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What’s New from Volkswagen?
Volkswagen has lots of store for us this year. To start off, Volkswagen has taken the first Sharan mules out to open roads. This vehicle is based on a longer platform of the current Passat and would make its debut by the end of 2008. Unfortunately, Volkswagen’s Sharan is said to be bit late and some auto analysts are saying that it will be difficult to get customers back to Volkswagen because of Ford’s great success with the S-Max and the new Galaxy.
While Volkswagen was preparing the Sharan, Ford released their MPVs out in the market. The first generation of Sharan and Galaxy was a joint venture between Volkswagen and Ford in Portugal. However, something happened along the way and now Ford has its own Galaxy out on the market. According to SEAT’s President Andreas Schleef, they are planning a SEAT version of the new Sharan and will be called the Alhambra again.
The Sharan possess what car aficionados call the “must have” feature these days and that is a third row seat that can be stored completely in the floor, like the Opel Zafira. All engines to be used for the Sharan will come from the Passat lineup with the 140bhp TDI probably as the bestseller. The 4 motion will also be offered but as an option.
Volkswagen’s subsidiary Audi is also busy developing the company’s future big flagship—the A8 which is scheduled for release at the end of 2009. The current model has been on the market since 2002. The very first A8model was launched way back in February 1994.
The A8 was tested in cold Scandinavia. Spy photos of the A8 that are spreading online shows that the test car is about 10cm longer than the current A8. It also has some very visible features like wider and rolled out fender flairs. The next generation A8 is also expected to grow to an overall length of 5.10 meters and will derived its power from an all-new V12 Diesel that is currently being used in the Q7 and an equally new V10 petrol engine.
With the launching of the new A8, Audi is expecting stiff competition from BMW’s new 7-Series and Porsche four-door Panamera.
The A8 is not the only Audi to be launched this year; the all-new Audi A5 is also to debut this year. And just like the A8, the A5 has also been tested at the cold climate of the Arctic Circle specifically Northern Sweden. The Audi A5 is a sporty coupe that adapts the design of the Audi Nuvolari concept car.
The Nuvolari concept made its debut at the Geneva Motor Show in the spring of 2003. Spy photos spreading online confirm that the new coupe will be considerably larger than the current A4 and comes close to the size of today’s A6.
Audi plans to use the A5 to be a step ahead of the strong A4 competitors which include BMW 3-series coupe, Mercedes CLK and the VW convertible Eos. The A5 with its bigger size is indeed about to fill a gap on the sporty coupe market. The edge of the A5 against its competition is its size since neither the BMW 5-series, Mercedes E-class model ranges nor any other automaker for that matter if offering the same size offered by Audi A5.
Audi also announced that at the later stage of the A5 it will be equipped with a traditional canvas top, while power will be provided by two engines a 3.0 liter TDI V6 and 3.2 Liter FSI V6 petrol unit delivering 255HP. The new model is scheduled for release by the end of 2007.
Another new Volkswagen vehicle to be launched this year is the small utility van---Volkswagen’s Caddy. The said vehicle is to grow about 40 cm in overall length into an XXL version. The Caddy will also offer for the first time a third row of seats plus a family friendly luggage compartment placed behind the third row. The Caddy is scheduled to debut by the end of 2007 at a starting price of 18,000Euros.
Besides creating world renowned vehicles, the German automaker was also known for its top-of-the-line Volkswagen Corrado Parts which are offered by various reputable auto parts dealers worldwide.
About the Author: Growing up with three brothers, Natalie Anderson became exposed early to the world of automobiles. This 29-year-old account manager now dreams of having her very own top-of-the-line vintage car.