Frankfurt preview: VW to debut rear-engine city car
The Tiguan is one of eight models making their Frankfurt debut.
Volkswagen is gearing up for Frankfurt and has no intention of disappointing the seething throngs of media-types when it lifts the curtain on its home turf. A total of eight new models will debut, including the Tiguan, six BlueMotion-equipped models and, most intriguing, a new micro car dubbed the City Expert that's equipped with a powerplant that "will beat where the flat-four 'Boxer' engine once did in the Beetle."
We've reported on rumors of a rear-engine vehicle in the past, and although it was easy to dismiss with a shrug, the market is ripe for an ultra-inexpensive model that VW claims is "sensationally flexible." That last part leaves us wondering what kind of body styles the City Expert will be available in, likely a three-door hatch, four-door sedan and five-door wagon. It's safe to expect that luggage space will be at a premium, considering the rear-mounted mill and the radiator, A/C and battery are likely to be fitted up front.
The real question is what kind of motor will fill the trunk, and rumors are beginning to circulate that two- and three-cylinder powerplants will provide motivation. We'll have to wait until next month rolls along to get all the official details, but in the meantime get your speculation caps on and read through the press release after the jump.
Volkswagen at the IAA 2007: Marketing campaign with eight world premieres
* SUV: World premiere of an agile Tiguan
* Prototype: World premiere of a slick City Expert
* BlueMotion: Six new models at a stroke
Wolfsburg, 01 August 2007 – Volkswagen will present its widest product range of all time at the International Automobile Exhibition (IAA) in Frankfurt (13th to 23rd September). Europe's no. 1 will be presenting over fifty models on view in Hall 3.0 – eight of them world premieres. One of the highlights: the Tiguan – an entirely new generation of SUV developed to complement the Touareg. And if all that's not enough: Volkswagen will respond to the official motto of this year's IAA – "see what's driving tomorrow" – with a prototype. The heart of this sensationally flexible City Expert will beat where the flat-four "Boxer" engine once did in the Beetle. When the gates open at the IAA, six new BlueMotion models will also make their debut. From 2008 onward Volkswagen will offer nine vehicles under the BlueMotion label.
Volkswagen will welcome visitors to the IAA in an exposition area of 9,000 square metres. The centrepiece of that will be the Tiguan. It is the world's first production model exclusively equipped with supercharged engines. It offers two particular advantages: lower fuel consumption and still fun to drive. Also new: the remarkably quiet four-cylinder diesel engine with common-rail injection. The two new TDIs produce 103 kW/140 PS and 125 kW/170 PS respectively. Both engines already conform to the Euro 5 exhaust standards that will be introduced in 2009. You will be able to "see what's driving tomorrow" here and now.
Moreover, Volkswagen will unveil six new BlueMotion models at the same time. Therefore, in the course of 2008, there will be at least nine BlueMotion models available. The Volkswagen BlueMotion environmental label will certainly become a byword for effective environmental protection. The versions already available – the Polo BlueMotion (3.8 litres of Diesel consumed per 100 km and 99 g/km CO2) and Passat BlueMotion (5.1 litres of Diesel consumed per 100 km and 136 g/km CO2) – have already redefined the standards of economy in their respective classes.
The Volkswagen press conference will be held on 11th September at 11.00 a.m. in Hall 3.0, on the Volkswagen stand. Dr. Martin Winterkorn will present the new Tiguan there, as well as the prototype of a future compact model