Friday 5 June 2009

Four VAG models spied in Austria

The Volkswagen Group are usually among the first car manufactures to send their forthcoming cars to the Austrian Alps. These prototypes/mules undergo thorougher towing, braking, chassis and suspension testing.

The first model from Volkswagen that was snapped by photographers is the remodelled Transporter/Caravelle/T5 Multivan. First launched back in 2003 in Europe, the Transporter/Caravelle (T5 in Mainland Europe), will take it's styling cues off the ever-popular Golf VI hatchback.

The Transporter is sold as a passenger vehicle and a commercial vehicle. The engine range consists of a 1.9 litre TDI making 84bhp and 200Nm of torque, a 2.5-litre TDI producing 400Nm with 174bhp and a 3.2 litre petrol with 235hp. The UK market only gets the 2.5 litre TDi.

Next is the revised Touran. This will be the second facelift for the compact MPV after it was facelifted and launched back in 2006. Engines expected include the firms all-new 1.2, 1.4 and the 1.6 litre TSI petrol engines. The current 1.9 TDi will be replaced by the all-new 2.0 TDi CR, first seen in the Golf VI, then Scirocco, Golf Plus and Seat Altea. Mated to these engines are two gearboxes; a 6-speed manual and the new 7-speed DSG. Park assist is likely to be standard on UK models. Touch screen satellite navigation, bi-xenon headlamps and upgraded sound system will be optional.

It would not be a surprise to see the 2010 Touran at the Frankfurt motorshow this September. The all-new model is due Spring 2013. This will underpin the Golf VI since production costs will be substantially cheaper than the Golf V.

Next up is the facelifted Touareg SUV. Changes will include a revamped front and rear end, both ends taking styling hints of the Golf VI, Scirocco, Golf Plus and Polo, reshaped door mirrors and interior updates. Oddly enough, it seems the facelift could bring a curvier c-pillar to give the Touareg a hatchback look, in addition to a slightly longer rear overhang. Under the bonnet should be the firms new 3.0 litre TSI turbocharged V6 along with tweaked diesel engines, ranging from 2.5 TDi to 5.0 TDi V10 to give lower CO2 emissions. Volkswagen is currently testing the Touareg Hybrid which uses a 333bhp, 3.0 litre V6 TSI petrol engine and a battery pack. Hybrid mules have a reformed front bumper and a revised speedometer cluster.

The next model has caused controversy among journalists/bloggers. This Skoda Fabia prototype has been spied with a sportier front bumper combining a honeycomb lower grille with built-in positioning for fog lights. This could indicate a vRS model, however, the Fabia has been on the European market since April 2007 so a facelift is due. The 1.9 TDi PD diesel engine will be replaced by the groups new 1.6 TDi CR engine. As far as the spied car goes, headlamps have not been changed alongside the rear end. The revised Fabia could make its way to Frankfurt this September.

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