Volkswagen has announced that it will build a new five-seater version of the Atlas in the United States, revealing a sketch of a concept (to be unveiled at the 2018 New York International Auto Show) previewing the production version of the SUV.

The new five-seater, which will be produced at VW’s Chattanooga factory in the United States, will run on the brand’s ubiquitous MQB platform and essentially be positioned as a variant of the seven-passenger Atlas.

“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,” said Hinrich J. Woebcken, president and CEO of Volkswagen Group of America.

“We are not only committed to this market, we are committed to our US manufacturing home in Chattanooga, Tennessee.”

Volkswagen says it will invest approximately $340-million (about R4,1-billion) to bring the new vehicle to market, in addition to approximately $900-million (around R10,8-billion) already invested to expand the plant for Atlas production.

The five-passenger Atlas variant will mark the third Volkswagen model assembled at the Chattanooga factory, joining the Passat and the seven-seater Atlas.

For the time being, the seven-seater Atlas (and presumably also the upcoming five-seat version) will be built in left-hand-drive form only, which means an introduction in South Africa is simply not possible.