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Thursday, February 7, 2008

Volkswagen Routan Unveiled at Chicago

Volkswagen's new Routan minivan, product of a joint venture with Chrysler, was officially unveiled at the Chicago Auto Show today. Diehard fans of the VW Microbus, Vanagon and Eurovan who were hoping for something a little less conventional may be disappointed, though the very conservative Routan only resembles the Chryslers in silhouette. Front and rear clips are all Volkswagen, with a hint of Touareg up front and Rabbit at the rear, and the interior has been similarly redesigned with better materials and a more European look than the Chryslers on which it's based. Volkswagen has also retooled the suspension to give the Routan more in-the-family driving dynamics. How different it will really be from the Town & Country, we won't know until a test drive.

Engine choices are all V6, with a standard 3.8 liter making 197 horsepower and an optional 4.0 liter, 253-horse unit. Traction control and ESP stability control are standard equipment. A navigation system with a touch-screen display, a power-folding third-row seat and a power liftgate with a floodlight are also offered. Pricing is expected to start at under $25,000 when the Routan goes on sale.

Press Release

European inspired design and driving dynamics highlight new minivan

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 captain̢۪s 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 253 hp and 263 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 was developed together with Chrysler LLC and will be built in an already existing facility in Windsor, Ontario.

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LEAKED: Volkswagen Routan


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