VW’s 5-seat Atlas to be built in Chattanooga plant

VW’s 5-seat Atlas to be built in Chattanooga plant

Volkswagen recently unveiled their latest SUV, the Atlas Cross Sport. The five-passenger vehicle will be smaller than the seven-seat Atlas. It will be produced at the same Volkswagen plant in Chattanooga.

Judging from the near-production concept, the Atlas Cross Sport will look more like a coupe but will be sportier compared to its bigger, seven-seater brother. Case in point, the exterior will feature only two-bar grilles at the front instead of three both illuminated in white and operate as LED daytime running lights.

The smaller Atlas Cross Sports will also have one fewer row of seats with two instead of three, although the horizontal design remains a prominent feature, with the instrument panel and infotainment screens adding even more emphasis to the design.

Both drivers and front passengers will be able to access all of the infotainment functions and other basic vehicle configuration using a 10.1-inch touchscreen in the front that's built with added features like proximity sensors and gesture control.

The Atlas Cross Sport will also have a plug-in hybrid drivetrain. It will have a horsepower of 355, with an anticipated 26 miles.

Volkswagen already has almost 3,500 people in their Chattanooga plant busy making the larger seven-seater Atlas and their midsize sedan Passat. However, with the Atlas Cross Sport, it seems that Volkswagen is looking to try and adjust to the US market; Americans are now much less likely to buy pickup trucks and sedans, opting for more and more SUVs. The Atlas Cross Sport will serve as their answer to that increased demand for SUVs.

Volkswagen of America reported back in February that Atlas or Tiguan SUVs accounted for nearly half of their total sales in the United States at 54 percent. Expect the Atlas Cross Sport, which will start assembly in late 2019, to change that once it comes out.