Volkswagen‘s new SUV will reportedly go by the name Atlas.
The three-row crossover might not shoulder the world, but it will take on reviving VW’s popularity in the states. It’s one of several new products VW will unleash over the next few months as the automaker tries to win back customers following its diesel emissions scandal.
VW’s certainly taken its sweet time bringing the long-awaited SUV to market. The automaker first introduced the midsize SUV as the CrossBlue concept at the Detroit auto show back in 2013. Since then VW has kept the name details under wraps. Now with the name official, we can look for its official debut on October 27 in Santa Monica.
The Atlas will replace the hard to pronounce Tiguan in the current lineup. It adds a third row with two more seats for a total of seven. Atlas also marks a shift from all VW crossovers getting names starting with “T.” The name follows the promise made earlier by CEO Hinrich Woebcken. He said the new model would get a name North Americans would find easy to pronounce.
VW filed for the Atlas trademark in April. A month later, it announced the Chattanooga, Tennessee plant finished its first metal test body for it. It will be the first VW with a modular transverse matrix platform to be built in the U.S. Production begins at the end of the year.
The new SUV will go on sale in early 2017 for around $30,000 and not a moment too soon. Sales are down 12 percent for VW so far this year over last and the automaker hopes the Atlas will give its dealers a fresh selling point in the hot crossover segment. VW hasn’t been able to capitalize on it so far because its current offerings, the compact Tiguan and the luxury Touareg, are expensive and out-of-step with their competitors.
The Tiguan gets a makeover in mid-2017, which together with the new Atlas, should help VW compete better in these critical market segments.