Saturday 31 December 2005

2007 Volkswagen Crossover (Sfero)

Along with the "next" Polo Volkswagen is also planning a croosover.

To fill the gap between the Passat and the Phaeton sedans, Volkswagen is expected to introduce a front-engine, rear-wheel-drive crossover. Expected to arrive in concept form in 2005, the actual production version should to be ready to launch in 2007.The name "Sfero" was registered by Volkswagen in June of 2003. Insiders have told us that the Sfero will be a crossover between a wagon and an SUV, although all-wheel drive will not be offeredTo lessen the development costs, Bernd Pischetsrieder and Ferrari-boss Luca di Montezemolo are said to be in agreement for a unique technology transfer: While Maserati will deliver the chassis of their brand-new Quattroporte sedan as a base for the new VW Sfero, Volkswagen will deliver the 4x4 chassis of its Touareg off-roader for the future Maserati Kubang SUV. This deal is actually quite interesting for both parties: while the Touareg's 4x4-chassis is regarded to be the best currently available, the Quattroporte's transaxle chassis allows an excellent weight-balance and therefore promises superb handling for the Sfero.Another advantage of the Maserati chassis is the compatibility with Audi's V-8 engines. They are too large to be fitted under the hood of the next Passat - but they are said to fit perfectly in the Sfero, with the top-of-the line engine expected to offer as much as 450 horsepower. Other luxury features include a new active steering system, a wide track and long wheelbase (114.2 inches), an electrically operated rear door, air suspension and LED taillights, and an adaptive brake light.Lots of information has been leaking out about the Sfero, but apparently no decision has been made as to if the Sfero will be a four-, six- or even seven-passenger vehicle.

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