Two interesting things happened this week that must be a crazy coincidence, but make me wonder if Volkswagen and Metallica have some kind of secret marketing deal in place.
First, the legendary metal band released a rocking new single called “Atlas, Rise!” Shortly after, Volkswagen unveiled a new SUV called the Atlas.
Both Metallica and Volkswagen are staging a comeback of sorts. The aging band finally seems to have gotten back to its roots, and the German automaker desperately wants to leave its diesel scandal in the past.
Could Atlas save them both?
Tonight’s reveal of the Volkswagen Atlas caps more than four years of work by engineers, designers and planners who set out to design a kind of vehicle Volkswagen has never built before – an SUV sized for the modern American family. With seven seats, a choice of two engines and a suite of available technology from a reconfigurable display to an active lane departure warning system the Atlas arrives as the boldest new Volkswagen SUV yet.
The Atlas certainly has a bold look that mixes some of the Ford Explorer‘s brutish angles with a new take on a familiar Volkswagen face. Those headlights built into the grille? Cool!
How the Atlas will be received by the American audience it was specifically built for remains unknown. Many of us will have sticker shock from the Touareg fresh in our memories along with a sour taste in our mouths from Dieselgate. We’ve also grown accustomed to high maintenance costs and questionable reliability from gas-powered VW’s.
The Atlas will offer a 3.6-liter 6-cylinder engine rated at 280 horsepower or a 2.0-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder that makes 238 horsepower. Both are mated to an 8-speed automatic transmission. Volkswagen’s 4Motion all-wheel drive is an option on the 6-cylinder model only. Fuel economy ratings were not released.
There are plenty of proven and affordable 3-row SUVs on the market, so hopefully VW comes in with attractive incentives on top of a competitive price to convince buyers to give V-Dub one more try.
If the value proposition lines up, there’s a good chance we’ll see Atlas rise in America.
And Metallica? Consider that comeback complete.
What do you think of the new Volkswagen Atlas?