The 2018 Volkswagen Atlas: Volkswagen’s potential “knight in
shining armor” in the U.S. Market.
Some automakers find the U.S.A. automobile market quite a gold
mine, for others it quite a struggle to make any significant
sales. One of the automakers in the latter group is Volkswagen.
For decades, Volkswagen has been striving to tame the American
market without any significant success except for the original
Beetle, which had managed to conquer the expansive country.
When the automaker was nearly figuring out the market, the
diesel gate scandal broke out eroding all the gains that
had been made. Now as the dust settles on the scandal, the
automaker is set to launch a new model in an attempt to lure
the market to its fold. With the new model, the automaker
hopes to strike the heights the original Beetle reached. From
the look of it, I think VW has gotten it right this time in
terms of design, I just hope they will also get it right in
terms of its pricing strategy. Read along to find out what the
Volkswagen Atlas has in store for the American market:
2018 Volkswagen Atlas Exterior
The 2018 Volkswagen Atlas is based on the Cross Blue Concept.
The Audi Q7 is also
based on the same concept, which means the Atlas shares a lot
of exterior design cues with the Audi Q7. At the front, the
model features the same grille we saw earlier on the CrossBlue
concept. However, the grille is slightly revised to give the
Atlas its own unique look. Unlike the concept, on the Atlas,
the grille is rectangular and is slotted between the headlamps
and blinker assemblies. Unlike the crossover, there is no
opening above the air dam. The model also features
gray-accented fog lights, which augurs well with the black
trimmed lower fascia. The hood is carried over unchanged from
Onto the sides, the model looks identical to the Q7. The Atlas
fender flares, however look more pronounced than those of the
Q7. The fenders are joined by a bodyline that strikes right in
the middle of the crossover. The side profile also features a
weird insert, which we have not seen on the Q7 or its other
sister the Skoda Kodiaq.
Moving over to the rear, the Atlas is a bit unique as it
features taillights that are connected by a chrome strip that
extends the entire width of the rear hatch. However, the Atlas
borrows its rear overhang from the Skoda Kodiaq.
The bottom part of the rear fascia is characterized by a black
cladding. To finish off the rear look are rectangular-shaped
exhaust tips with a gray insert.
Dimension-wise, the model stretches 198.3 inches long with a
width of 77.9 inches and a height of 69.6 inches. These
dimensions make it the largest VW model in the USA market.
2018 Volkswagen Atlas Interior
The interior has a premium look. The premium features begin
with the flat-bottomed steering wheel. The unit is integrated
with thumb buttons on its side spokes. The model also features
the automakers new digital cockpit. The driver can customize
the gauges in the cluster to his/her preferences. You will find
a small storage area at the center top of the dash. Below the
storage compartment, you will find a large display screen for
the vehicle’s infotainment system. I understand that the
VW’s Car-Net system will be offered as an option. The system
adds Smartphone connectivity via Android Auto, Apple CarPlay
For the audiophiles, the Atlas comes with an option for an
audio system that features 12 speakers and a 480-Watt
amplifier. The automaker was quick to note that this is the
most advanced audio system in any VW model.
The cabin accommodates 7 passengers spread over three rows. The
seats are upholstered in quality materials with top trims
featuring leather upholstery. In addition, the seats feature
center cushions and backrests that are perforated meaning they
will likely be heated and ventilated. The second row of seats
has a 60/40 split-folding function while the third row has a
50/50 split-folding capability functions that come in handy
when there are large items to haul. The second row seats can
also slide forward to create extra space for third-row
passengers that VW says, can accommodate two fully-grown
For safety, in addition to offering a full package of airbags,
the crossover features a parking assist system, post-collision
braking system, forward-collision warning, blind-spot
monitoring system, lane-keep assist, lane-departure warning as
well as an automatic braking system.
What’s more, the crossover features an option for sunshades
that prevent sunrays from harming young children riding at the
Engine Specs and performance
According to credible reports, the Atlas will be offered in two
different drive-trains. The base engine will be a turbocharged
2.0 L, direct injected, 4-cylinder engine. The engine is good
for 238 hp. For more power, Volkswagen offers a 3.6 L,
For more power, Volkswagen offers a 3.6 L, V-6 mill that
produces 280 horses. Buyers who choose this engine will have an
option to select a 4Motion AWD system. The system offers
different driving modes for different driving conditions.
Both engines will be mated to an 8-speed automatic transmission
system. Information on torque, acceleration, fuel consumption
and top speed will be availed close to the models sales debut
in the spring next year.
Price and release date
Volkswagen has not announced official prices of the 2018
Volkswagen Atlas. However, considering the not so impressive
performance of the Touareg, Volkswagen will most definitely
make the Atlas affordable to achieve any significant market
share in the US. As such, I think the base model could
start at around $35,000 and go up to as much as $45,000.
I think the automaker has learned a lesson from the pricing
strategy of the Touareg that starts at $49,495 and goes up to
as much as $60,195. This pricing has greatly affected sales in
the U.S.A. as there are a host of competing models priced much
Volkswagen must really get all things right to stand a chance
of earning a significant market share in the US market
currently commanded by the likes of Ford Expedition and