Volkswagen has spent the past few years teasing similar-looking large crossover SUV concepts with names like CrossBlue and CrossCoupe GTE, but when that crossover goes to production it will apparently get a much more realistic name: Atlas. It’s a fitting name, too.
Automotive News reports this bit of news from its German affiliate, Automobilwoche. The seven-seat, three-row SUV is expected to debut in production form on Oct. 27 at long last as the Volkswagen Atlas.
Like the character from Greek mythology, the Atlas has a lot on its shoulders. (God, that’s so on the nose. I’m thoroughly sorry.) This is the most important product VW has debuted in years, maybe decades.
The company’s U.S. sales have been sagging for years thanks to a lack of products Americans actually buy, like trucks and big, affordable SUVs. (The Tiguan and Touareg are both too small and too expensive to really compete in significant numbers.) And that was all before everything got tanked by the diesel cheating scandal.
Originally it was expected to be called “Teramont,” keeping with the T-theme for SUVs. But now, even the name is a sign of how much VW needs this mass-appeal to Americans. It doesn’t have some goofy, indecipherable name like Passat or Touareg or even Golf—it’s just Atlas, which even a child can understand. That was done on purpose. From the story:
The choice shows that VW Group of America CEO Hinrich Woebcken made good on his pledge in July that the midsize crossover would get a “much easier to pronounce, American-style name” than VW’s other crossovers, and one that’s unique to the North American market.
The name also breaks with VW’s convention of assigning its crossover models names beginning with the letter “T” like the Tiguan and Touareg before it.
“Two or three years ago, it would’ve been a no-go that the region decides an individual name,” Woebcken said in July. “This is already an early sign that Wolfsburg is willing to let go.”
Built in the U.S., the Atlas goes on sale here next year. A diesel version is not expected.