At Last! VW Launches the Atlas

The dawn of a new era at Volkswagen started today, with the launch of the Atlas, the biggest vehicle ever built at the company’s Chattanooga plant.

When it arrives for the 2018 model year, the Atlas will be the biggest Volkswagen on sale in America and will come with a choice of two engines, three rows, and 4Motion all-wheel-drive, as well a suite of new technology, including Volkswagen’s Digital Cockpit—similar to Audi’s virtual cockpit.


Both the 2.0-liter TSI and the 3.6-liter VR6 engines will be mated to an 8 speed automatic transmission. The four-cylinder TSI engine produces 238 hp, while the VR6 makes 280 hp.

At 198.3 inches long, 77.9 inches wide, and 69.6 inches tall, the Atlas is a little longer than the Honda Pilot and a little wider than the Dodge Durango. When it hits the showroom floor, it will be the biggest Volkswagen on sale in America.

And it makes good use of that space, with its seven seats (2-3-2) and room for cargo. The seats farthest back are big enough for two adults and can be accessed even if there is a child-seat in the middle row.


As well as the new digital cockpit, the Atlas will come with plenty of available tech. That includes a 12 speaker, 480-watt sound system, adaptive cruise control, forward collision warning, blind-spot monitoring, autonomous emergency braking, lane departure warning, and more.

Not only will this be the biggest vehicle at Volkswagen’s Chattanooga, Tennessee plant, it will be the first made on the MQB platform. Despite the fact that the US Passat—the other vehicle built at the plant—is not on the same platform, the two will share the same assembly line.