Paris Preview: VW Shows off the new Touran

Later this month in Paris, VW will publicly unveil the latest iteration of its Touran compact MPV. The seven-seater gets a new Passat/Eos-style face that features VW's new grille and headlamp designs. A walk around back reveals a redesigned bumper and new taillamps. It's not the sexiest MPV you'll ever see, but it's clean and appealing to the eye. The refreshed interior incorporates some upgraded materials and adds MP3 support to the stock head uniit. The instrument panel and controls are all logically arranged.

The big news for the '07 Touran is the introduction of Volkswagen's ParkAssist system. It uses sensors fore and aft to help the driver place the car in the optimal position to park and then waits for him or her to engage reverse. Once that happens, the car takes over steering while the driver controls the gas and brake. VW claims that the car will park itself within 15 seconds.

Power-wise, a selection of diesel and gasoline 4-cylinders will be available, including the new 140 hp Twincharger 1.4L TSI.

European MPVs are pretty cool. Yes, they're smaller than the traditional American minivan, but they often have nicer, sportier styling. Consider this: if, for example, Ford was selling the S-Max and Galaxy here instead of the Freestar, would they have axed their minivan program in favor of the Fairlane? Not likely. Ford's Euro MPVs are two of the more stylish people movers you'll find anywhere. People would actually be buying them. (Kudos to Ford, however, for bringing over the Mazda5.)

Will we ever see this VW? Nope, We're getting a machine based on the new Chrysler minivan platform, meaning it'll be big. If we're lucky, however, some of this Touran's understated style will rub off on it.

(Detailed press release, photos after the jump)

[Source: Volkswagen UK]

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Initial Facts: World premiere of the new Touran in Paris

Wolfsburg, 13 September 2006 - The latest generation of the van bestseller starts at 20.460 euros
- Bestseller with new design and innovative technologies
- Crest radiator grill and headlights in Eos style
- Park Assist enables automatic parking
- Only van in the world with dual charged TSI engine

The Touran is coming with a new look, new technologies and a new top TSI engine. The next generation of the bestseller will be presented in a world premiere at the Paris Auto Show on September 28. The market launch will be taking place in the middle of November. The van will be the first Volkswagen available with "Park Assist", unique in its technical design; the parking system that makes parking a snap, even in tight quarters.

At first glance the new Touran is recognizable from the front by its Volkswagen crest radiator grill in chrome design, a new bumper and precisely cut headlights; the optional lights available as bi-xenon adaptive headlights follow the stylistic design of the Eos. At the back the new rear lights and the bumper modified along the lines of the front section allude to the second Touran generation. Numerous interior modifications and expanded standard equipment top off the extensive package of measures. Starting in spring 2007, the highest performance gasoline direct injection engine, a Twincharger with 125 kW / 170 hp, will be employed in the Touran for the first time. The gears of this sporty as well as thrifty 1.4 TSI are changed via the standard DSG direct shift gearbox. The 103 kW / 140 hp strong Touran 1.4 TSI, whose Twincharger is also optionally available with DSG, will get started right at market launch.

Park Assist guides the Touran into that space under 15 seconds

Another technology highlight of the Touran is the optional parking guidance assistant (including Park Pilot / distance warning front and back). Developed by Volkswagen, "Park Assist" enables automatic parking. "Park Assist" is activated at the push of a button. While driving by at speeds of up to 30 kph an ultrasonic sensor system detects all parking spaces on the right and left that are parallel to the driving lane; a control unit calculates the ideal path for parking. "Park Assist" notifies the driver about the starting position via display in the instruments. After engaging reverse gear the van maneuvers into the parking space in under 15 seconds. During the entire parking process the driver only has to accelerate and brake – the Touran does the steering.

The latest generation of the van bestseller starts at 20.460 euros

The Touran is regarded as the all-round talent for private and/or business use due, among other things, to its unrivaled range of innovative engines and gearboxes as well as its great interior versatility and capacity. From a standing start the first generation introduced in 2003 advanced to the most successful van series in Germany (approx. 8,000 new registrations per month); in Europe the Touran is also one of the most sold models of its class (11% market share in the segment). The new Touran should strengthen this position. At a purchase price of 20.460 euros (Touran Conceptline, 75 kW / 102 hp) it can be recommended in terms of economy.

Stainless steel, new materials and uncompromising safety features

New upholstery fabrics and appointments breath new life into the interior of the next generation Touran, lending it a more refined feel. The middle plate of the instrument panel, for example: It is now crafted in a stainless steel design. The same is true for the area around the standard storage compartment above the middle console. In addition, the basic "Conceptline" version is refined by the new "Media" interior trim. The "RCD 300" radio-CD system with integrated MP3 mode is standard on-board equipment. Also true in terms of safety: no compromises. Front, side and head airbags are included as standard features, as well as the ESP Electronic Stabilization Program including counter-steering feature and trailer stabilization.

New features also refine "Trendline" and "Highline"

The stainless steel theme is even more enhanced in the next highest equipment version: The décor strips here also exhibit this design. It has a sporty character matching the new "Energy" interior trim. The Touran Trendline now comes with the semi-automatic "Climatic" air-conditioning system as standard equipment (previously a Highline equipment feature). Taken from its predecessor are practical details such as the folding front passenger backrest with table and load-through facility.

At Volkswagen "Highline" traditionally refers to the most exclusive equipment version. In the case of the updated Touran this includes, among other features, newly designed 16" light-alloy wheels ("Magny Cours" design), the refined "Mando" interior trim, an air-conditioning system (Climatronic instead of Climatic), the most powerful version of the "RCD 300" audio system with eight speakers and ParkPilot for the back.

Innovative extras for an all-round automotive talent

In addition to "Park Assist", "Hill-Starting Assistant", daytime running lights and bi-xenon headlights with cornering light, the new optional equipment for the second generation Touran includes a variable luggage compartment floor with two integrated storage compartments and a DVD-based radio navigation system ("RNS MFD DVD").

140 hp Twincharger with DSG direct shift gearbox

The new top gasoline engine is, as described earlier, the Twincharger 1.4 TSI with 103 kW / 140 hp, first used in the Golf GT. In combination with the new Touran the dual charged high-tech engine (charged via compressor and turbocharger) enables a top speed of 198 kph while running on an average of only 7.5 liters of fuel per 100 kilometers. The basic version engine Volkswagen offers for the Touran is a 1.6 liter gasoline engine with 75 kW / 102 hp.

A 125 kW / 170 hp TDI engine is at the top of the diesel engine range. The entry level here is a TDI with 66 kW / 90 hp. In the next TDI performance levels Volkswagen offers the new Touran with 77 kW / 105 hp and 103 kW / 140 hp. Another innovative way of saving without forgoing driving pleasure is the 80 kW / 109 hp natural gas version of the Touran, the "EcoFuel", that will also be available at market launch. A world-wide novelty in the van segment: All TDI and TSI engines (at least 77 kW / 105 hp) can be combined with the DSG direct shift gearbox – in the eyes of many experts and customers the sportiest and most economical automatic transmission in the world.

Interior concept with up to seven seats and 1,989 liters of storage volume

The innovative seating system of the Touran shows the way in terms of versatility. The three light-weight seats arranged next to one another in the second row can be quickly and easily moved – lengthwise and offset diagonally, folded down or removed. The Touran can be optionally equipped with a third row of seats; when not in use the two full-fledged individual seats can each be easily lowered separately into the luggage compartment floor. The luggage compartment of up to 1,989 liters (depending on seat configuration) is also a hallmark of versatile and efficient usability.

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