Despite the car maker’s original plans for a car specifically tailored to the US and Chinese markets, VW’s head of full-size product lines Elmar-Marius Licharz has admitted that the company is weighing up whether to market the model in a small number of European countries.
“We are thinking about Europe,” said Licharz. “For most regions the Touareg is the right car, but there are certainly markets like Russia and the Middle East where we see the Atlas could be popular.
“The Atlas is quite big, so we need to evaluate the likely demand – it might even be too big to fit in many European garages. But clearly there are some markets in Europe where it would make sense, and there is spare capacity at the Chattanooga plant where we are building it if we choose to do this.
In the US, the Atlas has a choice of two engines: a turbocharged 2.0-litre four-cylinder petrol with 238bhp and a 3.6-litre six cylinder VR6 with 280bhp.
Licharz did say that in order for the Atlas to be sold in Europe, a diesel variant would most likely also be needed. He added that the firm had begun investigating fitting the 188bhp 2.0 TDI for European models.
“At the moment we are just thinking about it, but it is possible,” he said.
The Atlas is modelled on the VW Group’s MQB architecture, but is noticeably larger in size than the other models that it shares its underpinnings with. The car has a length of 4922mm, making it 225mm longer than the Skoda Kodiaq, and 121mm longer than VW’s current largest SUV – the Toureg. The Atlas is 1979mm wide and 1767mm high, making it 38mm wider and 35mm taller than the Touareg.