirrorLink” is a registered trademark of the Car Connectivity Consortium LLC. “Fender” is a registered trademark of Fender Musical Instruments Corporation. “Android Auto” is a trademark of Google Inc. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners.

Features and technical data apply to models offered in the USA. They may differ in other countries.

 

CONTACT:

Mark Gillies
703-364-7104
mark.gillies@vw.com

Jessica Anderson
703-364-7919
jessica.anderson@vw.com