Does the Volkswagen ID.8 Mean the Atlas SUV Is Dead?

Volkswagen is reinventing its lineup with a new subset of electric vehicles dubbed the ID. series, which stands for intelligent design. The lineup includes a Tesla Model S-rivaling sedan, a few neat-looking crossovers, a hatchback, and even a reborn version of the ever-popular VW bus from the 70s. By 2022, most, if not all, of these vehicles will be available to consumers. Some, like the ID.3 hatchback, will be confined to Europe. However, nearly all of the ID. models, including the Volkswagen ID.8, should make their way to the U.S. soon enough.

What is the Volkswagen ID.8?

A dark blue 2021 Volkswagen Atlas SUV model parked in the middle of a desert plain
The 2021 Volkswagen Atlas SUV | Volkswagen of America, Inc. Newspress Limited

One of the most anticipated additions to Volkswagen’s ID. series is the ID.8, which is the same size as the Volkswagen Atlas. Does this mean the Atlas is doomed and will be discontinued soon? Let’s take a look and see if there is enough difference between the two to justify keeping them both and what the future of Volkswagen may bring in terms of electric vehicles.

When will we get the VW ID.8 model in the US?

Volkswagen hasn’t even revealed a tentative release date of the VW ID.8, making it difficult to predict the ID.8 price. The Atlas’ prices start at $31,555. However, this price point will likely not be where the price of the ID.8 begins based on its features. 

Volkswagen expects to price the US-based model ID.4, a relatively lower-class model, from around $35,000 when it comes out toward the end of 2022. Based on this, pricing the VW ID.8 below $35,000 wouldn’t be possible since it will be a larger, more robust vehicle than the ID.4. Furthermore, the ID.8 is most likely at least three years away from arriving in U.S. showrooms.

Volkswagen’s history and future with EV

Volkswagen has big plans for its brand. The company has stated that it will eventually be exclusively electric and plans to phase out its gas-powered vehicles. That’s a bold risk for any carmaker, but Volkswagen has a history of innovation. It has gambled with innovation and won many times in the past. Volkswagen will be investing more than 50% of its budget on EVs. VW has forecasted around 22 million electric vehicles through 2028 and that it will be completely carbon-neutral by 2050. 

According to Roadshow, Volkswagen said, “We will make our fleet and the entire company carbon neutral by 2050 at the latest. The company has set clear milestones to achieving this in its Accelerate strategy and the Way to Zero program it incorporates. This sees us pursuing what is currently the most ambitious electrification strategy in the volume segment. The goal is for 70% of all new Volkswagen cars in Europe to be fully electric by 2030. This means that Volkswagen will probably produce the last vehicles with internal combustion engines for the European market between 2033 and 2035.”

Currently, the company offers the ID.4 pre-order on the Volkswagen website. Plans include models such as the ID.5, the ID.6, and the ID. Vizzion, among others. Fully there are 8 vehicles in the works at the time of this writing. Here are some of the tentative replacements. The Golf class will be the ID.3, the Tiguan will become the ID.4 or ID.5, the Atlas will become the ID.8, the Passat will become the ID.6, and Microbus will become ID. Buzz.

As you can see, Volkswagen is rebranding itself to become more sustainable. Volkswagen’s gambling with innovation has paid off in the past. More companies may follow suit depending on the success that Volkswagen has with this bold move. 

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