We’ll get an off-road version for sure, but will that Atlas-based pickup ever come to life?
The Volkswagen Atlas, car-like SUV with stout body lines that it is, was Volkswagen’s attempt to become relevant in the crossover market by building a solid contender that mixes handsome looks with a driving style that feels optimized for city streets. It’s set to be a winner if Volkswagen can market it correctly, but there’s also another way to make the Atlas more palatable to customers on the fence about buying one. From the looks of it, Volkswagen is about to exploit that tactic for more sales.
According to VX Vortex, Volkswagen North America CEO Hinrich Woebcken recently told a group of journalists and investors attending a sneak preview of the Mk 7 Jetta that he wasn’t happy with leaving the Atlas as it is. Though he didn’t specify what changes or new variants would be added, he did say that “the Atlas family” would grow. That would likely mean another Atlas designed and priced to sell quickly, but just what could that be? Recent patents also uncovered by VW Vortex show that the automaker recently filed trademarks in the US for the names “Atlas Allsport” and “Atlas Cross Sport”. Based on these names, we can infer a bit about the upcoming “family” members.
Atlas Allsport, which sounds similar to the name “Alltrack” used by Volkswagen on the Golf Alltrack to distinguish this model as one that's raised and given armor so it can tackle off-road terrain, could be a more rugged version of the Atlas that would satisfy off-road enthusiasts. On the other hand, Atlas Cross Sport makes it sound a lot like Volkswagen is keen on building a smaller, sportier, and more crossover-like version of the Atlas to fill the space left open by the death of the Touareg. Previous reports also indicate that Volkswagen was once mulling a pickup truck based on the Atlas, but the viability of selling that in the US seems low since even the midsize Amarok skips over American dealerships.