Volkswagen has been spotted testing a prototype for a redesigned Atlas, and the new midsize SUV already appears to be at a late stage of development.

It's expected to debut next year as a 2026 model for the U.S.

The current Atlas has been on sale since the 2018 model year, and its sales have averaged more than 60,000 units annually. Given the success, VW isn't likely to rock the boat with the new model, and that's exactly what appears to be the case, judging by the prototype.

The dimensions seem to be about the same between the two generations, and the SUVs also appear to have similar character lines, albeit smoothed out a little on the new version. Finer details such as the lights and fascia designs are hidden under camouflage gear, but elements like door handles flush with the body and an extended roof-mounted rear spoiler can clearly be seen.

2026 Volkswagen Atlas spy shots - Photo credit: Baldauf

2026 Volkswagen Atlas spy shots - Photo credit: Baldauf

The prototype is for the three-row Atlas, but VW is thought to also be preparing a new generation of the two-row Atlas Cross Sport.

Underpinning the new Atlas will likely be an updated version of the current generation's MQB platform, known as the MQB Evo. The updated platform supports electrified powertrains, including plug-in hybrid setups, though it isn't clear whether electrification is planned for the Atlas. The sole powertrain at launch will likely be the 269-hp 2.0-liter turbo-4 that was made standard for 2024.

Production for the U.S. should take place at VW's plant in Chattanooga, Tennessee, where the current generation is built. VW also builds the Atlas in China, where the SUV is known as the Teramont.