By on October 6, 2016

vw teramont

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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36 Comments on “The Name Game: Volkswagen’s Manly Crossover Hero is Called ‘Atlas’...”

  • avatar

    Atlas… Shrugged.

  • avatar

    Started to clean out my 2015 TDI Wagon to turn it in.

    I have a few suggestions what VW can call their new product.

    I have a few suggestions where they can park it too.

  • avatar

    Proclaims an “American-style name”
    Proceeds to name it after Greek mythos.

    Wasn’t the F150 concept called “Atlas?”

  • avatar

    Finally a simple name that doesn’t require a dictionary or the imagination from a fantasy novel. I literally had an older co-worker refer to VW’s current small crossover as the “VW Tommi-gon”.

  • avatar

    There’s nothing manly about these image conscious belly draggers. 7 row crossovers are like the automotive equivalent of a waist trainer. Real men with too many kids let their bellies hang out and drive minivans.

    • 0 avatar

      You probably don’t know since, let’s be honest here, no one actually pays attention to my posts. But if you did pay attention you would know that I am a coupe man through and through. But if I were to have a large family I would drive an old fashioned van, like a Chevrolet Express. Or even a new-old-fashioned van like a Ford Transit. Or the standby, the Chevrolet Suburban.

      The reason I don’t like minivans is that I simply think they are too much vehicle for their car based drive trains. I really think that it’s a root cause of the minivans many transmission woes. And it’s not just the Honda 5 speed, many minivans have had drive train issues. Anecdotally my boss’s 2005 Grand Caravan had to have its transmission replaced last year at just shy of 100,000 miles which I think is way too early for transmission failure. Minivans have gotten better about it, but I still think they are too much vehicle for the hardware.

      So for me if I had need of the room, I would skip the minivan and go to the truck based big vans. Even if those vans are uncool.

      • 0 avatar

        DevilsRotary86 – no issues with our Sienna. oddly enough, the GC we had was a monstrous POS but the transmission never failed. It had bouts of normal shifting but never failed ;)

      • 0 avatar

        That’s a really interesting take. I never thought about it that way. I thought Chrysler’s powertrains were just crap though. I don’t know that this was a universal problem. My mom’s Nissan Quest didn’t have those issues.

        Plus I think it’s the same deal with a lot of crossovers and I don’t hear about those having too many transmission problems. I guess they don’t get as loaded up.

        • 0 avatar

          Well, a lot of the newer crossovers have newer and better (except the Pilot I guess lol) transaxles.

          I can see what he means, as per this example:

          Look at how poorly the Wind/Freestar did and the GM minivans were equally bad with powertrain issues. Both used engines/transaxles originally designed for mid-sized sedans, not heavy minivans.

          Today, both Ford and GM crossovers use their jointly-developed 6 speed, which aside from early GM teething issues with their version, is quite reliable. It was probably designed with use in heavier vehicles in mind from the start.

          I have seen first gen Siennas with trans issues. I even stopped and picked a couple up along I-5 North of Seattle when their Sienna’s trans took a $#¡Г with no warning. He said one second they were going along fine, and then as though something let go, the RPMs went up, but the speedometer went down. It had no ability to move forward whatsoever under its own power. Fluid was full. I drove them to the next exit, they called a family member and a tow truck from my cell.

    • 0 avatar

      7-row crossovers?!

      There are quite a few 3-row crossovers, but most of them are long midsizers with enough space in the 3rd row to seat passengers in a pinch. The only truly full-sized crossovers are from those companies that don’t offer a minivan–the GM Lambda trio and the Ford Flex/Lincoln MKT.

  • avatar




  • avatar

    You misheard. They said “At last” not “Atlas”.

  • avatar

    VW is all i need to see to look in a different direction.

  • avatar

    280 hp 3.6 liter V6 as the “optional” engine?
    My 13 yr old base SRX has one of those.
    Parking valets be sayin’ “dude where’s the torque?”

  • avatar

    I do have to say – “Atlas” is a pretty sweet name for a vehicle. (Wasn’t “Atlas” also the name of a Ford truck concept?)

    Maybe it’s just me, but the name of a vehicle can make it or break it for me. I prefer real names to alphanumerics, but a bad real name can do more harm than good.

    For example, if the Tiguan was named “Marrakesh” as it was rumored to be, I honestly don’t think I would hate it as much as I do. Likewise, if “Toureg” was called “Colorado” as was rumored, I think it would have had a completely different personality in the minds of the public and would have sold better (of course, it helps to be able to know how to pronounce the name).

    “Teramont” wouldn’t have been too bad – conjures images of equestrian estates to me, for some reason – but Atlas is better.

  • avatar
    Adam Tonge

    Oh the mighty control arms of Atlas, Hold the sub frame from the earth.

  • avatar
    SCE to AUX

    You can’t beat “RAM” for manly names.

    VW should have reserved “Atlas” for a full-sized pickup with a 6.0 W12 engine and 5-figure towing capacity.

  • avatar

    Given VW’s recent trials and tribulations, the name of the new truck should be Sisyphus but no one would be able to pronounce it.

    I don’t know why VW is still in the U.S. market; they can’t compete with either the Japanese or Koreans. I think it might help them to sell enough vehicles to try to claim the title of the world’s largest vehicle manufacturer.

    Last night I looked at the total sales to date for all 237 automobiles sold in the U.S through September on GoodCarsBadCars. I was amazed how few cars VW does sell. 231,268 vs 264,215 through September 2015, a 12.5% decrease. (My chart in Excel didn’t get carried over.)

    Toyota, Honda and Nissan have each sold over 1,000,000 vehicles. Hyundai and Kia together have sold over 1,000,000. Mercedes and Lexus have sold more vehicles than VW. The Camry, Corolla and Civic have all sold more than the entire VW line. The CR-V, RAV4 and Accord have sold slightly less.

    Wait until they get whacked with the penalty for the diesel shenanigans.

  • avatar

    Yeah, a heavy SUV named Atlas with a 2.0 litre engine doesn’t seem very manly to me…

    They might move some on leases to uppity soccer moms that can’t afford a Q5 or Q7.

  • avatar

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

  • avatar

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

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