NAIAS 2017 | Episode 6 : VW

VW is still reeling from the diesel emissions scandal. Amazingly VW sells less cars in the US than Subaru, but there was at last some excitement on the show stand with production versions of the Atlas, 3-row SUV/Crossover and a fun Microbus concept.

At long last VW seems on track to providing a line up of 5 crossover vehicles tailored for the US market. The second generation Tiguan, introduced last year in Franfurt, will be joined in dealer showrooms this Spring by the US built, US centric Atlas. The Touareg carries over for now.

The Atlas was first previewed as the CrossBlue concept way back in January 2013, with several iterations since then. The design is masculine, with a broad front end featuring LED headlamps and running lights , flat top wheelarches and a strong bodyside feature line that rises over both front and rear wheelarches. The interior is classic VW and the third row of seats is accessed by a clever folding mechanism on the second row seats that allows a child seat to remain in place. There is reasonable luggage space when the third row of seats is occupied.

The VW Microbus or Vanagon returns (again). VW revealed a concept evoking the much loved VW Microbus that was closely associated with the 60’s hippie subculture. The ID Buzz concept as it is called for some reason, is a striking, all-electric (600km/360 mile range), autonomous vehicle. The driveless feature would be activated by pushing the rectangular steering wheel into the instrument panel. VW wants to sell over 1 million electric vehicles per year by 2025 and will make this a cornerstone of the brand.