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Volkswagen recently rolled out its own Olympic team for the big Beijing 2008 event. They go by the names Touran, Lingyu, Crafter, Sagitar, and Magotan. While they'll never make the synchronized swimming squad, these official participants will be responsible for accompanying the Olympic torch throughout its nearly 25,000-mile journey.

You say you aren't familiar with these entrants? These are all models that Volkswagen sells outside of the United States in continents such as Europe and Asia. More specifically, the Touran (above) is a Golf-based 5-door MPV, the Lingyu is a sedan based on a previous-generation Passat, and the Crafter is a large commercial van. The Sagitar is a re-badged Jetta, and the Magotan is a flagship long-wheelbase Passat.

This eclectic team of Volkswagen vehicles numbering 1,000 strong will represent the German automaker, which has been selected as, "The Official Vehicle for the Olympic Torch Relay." (You may recall Audi being named "The Official Premium Car of the Beijing Olympics" last year.) Cutting through the hype, it means VW will supply a substantial fleet of 1,000 cars to ensure the torch arrives in Beijing still ablaze. According to the VW press release, it will take 346 vehicles for the core convoy, 583 for administration and support, and 30 for security and media. We have no idea where the other 41 cars are going, but can tell you that we'd get the torch there intact with just a few cases of Red Bull and a hot new 2009 Scirocco.

[Source: VW]

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 7 Years Ago
      It is a big win for Chrysler to see their thinly disguised ugly minivan at the Olympics.

      Chrysler interiors seem to made from cheap Chinese plastic so it is appropriate their minivan is going to haul the Beijing folks around.
        • 7 Years Ago
        Actually the van you're referring to is the Routan. The Touran has nothing in common with it.
      • 7 Years Ago
      I was in Shanghai last month and I can definitely attest to the popularity of VW there - lots of Passats, Jettas, Tourans, some Touaregs, and tons of Santanas (taxi). Given how aggressively they drive, I suppose German engineering and safety is a good thing.