Russia Getting U.S.-Built VW Atlas SUV with 2.0 TDI Engine

Try as it might, Volkswagen of America can never get rid of the TDI engine. It seems the Atlas will be built with one and then exported to the Russian market.
Russia Getting US-Built VW Atlas SUV with 2.0 TDI Engine 7 photos
Photo: Marc Elias
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The news comes from the sidelines of the Los Angeles Auto Show, where the VW brand's sales and marketing boss, Juergen Stackmann, told Automotive News that "Russia is one of the markets we are considering."

But they are doing much more than just "considering" here, as the groundwork has already been laid for the Atlas 2.0 TDI to be shipped to Russia at a yet undisclosed time.

Even though Volkswagen doesn't have any other 3-row SUV, the chances of the Atlas being sold in the rest of Europe are nearly zero at the moment.

Explaining why the U.S.-built Atlas is being shipped halfway across the world from Chattanooga, Tennessee, to frosty Siberia is almost impossible. China makes its own version of the Atlas called the Teramont, and it shares its Northern border with Russia.

But there are subtle differences between the two. For example, while the Atlas is made with either a 2.0 TSI rated at 238 hp or a 3.6L VR6 with 280 hp. Meanwhile, the Chinese have a 2.0 TSI with either 186 or 220 hp. But how is that relevant, when Russia will only have a 2.0 TDI?

We can only presume that one of the factories has leftover production. If demand picks up, maybe Russia will assemble its own version of the Atlas, as is often the case with cars sold here.

It's still unknown precisely which 2.0 TDI will be offered. Logic would dictate that it's a powerful one, since the 5-meter, 7-seat SUV is the largest MQB model ever made. The Europeans are offered 115, 150, 184, 190 and 240 hp versions, so there's plenty to choose from.

The odd thing is that Russians don't get any 2.0 TDI engines, only the big 3.0 TDI on the slow-selling Touareg. Everything else is powered by TSI petrol units.
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About the author: Mihnea Radu
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Mihnea's favorite cars have already been built, the so-called modern classics from the '80s and '90s. He also loves local car culture from all over the world, so don't be surprised to see him getting excited about weird Japanese imports, low-rider VWs out of Germany, replicas from Russia or LS swaps down in Florida.
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