Volkswagen has announced it will launch a five-seat version of the Atlas for the American market, which will be previewed as a concept at the 2018 New York International Auto Show. Like the original seven-seater, the new Atlas variant will be based on the MQB platform and be built at Volkswagen of America’s Chattanooga plant.

The sole sketch released by the carmaker suggests the five-seat Atlas will be a lot sportier in appearance compared to the seven-seater. The new face features a triple-slat grille as well as a reprofiled bumper, both more aggressive-looking than even an Atlas with the R-Line package.

No further details about the model were provided, including what will be fitted under the hood. The seven-seat Atlas comes with a choice of two engines – a 2.0 litre four-cylinder TSI turbocharged engine that develops 238 PS, and a 3.6 litre VR6 with 280 PS – both paired with an eight-speed automatic.

Volkswagen Atlas seven-seat SUV

“The Atlas has built strong momentum for Volkswagen in the SUV segment, and we are excited to grow our SUV portfolio with this new, Chattanooga-assembled five-passenger SUV. We are not only committed to this market, we are committed to our U.S. manufacturing home in Chattanooga, Tennessee,” said Hinrich J. Woebcken, president and CEO, Volkswagen Group of America.

The new Atlas variant will reportedly be called either the Atlas Allsport or Atlas Cross Sport, as both this names have been trademarked by the carmaker already. Of course, we’ll have to wait for an official reveal to see if this comes true.

Approximately US$340 million (about RM1.3 billion) will be invested by Volkswagen to bring the five-seat Atlas to market. This is in addition to about US$900 million (about RM3.5 billion) already invested to expand the plant for Atlas production. The five-seat Atlas will be the third Volkswagen model to be produced at the Chattanooga, after the Passat and seven-seat Atlas.

GALLERY: Volkswagen Atlas