Wednesday, October 04, 2006

A Sportvan in Volkswagen's Future?

Photo source: Car Magazine.
2009 Volkswagen Sportvan
Now that Volkswagen is making money again (more or less) and that they have the launch of their bread and butter models out of the way, they now have time to churn out concepts for possible future models. Case in point: the Iroc that will become the future Scirocco and the new compact SUV Tiguan. Now, Volkswagen is setting their sights on Mercedes Benz's R-Class and Ford's S-Max and plans to bring out a van, aptly called the Sportvan, in 2009.

Internally called the VW518, the Sportvan will fit in nicely between the Sharan and Pheaton in Europe. It will use components from the current Audi A6 Avant, which will be phased out by the time the Sportvan hits the assembly lines. Volkswagen figures that instead of retrofitting a whole new factory, they'll just use existing tools, saving R&D costs and resources. And since the Passat platform is too small, using the A6 Avant makes sense if you think about it.

According to insiders, The Sportvan design is "dynamic and elegant". "An R-Class that really works" says one insider. The Sportvan design is functional without being too flashy like the R-Class. Also unlike the R-Class and S-max, the Sportvan will only have two rows of seating. Engine offerings will most likely be an array of petrol and diesel engines. DSG and all-wheel drive are possibilities.

Whether or not this becomes available in North America remains to be seen. Most likely not as we will be getting our own minivan courtesy of Chrysler sometime in 2008.

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