VW reveals largest US-made SUV ever – the 2018 Atlas

Article by Christian A., on October 30, 2016

Volkswagen is opening a new chapter in its American history with the unveiling of the 2018 Volkswagen Atlas. With space large enough to fit seven passengers and equipped with top-of-the-line technology, the new model continues to have the signature driving dynamics the brand is famous for and even shows the attention to detail seen in previous models. In addition, its price is sure to attract many customers.

2018 Atlas is manufactured at the company’s facility located in Tennessee, the same plant that builds the new Passat.

New 2018 Volkswagen Atlas will be exhibited during the 2016 LA Auto Show starting on November 18.

Exterior Design

Based mainly on the company’s highly awarded Modular Transverse Matrix architecture, or MQB, the 2018 Atlas utilizes the current design language in order to make a new and bold appearance.

Overall length is at 198.3 inches long, with width at 77.9 inches, and height measured at 69.6 inches. This means that the 2018 Atlas is larger than the Touareg, and in fact it is the largest SUV from the company to be built in the U.S. Even with these dimensions, the clean lines and proportions are still there ensuring that customers continue to get a certain sense of precision and timelessness.

Interior Design

Going to the interior, the 2018 Atlas makes full use of the dimensions to fit in seven adults and their luggage. The displays are simple and focused on the driver, thus improving the feeling of being behind the wheel instead of being distracted from it. Through the Volkswagen Digital Cockpit, drivers are given the opportunity to reconfigure how they want the vehicle information to be displayed.

Meanwhile the third row comes with a pioneering folding seat solution that can be implemented even if there are child seats placed on the second row. By offering the Volkswagen Car-Net system, the 2018 Atlas gets a wide range of connected vehicle services.

Fitted as standard is the App-Connect technology which can be integrated with any of the three smartphone platforms: Android Auto, MirrorLink, and of course, Apple CarPlay. In addition, it features the outstanding Fender Premium Audio System, with the 48-watt amplifier, 12 speakers, and 12 channels.


There will be two powertrains to be offered for the 2018 Atlas. The first is the turbocharged direct-injection 2.0-liter 4-cylinder TSI engine that offers 238 horsepower (177 kW).

Meanwhile the second is the 3.6-liter VR6 engine capable of delivering 280 horsepower (208 kW). No matter what engine is chosen though, both will be paired with the eight-speed transmission to ensure that the efficiency of the engine is maximized.

Volkswagen will be offering as well two possible configurations with one being the front-wheel drive and the other the 4Motion all-wheel-drive that has the VR6 trims.

With the 4Motion system, the driver can choose from the Driving Mode Selection to determine what specific parameter can be used for the current driving situation.

Press Release


The 2018 Volkswagen Atlas, unveiled tonight on the Santa Monica Pier at the end of historic Route 66, launches a new chapter in the company’s American history. Built in Tennessee, the seven-passenger Atlas offers class competitive levels of technology and spaciousness combined with hallmark Volkswagen driving dynamics and attention to detail, all at a price designed to draw customers’ attention in the family SUV segment.

“This is the biggest and boldest Volkswagen we have ever builtin the United States, delivering the distinctive design and craftsmanship we’re known for, now with room for seven, ” said Hinrich J. Woebcken, CEO of the North America Region, Volkswagen. “The Atlas marks a brand new journey for Volkswagen to enterinto the heart of the American market.”

Engineered from Volkswagen’s award-winning Modular Transverse Matrix (MQB) architecture, the Atlas draws on the latest Volkswagen design DNA to create a bold new look in the SUV segment. At 198.3 inches long, 77.9 inches wide, and 69.6 inches high, Atlas is larger than any other Volkswagen on sale in the U.S., yet it retains classic proportions and clean lines that create a sense of timelessness and precision. Up front, standard LED headlights and LED Daytime Running Lights combine for a unique visual signature, with optional LED taillights to complete the look.

Inside, the Atlas makes maximum use of its dimensions to offer space for seven adults and their luggage. The third row can be easily reached by an innovative folding seat solution, one that works even with child seats installed in the second row. Simple, driver-centric displays enhance the feeling behind the wheel rather than distracting from it; while the available Volkswagen Digital Cockpit allows drivers to reconfigure how they view vehicle information.

The available Volkswagen Car-Net® system provides a full suite of connected vehicle services, including standard App-Connect technology that offers integration with the three major smartphone platforms—Apple CarPlayTM, Android AutoTM and MirrorLink®. The vehicle also features an available Fender® Premium Audio System that is the most sophisticated yet seen in a Volkswagen, with 12 channels, a 480-watt amplifier and 12 speakers.

The Atlas offers available driver assistance features that had been previously been reserved for premium SUVs, at an affordable level. These include: Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC); Forward Collision Warning and Autonomous Emergency Braking (Front Assist); Blind Spot Monitor with Rear Traffic Alert; Lane Departure Warning (Lane Assist), which actively helps the driver steer the car back into its lane; and Parking Steering Assistant (Park Assist).

Also, theAtlas is the only vehicle in its class to offer the Automatic Post-Collision Braking System. This builds on the premise that a collision is rarely a single, instantaneous action, but rather a series of events that follow the initial impact—the most significant of which can cause additional collisions. The Automatic Post-Collision Braking System addresses this by applying the brakes when a primary collision is detected by the airbag sensors, thus helping reduce residual kinetic energy and, in turn, the chance of additional damage.

The Atlas arrives with a choice of two powertrains: the 2.0-liter turbocharged and direct-injection TSI® four cylinder with 238 horsepower or the available 3.6-liter VR6 engine with 280 horsepower. Either engine routes power through an eight-speed transmission to help maximize engine efficiency, and the Atlas can be configured either as front wheel-drive or with available 4Motion all-wheel-drive in VR6 trims. The 4Motion system has a Driving Mode Selection feature that allows the driver to select specific parameters based on driving conditions.

EPA fuel economy estimates will be released ahead of the launch in the Spring of 2017. The Atlas is built alongside the Passat at the Volkswagen Chattanooga assembly plant, the result of an additional $900 million investment by Volkswagen in the facility. The Chattanooga plant is the only automotive manufacturing facility in the world to receive Platinum certification by the U.S. Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design (LEED) program.

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