The reveal of the five-seat version of the US-built Atlas will come shortly after the German premium car maker reveals the latest generation of its Touareg large SUV in one of the other markets that is crucial to the brand’s future growth: China.
The version of the Atlas on show at New York will be what VW calls “a near-production concept car”. It will help the car maker to build on the one in seven Volkswagen sales that the SUV models already claim, and also opens the door to “the potential for further versions in this model”.
Volkswagen said the the new five-seater was based on the same modular transverse matrix (MQB) platform that also sits under the Skoda Kodiaq, and will form the foundations for the next-generation Golf Mk8. “When it comes to design aspects, the near-production concept car impresses with a sporty, compact rear body in coupe style,” it said. “The side profile combines powerful proportions with a confident presence. A special dynamism is conveyed by the C-pillars, which are angled much lower in the style of a coupe compared to the seven-seater.”
According to the car maker, the five-seat Atlas will gain “advanced engines” paired with an eight-speed automatic transmission, all-wheel drive and “comfortable” suspension.
The fastback Atlas is part of VW’s strategy to roll out 19 SUV-based models globally by 2020. The range will kick off with a Volkswagen Polo-based SUV – the brand has only just launched the latest generation of its city-friendly hatchback in Australia.
Meanwhile, the Touareg due for a reveal in Beijing later this week (pictured above in prototype form) will make a generational leap to the same MLB platform that underpins the Bentley Bentayga luxury SUV and the more dynamically honed Lamborghini Urus.
The Touareg is Volkswagen’s version of the Atlas that’s honed more to global than US tastes. VW says the third-generation Touareg will feature one of the largest digital cockpits in its class, called Innovision. “Its connectivity makes it a driving internet node,” VW said. “The drivetrain, air suspension, rear-wheel steering and roll stabilisation all ensure a safe and dynamic driving experience.”