The Atlas arrives after a lengthy development period and will be sold in the US market, but not in Europe. It gets a muscular design to match US preferences, which is inspired by the design of the Crossblue concept that was first shown three years ago.
The Atlas has squared-off daytime running lights and a thick front grille, with muscular wheel arches and sharp tail-lights. The car’s look is distinctive and quite different to the rest of Volkswagen’s range, emphasising the effort the car maker has made in appealing to American buyers.
Engines and gearbox
At launch, the Atlas comes with the choice of two engines: a turbocharged 2.0-litre four-cylinder TSI with 238bhp and a 3.6-litre six-cylinder VR6 with 280bhp. Both units send drive exclusively through an eight-speed automatic transmission, but the 2.0-litre has two-wheel drive only while the larger VR6 can be specified with 4Motion four-wheel drive. This technology offers several drive modes to improve traction and performance on varying surface conditions.