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Thursday, February 7, 2008

LEAKED: Volkswagen Routan

If you saw a brand’s vehicle with another brand’s badge, what would you call it? If you don’t have the faintest idea, you may have to make a decision as soon as you see the new VW Routan, whose first pictures leaked and were first shown in

Although it brings a different grille and, as we have informed when we published its spy pictures, a different backdoor, with invading taillights, it is basically a Chrysler Town & Country or a Dodge Grand Caravan (you choose). It will be made in the same plant, in Windsor, Ontario, Canada, and will even share the engines with its Chrysler/Dodge siblings. Its base engine will be the 3.8 V6 that generates 197 hp and the optional 4.0 V6, which counts on 253 hp to move the new VW minivan ahead. The 3.3 V6 delivering 175 hp will not be offered by this new “VW”. There has been no word on the press release about when it will be available for customers, but you may expect that to happen in September.

Since the German automaker intends to have the Routan as a real Volkswagen, it states the minivan has been extensively changed in what relates to finish, with high quality materials, and handling characteristics, with a different touch to the suspension. If the changes have made any difference is something the readers that can check it personally in Chicago and ourselves will only have how to answer in the near future.

Volkswagen has already rebadged other carmaker products, such as the VW Taro, based on the Toyota Hilux, and the VW Apollo in Brazil, based on the Ford Verona. In both cases, results were not as good as expected. Perhaps the Routan can change this routine.

Press Release



European inspired design and driving dynamics highlight new minivan

CHICAGO – Volkswagen of America today unveiled the Routan, an all new seven-passenger minivan. It delivers the best of both worlds: a vehicle that combines European sensibilities in design, fit and finish, and handling characteristics with market relevant features and outstanding value.

The Routan is instantly recognizable as a member of the Volkswagen family, with its stylized front grille and exterior treatments. The interior enhancements create an environment that is visually pleasing, modern, and meticulously detailed. The high quality materials, beautiful textures and rich luxurious colors are combined with exacting tolerances and superb fit and finish. While pleasing and contemporary, the interior also follows the traditional Volkswagen design philosophy that form follows function.

Second row captain's chairs offer an increased level of luxury and comfort while still providing the convenience of a traditional minivan, with over 32.7 cubic feet available behind the third row seats and a full 83 cubic feet is available behind the second row.

The Routan will come standard with a 3.8L V6, offering 197 hp and 230 lb. ft. of torque when combined with the standard six-speed automatic transmission. A 4.0L V6 will be available rated at 251 hp and 259 lb. ft. of torque. Routan features European tuned suspension and steering optimized for handling and improved driving dynamics. Standard all-season traction control and ESP, brings safety and security to the Routan.

The Routan comes with a host of unique features, including:

• Conversation Mirror
• Rear seat entertainment system with two 9 inch screens for second and third row, wireless headsets, and remote control
• Dual power sliding doors with power windows
• Touch screen navigation with twenty meg hard drive
• Power lift gate with flood lamp
• Thirteen cup holders

Volkswagen delivers a competitively priced entry into this high volume segment with prices starting below $25,000. The Routan will be built in an already existing facility in Windsor, Ontario.

With Routan, Volkswagen dealers add a vehicle that will provide additional, incremental growth in the market. A distinctly designed minivan at an attractive price point will broaden the brand portfolio, while providing a roomy alternative to existing Volkswagen owners.

Related entries:

VW Routan Spy Photos
Volkswagen Announce New Routan Minivan
VW Plans Engine Trans Plants in US by 2010


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