Anton Andres / Volkswagen USA | December 06, 2016 11:02
Volkswagen considering Atlas sales outside North America
Following the recent debut of the Volkswagen Atlas, the automaker is looking at the possibility of offering the large crossover outside of North America and China. Volkswagen has began making headway into selling the Atlas outside its primary market with the recent announcement that they will be launching the Chattanooga built car over in Russia.
Speaking to Autocar, Dr. Elmar-Marius Licharz, series head for mid and large Volkswagen vehicles, said that they are analyzing the prospects of offering the Atlas in Europe, as well as other regions. On top of that, they are also considering installing the familiar 2.0 liter TDI engine with 190 PS. The Russia-bound Atlas will come with the said engine as standard.
There are concerns selling the Atlas over in Europe, one of them being its size. Licharz however believes that there is a market for large crossovers in the continent, with Volkswagen Auto Group offering a range of these from Audi to Porsche. Licharz also believes that the Atlas can coexist with the Touareg without affecting the latter's sales. If given the green light, the Euro-spec Atlas will also be built in the Chattanooga, Tennessee plant.
Volkswagen is also considering the Altas for Asia, particularly in the Middle East. With the popularity of large and full-size SUVs in that region, Licharz reckons that the three-row Atlas would make sense and “may turn out to be popular”.
With the availability of the Atlas in Russia, there are now three engine options for the crossover. First is the aforementioned 2.0 liter TDI engine with 190 PS exclusive for the Russian market. The base engine in the US and China is a 2.0 liter, turbocharged TSI mill with 240 PS. Top of the line models are powered by the 3.6 liter VR6 that puts out 283 PS. Front wheel drive is standard while 4Motion all-wheel drive is an option. All Atlases shift via an 8-speed automatic transmission.