To overcome this, the design team considered what America is like and what consumers demand of it. Oliver Stefani, head of exterior design at VW, says in the video above that they relied on a number of their young American designers for insight. The team realized that the US has wide roads and large cities, so making a large vehicle isn't a problem, and for some people is desirable. American consumers want something that stands out and is bold, says VW. So the designers worked to incorporate these ideas with VW's design philosophy of keeping the cars simple. As interior designer Tomasz Bachorski puts it in the video, simplicity was an important factor "because our lives outside the car are complicated enough." The result is the Atlas, complete with a broad chrome grille and pumped up wheel arches.
The same design philosophies were applied to the interior. Bachorski said he was going for simple lines, and a lounge-like feel. Making the interior roomy was important, too, particularly the third row of seats. We can attest that VW did succeed in making the third row livable for adults. For more details on the design process of the Atlas, check out the video above.