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Variance

VW Concept A @ Geneva

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RAV4 Fighter

Geneva concept previews VW's upcoming small SUV

By GREG KABLE

AutoWeek | Published 02/16/06, 3:06 pm et

Volkswagen is getting adventurous. The Concept A, making its public debut at the Geneva motor show later this month, is a precursor to VW’s all-new compact four-wheel drive SUV, planned to launch in the United States in 2008. Billed as a four-door coupe with go-anywhere capability, the production version of the one-off show car will be less flamboyant in production form. Still, now that Wolfgang Bernard is calling the shots in Wolfsburg, the small SUV is crucial to VW’s efforts to give its North American sales a desperately needed boost.

Like the Concept A, VW’s upcoming Golf-based SUV (it will be priced to compete against the Toyota RAV4 and Honda CR-V) will have its transverse-mounted engine delivering power permanently to all four wheels via a Haldex multi plate clutch—the same combination used in the 4wd Golf 4Motion and Golf R32. In production the new ute will also have the concept’s taut lines and neat detailing, VW says.

So get used to that bold front end: VW claims the Concept A previews the production car’s face, all the way down to its curvy headlamps, brushed aluminum grille and prominent wheel arch flares. The raised ride height and considerable ground clearance also help provide the characteristic off-road look, played to full effect by 20-inch alloy wheels shod with chunky 295/40 profile tires and exposed rear suspension—both aimed at communicating the new car’s off-road capability. Also look for the heavily shouldered flanks, split tailgate and tail lamp design on the production car.

The biggest change, according to highly placed Volkswagen officials, will be the roofline, which is set to forgo the sloping effect applied to the Concept A for a much straighter structure. VW claims this will give the Touareg’s baby brother with class leading versatility, and the more upright rear end will add luggage capacity. The one-off show car’s expensive coach style doors will be replaced by conventional front hinged ones, with a B-pillar set to provide the sort of rigidity required in off-road driving.

At 171 inches long, 72 inches wide and 61 inches tall, the Concept A is six inches longer, four inches wider and two and a half inches higher than the fifth-generation Golf. The wheelbase is three-fourths of an inch longer than the Golf’s; the additional length and differing proportions being achieved via slightly longer front and rear overhangs as well as a rather shallow glass house topped with a fully retractable sunroof.

Considerable attention has been paid to the Concept A’s interior, which boasts a luxurious mixture of stitched black leather and brushed aluminum. There’s seating for five, although the middle rear seat looks cramped. The center piece of the elegantly styled dashboard is a large singular dial that doubles as both a speedometer and rev counter, while also housing a secondary monitor for satellite navigation commands and other information.

Powering the Concept A is Volkswagen’s 148 hp, 1.4-liter direct-injection Twin Charger engine, recently launched in the European market Golf GT. The engine has both a supercharger (for solid low-end pull) and turbocharger (for a strong top end).

Other engines are rumored for production, including the Golf GTi’s 197 hp turbocharged 2.0-liter and Golf GTD’s 170 hp 2.0-liter turbodiesel.

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Link: http://www.autoweek.com/apps/pbcs.dll/arti...1024/LATESTNEWS

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RAV4 fighter? That doesn't even make sense. If anything, this would be a Pontiac Pirahna or Rageous fighter if those cars made it to production.

As for the vehicle itself, I still think the new corporate face is obnoxious, but this is definitely the type of product VW needs to put out again - small, cheap, unique, and fun-looking. We've all had our fill of Touregs and Phaetons that should've gone to Audi in the first place.

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I picture it as more of an FJ Cruiser competitor, if anything.

No way. The FJ is much larger and much bulkier. Look at the dimensions - a slightly scaled-up Golf.

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No way. The FJ is much larger and much bulkier. Look at the dimensions - a slightly scaled-up Golf.

I see. I just read the article more closely. It looks similar in concept to Hyundai HCD9 Talus Concept, just shrunken-down.

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Edited by Variance

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facia makes me think of a ridiculously exagerated saab 9-5x

i kinda like it but its got design language from a supercar and a buggy two very dif vehicles

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I like it, although the article more than hints that the production version won't be as adventurous. It looks like it has a canvas sunroof in the pics, which would be cool... a new Thing?

The only thing I'm not fond of are the "running mascara" black vent thingies under the headlights.

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