Size wise, the Atlas will be larger than the existing Touareg. While the Touareg is pitched and priced as a premium vehicle, the Atlas will be more affordable, and has been designed to compete with mass market crossovers, like the Honda Pilot, Ford Explorer, and Toyota Kluger, known in the US as the Highlander.
The Atlas name fits in well with leaks from the German automaker that its American arm was allowed to choose an easier to pronounce, and more American name for the vehicle. Earlier reports suggested that the vehicle would named Teramont.
Reports and spy photos indicate that the Atlas will be available with at least two engine choices: a 2.0-litre turbocharged four-cylinder, and a 3.6-liter V6.
To be built in both China and the US, the Atlas is based on Volkswagen's MQB architecture, meaning that it will have transversely mounted engines, and be available in both front- and all-wheel drive formats.
Volkswagen Australia has confirmed to CarAdvice that it is interested in the Atlas, but it’s not known, at this stage, whether the large SUV will be produced in right-hand drive.