Although it's certainly not the sexiest thing to come out of Frankfurt thus far, the new Volkswagen Caddy Maxi MPV still deserves (a little) note. Produced by VW's Commercial Vehicles group, the Maxi Life is a step below the Transporter, built atop a 320 mm wheelbase and stretching a full 4,880 mm, the Maxi Life has all the practical conveniences you'd expect of your typical Euro-MPV, including sliding doors, rugged materials, and now, a set of third row seats.

Power will come from one of three engines, either a 1.6-liter gasoline-powered mill producing 100 HP, a 1.9-liter TDI making 103 HP or a new two-liter diesel that's making upwards of 140 HP.

While the commercial versions that ditch the windows will be released sometime in 2008, those of you pining away for an incognito people mover will be able to get your hands on the new Maxi in the early part of next year.

VW's full press release is after the jump.

[Source: Volkswagen]


PRESS RELEASE

Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles is set to unveil the versatile new seven seat Caddy Maxi Life at the upcoming Frankfurt Motor Show. Forging a link between the larger Transporter model the new Caddy Maxi Life, despite its modest dimensions, is capable of carrying up to seven people in comfort plus their luggage.

When compared to the standard Caddy the Maxi Life sits on a wheelbase extended by 320mm while the overall length grows by 470 mm to 4880 mm. This allows for the fitment of three rows of seats accessed through a pair of practical sliding doors. Even with the third row of seats in place the load volume remains an impressive 380 litres. To aid practicality the third row of seats can be removed completely while the second row folds down and forward. The result is a maximum load volume of 1,350 litres.

The tightly-packaged Caddy Maxi Life is designed to be a rugged and versatile family car. Practical touches include a pair of sliding doors either side of the vehicle to allow easy and safe access to the two rows or rear seats. Visual changes include body colour bumpers, alloy wheels and subtle tints to the rear window glass.

Powering the Caddy Maxi Life are a trio of engines – a single 103 PS petrol and two diesel. The 1.9-litre TDI engine develops 104 PS and is linked to a five speed manual gearbox. Topping the range is a 2.0-litre TDI engine producing 140 PS.

The Caddy has proved a favourite with UK buyers due to the mix of an impressive load volume in a compact body backed up by a dedicated network of Volkswagen Van Centres. The Caddy, which was launched in the UK in March 2004, became the first vehicle of its type to be fitted with the advanced DSG twin clutch gearbox

In Germany, where sales commence later this year, the Caddy Maxi Life will be offered in a choice of three trim levels tailored specifically for family, lifestyle or commercial use in the form of the Caddy Maxi panel van. The vehicle is fitted as standard with ABS, TCS (Traction Control System), EBC (Engine Braking Control) and a driver's airbag. Pricing and specification of the Caddy Maxi Life – set to be renamed the Caddy Maxi Shuttle – and the Caddy Maxi range will be released closer to launch early next year.