Volkswagen has filed for trademarks on the names “Atlas Allsport” and “Atlas Cross Sport” in the US.

The applications suggest that new variants that are under consideration for the new midsize SUV, though it’s unclear at this time quite what they mean. These could apply to two different variants or the company could be playing it safe and applying for both names to retain the option of using either.

Both names hint at a vaguely similar notion, with the idea of sport acting as a suffix in both cases. The name “Cross Sport” does, though, hint a crossover, which traditionally is smaller than the Atlas. Volkswagen has also made a point of going after SUV and Crossover sales recently but has declined to offer the T-Roc here in America. This could, therefore, mean that the name Atlas will act as more of a brand than a model name, kind of like Land Rover does with the Range Rover (Evoque, Velar, or otherwise) and be applied to Golf-sized SUV (like the short wheelbase Tiguan in Europe). The evidence for this is thin, though.

It seems likelier that VW is looking to add variants to the brand like they’ve done with the Golf. In fact, the name Allsport brings to mind the Golf Alltrack, which was raised slightly and has had plastic cladding added to its wheel arches to help it compete with crossovers. Similarly, the Atlas Allsport could benefit from some cladding and, say, adjustable ride height (like in an Audi) to give it more of an off-roady feel, a little like Tanner Foust's SEMA Atlas.

post shared by Tanner Foust (@tannerfoust)[/URL] on Nov 15, 2017 at 2:49pm PST

Volkswagen has also trademarked the name Apollo in the US. The name first appeared, for VW, back in the early ‘90s in Brazil as a rebadged Ford Verona—a small, roughly Escort-sized two-door sedan. And while we here at VW Vortex would happily welcome a two-door sedan, it seems a little likelier that the name will be reapplied to another vehicle altogether, maybe even that small SUV mentioned above.

Unfortunately, little is known at this point, so no firm conclusions can be reached.

Volkswagen has also been busy trademarking a pair of names in Europe. The first is Atakor and like Touareg and Atlas follows the loose tradition of naming cars and SUVs after North Africa. The second, meanwhile, is Atmosphere, which could easily any number of “green” vehicles.