It seems that Volkswagen’s newest SUV, the Atlas, could be bound for more markets than it was originally announced with, possibly extending to some European markets that, consequently, could act as a springboard to further flung locations.
Australia wasn’t specifically mentioned but rather Russia and certain Middle Eastern countries were on the ‘maybe’ list for Volkswagen, according to their head of full-size product lines Elmar-Marius Licharz as reported by Autocar UK.
“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,” he said.
The initial announcement of the Atlas saw its engines comprise of a 177kW 2.0-litre turbocharged four-cylinder and a 3.6-litre naturally aspirated VR6 with 208kW, but Licharz noted the need for a diesel option should the Atlas wish to enter the European market, where a possible option could be a 2.0-litre TDI.
We first saw the Atlas, an imposingly large and brawny looking seven-seater SUV from Volkswagen, as the CrossBlue concept way back in 2013 and more recently in China as a near-production mule.
As it came to pass, a full reveal was held and with its new name came the announcement that it is to be aimed primarily at the North American market - where VW has struggled to offer customers a compelling option in the large SUV space - and in China.
It’s rare that Volkswagen would launch a car specifically to fill a gap in the market, going so far as to ditch its traditional ’T’ nomenclature for SUVs (Tiguan, Touareg) for a more easily pronounceable, familiar English dictionary compatible name.
It’s not clear whether a car like the Atlas would be a hit in Australia either. And apart from us, there’s really few regions where such a car would have the potentiality to be the kind of big seller that Volkswagen is hoping for.