The Name Game: Volkswagen's Manly Crossover Hero is Called 'Atlas'

Steph Willems
by Steph Willems
the name game volkswagens manly crossover hero is called 8216 atlas

A figure of Greek mythology with very strong back muscles will find his name plastered on Volkswagen’s upcoming three-row crossover.

According to Automobilwoche, German affiliate of Automotive News, Volkswagen has decided to name their high-hopes, Chattanooga-built model the Atlas.

The name conjures up many things, and many manly things — ideal for a broad-shouldered, seven-passenger crossover. Over the years, the Atlas name has seen plenty of use, from the muscle-bound man of mythology, to a giant rocket, to a Ford concept truck. It does, however, have an unsettling world domination ring to it.

Alas, the crossover’s name is not the Teramont, which Volkswagen trademarked in the U.S. last December. That prediction didn’t pan out, though the name remains in the VW stable — perhaps bound for another vehicle, or simply collecting dust as a runner-up. “Atlas” was trademarked in April.

Earlier this year, CEO of Volkswagen North American Region CEO Hinrich Woebcken claimed the new model would bear a “bullish, much easier to pronounce, American-style name.” Adding more vowels to “Touareg” was out of the question.

There’s a lot riding on the Atlas. The model leads the charge in Volkswagen’s SUV and crossover-heavy push to regain U.S. sales and market share lost in the wake of the diesel emissions scandal. U.S. sales are down 12 percent so far this year after last fall’s steep slide.

Built on Volkswagen’s modular MQB platform, the Atlas starts production late this year. A 2.0-liter TSI four-cylinder making 238 horsepower serves as the base engine, while the company’s venerable 280 hp 3.6-liter V6 provides extra power in uplevel trims. Sales begin in the spring.

[Image capture: YouTube]

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  • Frozenman Frozenman on Oct 07, 2016

    'Face-Palm', what a dumb name. They should have gone with 'Little Hansel'.

  • Ryoku75 Ryoku75 on Oct 07, 2016

    Manning up the Beetle didnt work nor will renaming the Tiguan, unless if they're going to be separate albeit redundant models.

  • Paul Mezhir As awful as the styling was on these cars, they were beautifully assembled and extremely well finished for the day. The doors closed solidly, the ride was extremely quiet and the absence of squeaks and rattles was commendable. As for styling? Everything's beautiful in it's own way.....except for the VI's proportions were just odd: the passenger compartment and wheelbase seemed to be way too short, especially compared to the VI sedan. Even the short-lived Town Coupe had much better proportions. None of the fox-body Lincolns could compare to the beautiful proportions of the Mark was the epitome of long, low, sleek and elegant. The proportions were just about perfect from every angle.
  • ToolGuy Silhouetting yourself on a ridge like that is an excellent way to get yourself shot ( Skylining)."Don't you know there's a special military operation on?"
  • ToolGuy When Farley says “like the Millennium Falcon” he means "fully updatable" and "constantly improving" -- it's right there in the Car and Driver article (and makes perfect sense).
  • Master Baiter New slogan in the age of Ford EVs:FoundOnRoadDischarged
  • Albert Also owned a 1959 Continental Mark IV coupe for 20 years and loved every minute!