Mid-sized SUV will make its official debut at the 2016 Los Angeles Auto Show

Volkswagen is addressing one of its major holes in the U.S. market by introducing the Atlas, a new mid-sized SUV that’s going to slot between the entry-level Tiguan and the full-sized Touareg. The Atlas is scheduled to make its debut at the 2016 Los Angeles Auto Show in November 2016, but ahead of the SUV’s grand unveiling, Volkswagen is covering its bases to make sure that the Atlas is perceived accurately as the perfect ride for the American outdoors. That’s likely why the German automaker took the natural step of promoting the arrival of the Atlas with a video series titled “Volkswagen Midsize SUV Origins.”

The first part of this series, called “Chapter 1: Background,” cuts right to the chase and talks about why Volkswagen is introducing the Atlas SUV to the American market and what prospective owners could do when they have it at their disposal. Simply put, the Atlas is being introduced for those who enjoy the active lifestyle, or as Jim Burch, the product manager for Volkswagen of America puts it, “[the Atlas] is a car to take the family and transport them to a national park, or state forest, or to their lake house.”

It’s a nice selling point and an important one at that given that Volkswagen is packaging the Atlas to specifically serve that purpose. It has enough room for as many as seven people and at almost 200 inches long, it’s longer than some of its potential rivals, including the Honda Pilot and the Toyota Highlander. Just as important is that Volkswagen is fitting it with a couple of engine options, beginning with a 2.0-liter turbocharged inline-four that produces 238 horsepower and a bigger 3.6-liter V-6 that can deliver 280 horsepower, enough to get the Atlas out on the road for those long-haul trips.

Expect more details about the Volkswagen Atlas to be disclosed when the SUV is revealed in LA. But for now, give the video series a good watch to get you hyped up for its imminent arrival.

Continue after the jump to read the full story.

Volkswagen has high hopes for the Atlas

You know a car is going to be a big deal for the automaker that’s introducing it when the company pulls out all the stops to make sure the model’s debut get hyped as much as possible. That’s exactly what you’re seeing here because Volkswagen has high expectations for the Atlas SUV and it’s treating its launch with the importance that it deserves.

It probably wouldn’t have been the case had Volkswagen just completed its SUV lineup to have three separate models in the first place. But in some ways, it made a mistake by creating too much of a gap between the Tiguan and Touareg SUVs. The absence of a mid-sized SUV might have even forced some to just look elsewhere, knowing that they could get a model that’s bigger than the Tiguan but not as expensive as the Touareg.

The Atlas is meant to correct that mistake as it officially puts Volkswagen right back in the thick of the highly competitive mid-sized SUV segment. That’s why the German automaker is going into overdrive to promote the Atlas in the U.S. where the SUV segment is at its healthiest and most competitive. It’s got some notable competition in the form of the Pilot and Highlander, not to mention the Nissan Murano, Dodge Durango, Ford Edge, and Hyundai Santa Fe, among others.

Those are competitive models and it’s no guarantee that the Atlas can beat them off the bat. But at least Volkswagen is now there in the thick of the fight, and in some ways, that’s already half the battle won.

2018 Volkswagen Atlas

2014 Volkswagen CrossBlue Concept High Resolution Exterior
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Read our full review on the upcoming 2018 Volkswagen Atlas here.

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