The Volkswagen Atlas seven-seat large SUV could go on sale in Europe after all.
Although the car was originally engineered for the US and Chinese markets, VW’s head of full-size product lines Elmar-Marius Licharz has revealed that the firm is now evaluating options to sell the model in some European countries.
“We are thinking about Europe,” said Licharz. “For most regions the Touareg is the right car, but there are certainly markets like Russia and the Middle East where we see the Atlas could be popular.
“The Atlas is quite big, so we need to evaluate the likely demand - it might even be too big to fit in many European garages. But clearly there are some markets in Europe where it would make sense, and there is spare capacity at the Chattanooga plant where we are building it if we choose to do this.
At launch in the US, the Atlas comes with the choice of two engines: a turbocharged 2.0-litre four-cylinder petrol with 238bhp and a 3.6-litre six-cylinder VR6 with 280bhp.
However, Licharz conceded that it would likely need a diesel in order to be sold in Europe, but added that the firm had already investigated installing the 188bhp 2.0 TDI for sales in Europe.
“At the moment we are just thinking about it, but it is possible,” he said.
The Atlas is based on the Volkswagen Group's MQB architecture but is significantly larger than the models with which it shares its underpinnings. At 4922mm in length, the Atlas is 225mm longer than the Skoda Kodiaq and even 121mm longer than the current largest VW SUV, the Touareg.
The Atlas is 1979mm wide and 1767mm high, making it 38mm wider and 35mm taller than the Touareg. Not only is it larger than any VW passenger car on sale in Europe but it’s also Volkswagen’s largest US model.
In the US the Atlas will undercut the Touareg on price.