The Volkswagen Atlas SUV isn't much of a looker, but the R-Line treatment changes that (somewhat).
The importance of the all-new Volkswagen Atlas cannot be understated. The automaker is trying to revamp its image in the US and globally after Dieselgate. It’s also playing catch-up in a world automotive market that is abandoning small cars and larger sedans in favor of SUVs of all shapes and sizes. Volkswagen needs to sell as many of these things as possible, which is why it shouldn’t come as any surprise that the Atlas R-Line is debuting before the SUV even goes on sale.
The R-Line package adds 20-inch aluminum alloy twin-spoke wheels, side skirts and new front and rear bumpers featuring what the automaker is calling “stylish” air intakes and a new diffuser. Interior modifications include stainless steel sport pedal covers, the letter “R” clipped onto the steering wheel and an “R” flashed onto the infotainment screen at startup. The interior add-ons aren’t all that impressive but the exterior mods are quite fetching and should appeal to suburbanites looking to add some flair to an SUV that doesn’t really stand out on its own. Although the name sounds sexy and suggests engine tuning the Atlas R-Line will be available with the same two engines as all other models.
The only transmission on offer is an eight-speed auto. Volkswagen’s 4Motion all-wheel-drive system is available on Atlases equipped with a V6. The Atlas R-Line will make its world debut at the 2017 Detroit Auto Show and go on sale later in the year. Pricing details were not announced. There’s a 2.0-liter turbo-four making 235 horsepower and a V6 making 276 horsepower.