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Volkswagen to unveil Atlas 5-passenger concept in New York

VW's new five-seat Atlas concept sketch

While Ford appears to be pursuing a policy of making its passenger models as global as possible, some European manufacturers appear to be going in an opposite direction of building vehicles specifically for certain markets. Volkswagen is one such manufacturer, and it appears to be launching so many different SUVs in so many different forms around the world, it's starting to be difficult to keep track of them all. The latest new SUV we're hearing about is a five-passenger version of the Atlas, which will be unveiled in its concept form at the upcoming New York International Auto Show later this month.

It was at last year's New York event when the German automaker's CEO Hinrich Woebcken told reporters a five-seat version of the Atlas crossover would be part of continuing investment in VW's Tennessee manufacturing plant. And Volkswagen has now confirmed a two-row version of the Atlas is going to be put into production there to add to the three-row Atlas in the company's SUV portfolio.

Although the vehicle that will be unveiled in New York is being billed as a concept, we shouldn't expect anything wild or outlandish as this is going to be a very close representation of what the final production model will look like. It's expected that the new model will appear as a shortened version of the larger Atlas, although it could turn out to be a little sportier with some modest differences to the front and rear styling.

There's already been an artist's impression of the new model released by Volkswagen, and although it's a lot more stylized than the finished vehicle will look, the swoopy "floating" roofline, three-bar grille, smaller, more integrated headlights, and prominent low front intakes are all elements we expect to feature to some extent.

Volkswagen hasn't revealed a final name for the model, so it's hard to see exactly how it will be marketed. The concept artwork suggests a coupe-like crossover along the lines of the BMW X6 and X4, instead of it simply being a shrunken version of the existing Atlas. A new name would mark it out as a new addition to the range in its own right, although Atlas Sport has to be a likely, if somewhat unimaginative contender.