2018 Volkswagen Atlas: American Heart and Soul

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Experienced by Kimatni D. Rawlins

For the first time ever the Santa Monica Pier allowed an automaker to host a vehicle reveal which took place on a beautiful and exciting evening as Volkswagen introduced the all-new 2018 Atlas to a large group of media and live Internet audience. With three rows of seating for seven passengers the midsize SUV is built in Tennessee and designed for the typical American family looking for a cavernous cockpit with an ample amount of utility, flexibility, technology and comfort. This anomaly translates into Volkswagen’s largest vehicle in the U.S. and brings them out of the shadows of the smaller Golfs and Jettas they manufacture.

The Atlas appears to be quite intuitive and versatile since it features Volkswagen Digital Cockpit instrumentation; Volkswagen Car-Net connected vehicle services with App-Connect for pairing with either Apple CarPlay, Android Auto or MirrorLink; a 12-speaker Fender Premium Audio System; and two powertrains to choose from — a 238-horsepower 2.0-liter turbocharged TSI 4-cylinder engine and the 280-horsepower 3.6-liter VR6 engine — with both married to an 8-speed transmission. Buyers can opt for either the front-wheel-drive variant or the 4Motion all-wheel-drive Atlas that comes with the VR6 models.

“This is the biggest and boldest Volkswagen we have ever built in the United States, delivering the distinctive design and craftsmanship we’re known for, now with room for seven,” said Hinrich J. Woebcken, CEO of the North America Region, Volkswagen. “The Atlas marks a brand new journey for Volkswagen to enter into the heart of the American market.”

There are quite a few fresh vehicles planned to be released in 2017 where plenty of anticipation leads us to a bevy of new SUVs, sports cars and pickup trucks including the VW Atlas. The technical acumen of the Atlas is presented in an amalgamation of driver assistance systems such as Adaptive Cruise Control; Forward Collision Warning and Autonomous Emergency Braking (Front Assist); Blind Spot Monitor with Rear Traffic Alert; Lane Departure Warning (Lane Assist) and Parking Steering Assistant (Park Assist) to name a few. These unequivocal advantages allow VW to attract a wider range of buyers with a vehicle that broadens appeal to active, on-the-go families. Moreover, Automatic Post-Collision Braking System kicks in when the airbag sensors detect an initial impact triggering the vehicle to apply the brakes to reduce the unfortunate opportunity of a secondary impact and further damage or injury.

Some things I noticed right off the bat after the Atlas drove onto the stage were the flush, dual tailpipes, a stylish tailgate spoiler, LED headlights, front and rear skid plates, a hitch, muscular design cuts, strong wheel arches and stylish rims, especially the black wheels on the Mustard hued Atlas. This may be a bit too pompous for some but ideal for many others. At 198.3” long, 77.9” wide and 69.6” tall, VW will offer the Atlas in five trim levels. To get to the third row VW has originated a cool, innovative solution for the folding seat which simultaneously tilts and slides in one piece, and can be done so even when a child safety seat is strapped in. As they claim, the third row is truly suitable for two adults unlike many in this competitive set.

The Los Angeles unveil marked the beginning of a new voyage for VW and concluded at historic Route 66. Indeed it’s designed for America, but will also be exported to other markets. This fresh start also aligns with VW’s electrification strategy for a future that will bring us 30 EVs by 2025. The Atlas arrives the spring of 2017.