A VW SUV with an Americanized Name?

Let’s not beat around the bush; Volkswagen’s SUV/crossover game isn’t exactly on point. The Tiguan is pricey and smaller than the models it competes with and dealers have been feeling the burn. So, VW has been working on a new midsize crossover that is based on the Volkswagen CrossBlue Concept that we saw at the 2013 Detroit Auto Show. So far, the name of this upcoming model has been a closely guarded secret, but according to Automobilwoche – the German iteration of Automotive News – the new midsized SUV will be known as the Atlas here in the U.S.

The name shouldn’t come as much of a surprise. CEO Hinrich Woebcken promised back in July that the vehicle would get a “much easier to pronounce, American-style name.” And, “Atlas” really does seem to fit the bill. This is actually a big deal, considering all of VW’s other crossovers start out with the Letter “T” like the Tiguan and the Touareg. The question now is whether or not VW will actually price the Atlas competitively and not overshoot Market pricing like it has done in the past.

Set to make its long-awaited debut on October 27 in Santa Monica, California, the new crossover is said to use VW’s MQB platform and should be put into production by the end of this year. It will go on sale early in 2017 and will be followed by a larger and redesigned Tiguan sometime later in 2017. If VW plays its cards right and doesn’t get too overly demanding on pricing, it could very well help that brand pull out of the 12 percent drop in sales that it has experienced so far this year.

Why it Matters

Volkswagen is a troubled company at this point. Not only is it trying to dig itself out of the massive money pit that was created by Dieselgate, but it also likes to think that the brand, as a whole, is more premium than it is. That might seem a little harsh, but its models have always been priced on the high end of the spectrum, and that’s far from what the company needs at this point. For a company that is bleeding money nonstop right now, it’s easy for it to want to get as much as it can out of each model it sells, but it can’t rush recovering from a situation that almost ended it altogether. If the brand tries to be greedy and recover too fast, it could very well result in a breakdown of the company piece by piece. Hopefully, a new entry in the midsize crossover or SUV segment will help the brand bring in some much-needed cheddar and will actually give dealers here in the U.S. something that they can actually sell.

Volkswagen CrossBlue Concept Specifications
Engine TDI Diesel
Motor 40 kW front 85 kW rear
Total Output 301 Horsepower
Combined Torque 516 pound-feet
0-to-60 MPH 7.2 seconds
Fuel Economy 89 MPGe
Diesel-only Economny 35 MPG combined
Top Speed 127 MPH

Read our full review on the 2014 Volkswagen CrossBlue Concept here.

Source: Automotive News

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