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2018 Volkswagen Atlas

2018 Volkswagen Atlas High Resolution Exterior
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The SUV that will fill the gap between the Tiguan and the Touareg.

As far as SUVs and crossovers go, every manufacturer seems to have an offering that fits exactly what you need in an overgrown people hauler. Some manufacturers have three, while others like Chevy have five, but there’s one mainstream automaker that hasn’t brought their A-game to the SUV market yet, and that automaker is Volkswagen. The brand has its fair share of hatchbacks, but it only has two SUVs – the compact Volkswagen Tiguan and the much larger Volkswagen Touareg. The Volkswagen Atlas was originally expected to slot between the two, however, VW pulled on over on us and actually made the Atlas larger than the Touareg. Finally unveiled on the Santa Monica Pier, the Atlas comes correct with lots of DNA from the CrossBlue Concept, The choice of a four-cylinder or six-cylinder engine, lots of safety features, and seating for seven full-sized Americans.

Up until now, we were unsure if this new SUV would be called the Atlas, as VW has also trademarked the name “Teramont” – one that would go along with VW’s “T” naming structure. Now, we’re thinking it’s likely that the Teramont name will be used in other markets, or could – potentially – be reserved for a model that will slot between the Tiguan. Until then, we’ve got a lot to talk about, as the Atlas has a lot of stiff competition. Models like the Toyota Sequoia, Nissan Armada, GMC Yukon, Chevy Suburban, and Ford Expedition all pose some pretty stiff competition. Needless to say, the Atlas really has its work cut out for it over the next few years.

So, can the Atlas stand up against long-standing models that are well established in the full-sized SUV market and help VW overcome the corporate disaster that was Dieselgate? Well, let’s dive on in and find out what it has to offer.

Update 4/4/2017: Volkswagen has announced pricing for the new Atlas, slotting it between the Tiguan and Touareg. Check out the prices section below to learn all about it.

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Wallpaper of the Day: 2018 Volkswagen Atlas

Wallpaper of the Day: 2018 Volkswagen Atlas

The Volkswagen Atlas was expected to be a model that slotted between Tiguan and the Touareg, but for some reason, VW thought it needed another SUV that was larger than its largest SUV. Then again, the Touareg was one of VW’s many pushes into the luxury market it has no business trying to compete in. To put it simply, nobody wants to pay that much for a Volkswagen when you can get an Audi badge instead. Be that as it may, the Atlas came onto the scene looking sexy and spacious with a decent price and plentiful interior. And, as Volkswagen’s latest SUV offering, and a pretty one at that, we decided to make it our wallpaper of the day. We’ve hand-picked one that’s getting screen time at Top Speed headquarters, but we’ve also included a full lineup of wallpapers at the bottom of the page. Check ‘em out at take your favorite.

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2018 Volkswagen Atlas Tanoak Concept

2018 Volkswagen Atlas Tanoak Concept

A spur-of-the-moment debut could lead to a production pickup

The Volkswagen Atlas Tanoak Concept wasn’t supposed to appear at the2018 New York Auto Show. But as the story goes, VW execs liked the design study so much it made an 11th-hour decision and brought the Tanoak Concept as a surprise debut. Now that we’ve seen it, we’re glad Volkswagen made the audible because the prototype pickup received such a favorable response that there’s a groundswell of support building on turning the concept car into a full-blown production vehicle. It’s too early to tell if Volkswagen is going to give the people what they want, but don’t be surprised if that light bulb turns on soon.

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Volkswagen Atlas Tanoak Could Preview U.S.-spec Pickup Truck

Volkswagen Atlas Tanoak Could Preview U.S.-spec Pickup Truck

Is this VW’s future proposition for the F-150 and Silverado?

Volkswagen has been selling the Amarok pickup truck since 2010, but the midsize is still restricted to European, South American, and African markets as of 2018. This has caused great frustration in the U.S., where truck enthusiasts have been clamoring for a North American version since the Amarok’s introduction. VW still doesn’t show signs that it wants to sell the Amarok in the U.S., but American buyers may get access to a truck soon, as the company just unveiled a concept vehicle with a bed at the 2018 New York Auto Show. Called the Atlas Tanoak, it’s based on the relatively new Atlas SUV and could preview the brand’s next-generation pickup truck.

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Volkswagen Atlas Cross Sport Is a Hotter, Sportier Version of the 7-seat Atlas

Volkswagen Atlas Cross Sport Is a Hotter, Sportier Version of the 7-seat Atlas

Five-seat model looks nothing like the big SUV

The highly-anticipated five-door version of the Volkswagen Atlas made its global debut at the 2018 New York Auto Show. But the new SUV is a bit different than we originally imagined it. For starters, the Germans unveiled a production-ready concept vehicle instead of the version we will find in dealerships starting 2019. Second, the Atlas Cross Sport looks nothing like the seven-seat Atlas. While the latter has a more utilitarian stance, this new SUV is sportier and shares some design cues with the Advanced mid-size SUV that Volkswagen just revealed in China.

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2019 Volkswagen Atlas Five Seater

2019 Volkswagen Atlas Five Seater

Another failed attempt from Volkswagen to enter the luxury segment?

The SUV and crossover market is about as jam-packed as it could possibly be and yet automakers still manage to cram yet another model into the mix. Case in point: the 2019 Volkswagen Atlas five-seater. Essentially a smaller version of the seven-seater Atlas we were introduced to in 2018, it promises to provide a slightly smaller footprint on the road with seating for five. Of course, this specific niche is already filled by the Tiguan, so there’s a bit of confusion here, but maybe not. See, the Touareg won’t be offered in the U.S. after 2018, so the seven-seater Atlas will become the range-topping “luxury” model while the five-seater Atlas will take its place above the Tiguan. We don’t know much about the five-seater as of now, but let’s talk a little more about it.

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VW's Midsize Pickup Concept Could Preview a Potential Competitor for the Ford Ranger, Honda Ridgeline, and Chevy Colorado

VW’s Midsize Pickup Concept Could Preview a Potential Competitor for the Ford Ranger, Honda Ridgeline, and Chevy Colorado

Mercedes is scared to take on the market with the X-Class, but VW has no fear

Volkswagen has been on a hard EV offensive as it prepares the world for its ID lineup, and yet here we are hearing rumors about VW showing up to the New York Auto Show with a midsized truck concept. The word comes way of Automotive News who supposedly got word from “sources familiar with the matter.” Even more important is that should the public show interest, VW is ready to shift said concept into production at VW’s Tennessee-based production facility.

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A Five-Seater Volkswagen Atlas will Debut in New York, but Where the Hell Will it Fit in the Lineup?

A Five-Seater Volkswagen Atlas will Debut in New York, but Where the Hell Will it Fit in the Lineup?

There are more questions than answers surrounding this new SUV

It wasn’t that long ago when Volkswagen proudly unveiled the hulking, seven-passenger Atlas SUV. It’s also not taking VW long to bolster its SUV lineup once again now that it announced plans to build a new five-passenger model that will serve as a smaller version of the aforementioned Atlas. Details are still scarce on what model this is going to be, but according to VW, it’s going to be designed and engineered for the U.S. market. As such, a concept version will be unveiled at the 2018 New York Auto Show next week.

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Best New SUVs That Debuted in 2017

Best New SUVs That Debuted in 2017

A look back at a milestone year

2017 has been an amazing year for the automobile. Sales have increased across the board, high-performance models are quicker and faster than ever, off-roaders are more capable than before, and a slew of new models have hit the streets. That’s what we’re looking at here: the all-new vehicles the debuted in 2017. But more specifically, we’re looking at the crossovers and SUVs that made their initial splash into the fastest-growing segment in the industry.

Before we dive in, it’s worth noting that practically dozens of SUVs and crossovers were revamped in 2017. Models like the Jeep Wrangler JL, Chevrolet Traverse, Mazda CX-3, and plenty more were made new again. But these are familiar nameplates. This go-round, we’re focusing on completely new models.

Continue reading for more information.

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First Drive: 2018 Volkswagen Atlas

First Drive: 2018 Volkswagen Atlas

VW’s attempt to ride the three-row crossover wave

Volkswagen has had it rough over the last two years. The Dieselgate debacle has purged the automaker’s coffers of expendable capital, pulled engineering teams from regular tasks, and put corporate executives under arrest. Despite the gloom, the horizon is clearing as the German automaker begins selling refurbished TDI models and its first-ever seven-passenger, three-row SUV rolling off the assembly line in Chattanooga, Tennessee. The 2018 VW Atlas fills a huge gap in the automaker’s lineup and competes with segment stalwarts like the Ford Explorer and Chevrolet Traverse.

I got behind the Atlas’ wheel at the 2017 Texas Auto Writers Association’s Springtime Auto Roundup at the Circuit of the Americas outside Austin, Texas. Skipping the high-speed Formula One racetrack, I pummeled the Atlas over the broken service roads surrounding the complex. Large potholes and undulating dips combined with twisty corners and hilly terrain to give a decent impression of the Atlas’ driving characteristics.

Continue reading for our first impressions of the 2018 VW Atlas.

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Volkswagen's New Atlas Makes the Touareg Pointless

Volkswagen’s New Atlas Makes the Touareg Pointless

I don’t think VW thought this one through too much…

To be completely honest, I’ve been pretty critical of VW in recent years. First off, the brand fancies itself as more of a luxury brand with prices for some models to match. Take the VW Touareg, for example. It’s a nice vehicle, but it’s not $50,000 - $60,000 nice. Well, Volkswagen recently introduced the Atlas and announced pricing, and I have to say I’m not sure what VW is thinking. The Atlas is a nice vehicle, and with a starting price of $30,500, it’s priced right for what it is. Of course, it climbs to as much as $48,490 for the range-topping SEL Premium trim, but if you want the 280 horsepower V-6 – which is the same engine in the Touareg – you’ll pay between $31,900 and $33,700. But, it’s not just the Atlas’ price point that renders the Touareg obsolete.

See, the Atlas is bigger, offers seating for seven, and the interior is even similar to that of the Touareg but more upscale. So what gives? VW has been working on a much-needed third-gen model which is expected to hit the market for 2017, but again, I have to ask you why? The Atlas comes in at 198.3-inches long, 77.9-inches wide, and 69.6 inches wide, making it nearly 10-inches longer, 1.5-inches wider, and 2.32-inches taller than its more expensive brother. That should translate to this seven-seater having more interior space to go along with seating for two extra people… or dogs, for that matter.

Keep reading for the rest of the story

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2018 Volkswagen Atlas

2018 Volkswagen Atlas

The SUV that will fill the gap between the Tiguan and the Touareg.

As far as SUVs and crossovers go, every manufacturer seems to have an offering that fits exactly what you need in an overgrown people hauler. Some manufacturers have three, while others like Chevy have five, but there’s one mainstream automaker that hasn’t brought their A-game to the SUV market yet, and that automaker is Volkswagen. The brand has its fair share of hatchbacks, but it only has two SUVs – the compact Volkswagen Tiguan and the much larger Volkswagen Touareg. The Volkswagen Atlas was originally expected to slot between the two, however, VW pulled on over on us and actually made the Atlas larger than the Touareg. Finally unveiled on the Santa Monica Pier, the Atlas comes correct with lots of DNA from the CrossBlue Concept, The choice of a four-cylinder or six-cylinder engine, lots of safety features, and seating for seven full-sized Americans.

Up until now, we were unsure if this new SUV would be called the Atlas, as VW has also trademarked the name “Teramont” – one that would go along with VW’s “T” naming structure. Now, we’re thinking it’s likely that the Teramont name will be used in other markets, or could – potentially – be reserved for a model that will slot between the Tiguan. Until then, we’ve got a lot to talk about, as the Atlas has a lot of stiff competition. Models like the Toyota Sequoia, Nissan Armada, GMC Yukon, Chevy Suburban, and Ford Expedition all pose some pretty stiff competition. Needless to say, the Atlas really has its work cut out for it over the next few years.

So, can the Atlas stand up against long-standing models that are well established in the full-sized SUV market and help VW overcome the corporate disaster that was Dieselgate? Well, let’s dive on in and find out what it has to offer.

Update 4/4/2017: Volkswagen has announced pricing for the new Atlas, slotting it between the Tiguan and Touareg. Check out the prices section below to learn all about it.

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2019 Volkswagen Atlas Pickup

2019 Volkswagen Atlas Pickup

Will Volkswagen enter the pickup market?

Volkswagen might be considering introducing a unibody pickup based on the Atlas three-row crossover within the U.S. market. The news sprang out of the 2017 Detroit auto show in January when CarBuzz talked with VW North America’s chief engineering officer, Dr. Matthias Erb. And while Volkswagen has yet to confirm or deny its intentions toward an Atlas-based pickup, we decided to generate a rendering of what it might look like.

The Atlas-based truck (we’ll just call it the Atlas Truck) would be squarely aimed at the Honda Ridgeline. Like the Pilot on which it’s based, the Ridgeline retains the SUV’s unibody construction, transverse engine arrangement, and crossover-like driving characteristics. Volkswagen would surely follow this same game plan, using its Atlas SUV as the mechanical and design inspiration for a mid-sized, unibody pickup.

Volkswagen and Dr. Erb know full-size, body-on-frame pickups dominate the American pickup market from the traditional domestic automakers. Breaking into that territory is tough, as evidenced by the lukewarm sales figures of Nissan’s new Titan pickup. He told CarBuzz: "More than 80 percent of trucks in the U.S. are full-size. Three main automakers own this segment: Ford, GM, and Ram. They’re not just about to let someone else invade their turf.”

So rather than tackling the full-size pickup segment, VW would be smart to compete against the Ridgeline. As for sales, the new-for-2017 Ridgeline is doing extremely well, having nearly doubled sales in just the last few months in 2016 since its next-best year in 2008.

So what would an Atlas Truck look like? Keep reading for our speculation.

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2017 Volkswagen Atlas Weekend Edition

2017 Volkswagen Atlas Weekend Edition

Previews upcoming accessories for enhanced practicality

The Volkswagen Atlas made its public debut at the 2016 Los Angeles Auto Show as the company’s largest SUV to date. A three-row SUV with plenty of room for seven people, the Atlas rides on the Volkswagen Group’s MQB platform, which is shared with the slightly smaller Skoda Kodiaq. As the crossover is being prepared to arrive in dealerships in the Spring of 2017, Volkswagen unveils the Weekend Edition at the 2017 Chicago Auto Show.

Designed to demonstrate how the Atlas can be "enhanced with smart accessories," the Weekend Edition is actually more of a concept car rather than a limited-edition model scheduled for production. Volkswagen says it is inspired by the “Weekender” packages offered on the classic Vanagon and Eurovan pop-up camper models and integrates several accessories that enhance the its versatility.

Simply put, Volkswagen is preparing the Atlas for a tough North American market disputed by offerings from Ford, General Motors, and FCA, by matching the vast customization options buyers can get for Detroit-made SUVs. We’ve seen a similar strategy at Chevrolet recently, with many almost production-ready concept sporting upcoming accessories and features.

Many of the accessories showcased on this conceptual Atlas will be available from Volkswagen dealers when the Atlas goes on sale in Spring 2017. Let’s see what the Germans are offering in the review below.

Continue reading to learn more about the Volkswagen Atlas Weekend Edition.

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Is VW Building an Atlas-based Unibody Pickup?

Is VW Building an Atlas-based Unibody Pickup?

Speculation and remarks from VW officials seem promising

America will never see the Volkswagen Amarok mid-size pickup skip the Chicken Tax and arrive in stateside showrooms. That leaves VW clearly out of the pickup truck game, while other automakers are raking in profits while VW twiddles its thumbs while bleeding Dieselgate cash to the U.S. Government. But VW might have another Ace up its sleeve. According to reports, VW is currently evaluating the possibility of a unibody mid-size pickup based on its new Atlas crossover. That’s right, the Honda Ridgeline might soon have some company.

The news comes from CarBuzz, which spoke to Dr. Matthias Erb, Volkswagen of North America’s chief engineering officer, at the 2017 Detroit Auto Show. According to Erb, the German automaker is currently exploring the possibility of scaling the Atlas’ platform for use as a unibody mid-size pickup aimed directly at the American market.

It’s an interesting idea, to say the least. Basing the pickup off the Atlas platform and using Atlas parts has many positives, including the reduced cost of engineering an entirely new platform and powertrain lineup, the already-established assembly plat in Chattanooga, Tennessee, and the outright chaos avoided by trying to revamp the body-on-frame Amarok pickup to meet U.S. Government standards in emissions and crash testing, along with building an assembly plant in North American to avoid the Chicken Tax.

What’s more, the Atlas-based truck would have less competition. The Honda Ridgeline is the only unibody pickup based on a SUV currently sold in the U.S., so VW wouldn’t have to worry about competing with GM, Ford, Ram, and to a lesser extent, Toyota, and Nissan.

In fact, Erb told CarBuzz he knows the full-size truck segment is a tough nut to crack. “Body-on-frame trucks are a protected market, he told the outlet. "More than 80 percent of trucks in the U.S. are full-size. There are three main automakers who greatly protect this segment: Ford, GM, and Ram. They’re not just about to let someone else invade their turf.”

Opting to go unibody avoids this long-standing rivalry, allowing VW to compete on a more manageable level with the Honda Ridgeline. Of course, none of these plans are set in stone at this time – at least as far as we know. However, VW could certainly earn some market share in the niche corner of the unibody mid-size pickup segment. At this point, anything that could bring additional profits to the cash-strapped company would be given deep consideration.

Continue reading for more information.

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2017 Volkswagen Atlas R-Line

2017 Volkswagen Atlas R-Line

Sportier looking SUV makes debut at the 2017 Detroit Auto Show

Volkswagen’s largest SUV to date, the Atlas made its public debut in 2016 Los Angeles Auto Show and went into production for the 2018 model year. Rumored for many years, the Atlas was previewed by the CrossBlue concept all the way back in 2013. The SUV rides on the Volkswagen Group’s MQB platform, which is shared with the slightly smaller Skoda Kodiaq. Although similar is size to the more upscale Audi Q7, the latter uses the newer MLB2 underpinnings. The three-row SUV was unveiled with two turbocharged engines and will be built at the company’s Chattanooga plant in Tennessee. The Atlas will be marketed as the Volkswagen Teramont in China when production in Shanghai will begin in 2017.

Although the Atlas has yet to hit dealerships as of January 2017, Volkswagen has already rolled out a new version. Dubbed R-Line, it’s similar to other vehicles wearing the same badge, sporting a trim package that adds unique features inside and out for a more distinct look among regular models. The R-Line is based on the SE and SEL trims and comes with no upgrades under the hood — which isn’t surprising given that this is the case for other nameplates too.

Updated 01/10/2017: We added a series of images taken during the car’s official debut at the 2017 Detroit Auto Show. Check them out in the "Pictures" tab.

Continue reading to learn more about the Volkswagen Atlas R-Line.

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2018 Volkswagen Atlas Goes Into Production

2018 Volkswagen Atlas Goes Into Production

Volkswagen tries appealing to America’s SUV obsession

Volkswagen yesterday officially began production of the 2018 Atlas SUV at the automaker’s Chattanooga, Tennessee assembly plant. The three-row crossover will begin arriving at dealerships nationwide in the spring of 2017. Volkswagen says the early start on production allows for time to build inventory.

When asked about the Atlas, Volkswagen Chattanooga’s CEO, Christian Koch, said, “I am very proud of the hard work the Chattanooga team has put in to bring the Atlas to series production. The challenge of integrating a new vehicle line while simultaneously completing a major expansion of our facility was daunting, but our team stepped up to the task and now we have taken another step towards the market introduction of the Atlas.”

The Chattanooga assembly plant has added nearly 400 jobs in conjunction with a $900 million investment associated with the Atlas production. The plant now has more than 2,800 team members and is one of the area’s largest employers. The 1.9 million square-foot plant is still relatively new, having opened in 2011 as the primary assembly plant for the Passat sedan. Both the Atlas and Passat will be built alongside each other. Both are specifically designed for the American market.

The 2018 VW Atlas nestles between the more expensive Touareg and the smaller Tiguan. Despite its placement in VW’s lineup, the Atlas is the largest of its SUVs. It features room for seven occupants within three rows of seating. Fold-flat rear seats allow for 96.8 cubic feet of cargo room. The Atlas debuts VW’s first fully digital gauge cluster, much like those found in Audi vehicles. Two engine choices are available: a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder and the 3.6-liter VR6. An eight-speed automatic comes standard and VW’s 4Motion AWD system is optional on VR6 models.

Pricing has not been announced, but the 2018 Atlas is expected to carry a base MSRP of $29,000 while the range-topping trim could sell for $45,000 to $50,000.

Continue reading for more information.

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VW's New Midsize Crossover to be Called "Atlas" in the U.S. Market

VW’s New Midsize Crossover to be Called "Atlas" in the U.S. Market

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.

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