Volkswagen AG Press Release - Volkswagen will be adding an innovative compact van, the Touran, to its model programme in the first quarter of 2003. Following the luxury Phaeton saloon and the Touareg off-road vehicle, this is further evidence of Volkswagen's policy of extending its model range into segments in which it was not previously represented.
The second multi-purpose vehicle (MPV) from Volkswagen following the larger Sharan is a strong, individual design. Notable features of the Touran, which is 4.39 m long, 1.79 m wide and 1.63 m high, include a highly versatile interior layout and ample space, equivalent to many a vehicle with significantly larger overall dimensions. The interior, which can be equipped with up to seven separate seats, has the versatility in use and extensive safety features expected by customers with high mobility needs. Combined with a choice of powerful engines and a rigid bodyshell, the suspension makes the Touran a dynamic performer on the road.
Touran is a name formed from the term 'Tour' and the name 'Sharan'. 'Tour' symbolises travel in comfort over long distances, and the ending '-an' is used to indicate Volkswagen's multi-purpose vehicles. The complete name is representative of the leisure-oriented target group with its multitude of activities to whom this new compact midsize-class Volkswagen MPV will appeal.
The Touran will be available in three equipment and trim versions, and sales will start with a choice of three FSI and TDI engines, as dynamic as they are economical, developing between 74 kW (100 bhp) and 100 kW (136 bhp). During the year, further engine options will be offered. A unique feature in this market segment so far: all FSI-and TDI-engined models will have a standard six-speed gearbox. As an optional extra, a new, innovative six-speed automatic transmission will be available, and will combine the advantages of a manual gearbox with those of an automatic transmission in an entirely new way.
The Touran has five seats as standard equipment, and a well-planned, versatile interior layout. The three individual seats in the second row can be easily repositioned, folded or removed entirely. The two full-size seats in the third row can be folded down into the floor, so that the Touran can carry seven people; this feature is an optional extra. The Volkswagen Touran's seat concept permits more than 500 different positions and layouts, and is therefore unsurpassed in its versatility. With five seats in use, the load area has a capacity of more than 600 litres; the maximum payload limit is above 650 kilograms.
Future standards of safety complied with today
The fully galvanised body has laser-welded seams and is therefore exceptionally rigid, for a high standard of passive safety. With front airbags and side airbags for the first and second rows of seats and active front-seat head restraints, the Volkswagen Touran has a comprehensive safety system that sets new standards in this segment of the market. Lap-and-shoulder seat belts are provided at all seven seats for the passengers' safety. Disc brakes at front and rear, with ventilated front discs, ABS and ESP including a Braking Assistant ensure that the active safety level is equally high.
Up to 39 storage spaces - in Touran there are no space or storage problems
The ingenious seating concept is not the only reason why the Touran can be regarded as ideally suitable for leisure and family transport tasks. Depending on the chosen equipment, for instance, it provides up to 39 storage spaces for essential items and other useful oddments. They include storage compartments under the seats, in the centre and roof consoles, in the fascia, in the doors and in the load area; there are also cup holders for each row on seats. An extensive programme of accessories completes the specification of the MPV with the most adaptable interior concept in its class.
Volkswagen sets the quality standards for compact vans too
The Touran's systematically planned, versatile interior is matched in typical Volkswagen fashion by the high quality materials that are used. Their smart appearance is combined with durability that will stand up to long, hard use. The entry-level equipment list is very complete, and includes central locking with radio-operated remote control, electrically heated remote-control outside mirrors and electric front door windows. The Touran can also be expected to satisfy high standards of dynamic road behaviour. For the first time it features an entirely new four-link rear suspension layout which, in conjunction with electro-mechanical power steering, makes it extremely agile.
A new model, a new production plant and thousands of new jobs
If the design of this new van is very advanced, so is the new Wolfsburg production plant that has been developed to build it. A company known as Auto 5000 GmbH will create 3,500 new jobs in Wolfsburg. The newly recruited employees will be given the appropriate specialised training and integrated into an innovative production, sales, marketing, logistics and quality assurance concept - all measures aimed at increasing Volkswagen AG's ability to compete to a new, consistently high level