Volkswagen just unveiled its 2018 Atlas SUV in Santa Monica, California.
Why showcase this brand-new, three-row, car-based family hauler on the West Coast? Well, for starters, this is where historic Route 66 ends. That world-famous highway was once a major east-west artery connecting Chicago to California like a cross-country asphalt handshake. As roads go, itís as quintessentially American as they get.
Tying into this rich heritage, the Atlas is gunning to connect with American motorists in a new way, ultimately to increase the brandís sales. Yeah, thatís a pretty a tenuous tie-in for a reveal in Santa Monica, but itís good enough for us. Hereís what you need to know about this brand new vehicle.
For starters, the Atlas shares the same bones with numerous other vehicles in the Volkswagen Groupís sprawling product range, from the Audi A3
to äkodaís Octavia. Its award-winning MQB platform (Modularer Querbaukasten
in German, if youíre curious) supports this three-row SUV, which will be the largest model VW builds in the U.S.
Dimensionally, this architecture allows the Atlas to compete in the very heart of Americaís highly competitive large crossover segment. Rival models should include vehicles like the Honda Pilot
, GMC Acadia
and Nissan Pathfinder,
to name a few.