Gallery: More From the Volkswagen Atlas Launch

Volkswagen is focusing its efforts in North America with the launch of its latest product, the seven-seat Atlas.

When it hits showrooms in spring 2017, it will be the biggest Volkswagen on sale in America thanks to its three rows, seven seats, and ample cargo capacity. To get it up to speed, owners will have a choice of two engines: Volkswagen’s trusty 2.0-liter TSI—pumping out 238 hp—and the 3.6-liter VR6—making 280 hp.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAAs you can see, the VR6 engine sits quite low in the engine bay. That, according to Matthias Erb, VP of engineering at Volkswagen Group of America, is to keep the center of gravity low. The a-pillars, too, have been designed to be small to keep visibility as unimpeded as possible.

Keeping the center of gravity low, the visibility high, and squeezing performance out of the Atlas was a big deal to VW, which wanted to be sure that the new addition the line was as fun to drive as any of its other cars.

To that end, an R-line model, says Hendrick Muth, president of product marketing and strategy, isn’t out of the question down the line, though a sport model with, say, the R badge is less likely.

Unfortunately, torque figures aren’t being shared yet, though Muth says that they’ll be higher than you’d expect in the market segment.


As far as outright size is concerned, the Atlas won’t trump the competition, but it will fit right in, beating the Honda Pilot for length and the Dodge Durango for width. Inside, meanwhile, Volkswagen is promising it will have among the largest cargo capacities on the market.

Unfortunately, along with torque figures, Volkswagen isn’t letting us know how much you can expect to pay for the Atlas, but it has said that the price will be competitive in the market so expect it start in the low $30,000 range.

More on the brand-new Atlas when it becomes available.