The automotive concepts that you see at various Auto Expos are generally created by an automaker to gauge demand for a particular product. After all, taking a car from the drawing board to the production line requires a massive investment of a couple of thousand crores. You need to do your research well before investing that amount of moolah.
Volkswagen will be testing the waters at the 2013 Detroit Motor Show with the ‘Passat Performance Concept’ and a mystical and yet unnamed ‘7-seater SUV Concept’.
The VW Passat Performance Concept gives a sneak peak at an upcoming ‘Sport’ variant in the Passat model lineup. It features –
- 19-inch wheels
- A dual exhaust set up
- Bi-Xenon headlights with Advanced Front Lighting System (AFS)
- LED taillights
- Carbon applications on ORVMs
A tad too conservative? Of course it is, it’s a Volkswagen!
Fortunately, nothing is conservative about the performance. It is powered by a 1.8 liter TSI engine which sends 247hp to the rear wheels via a six-speed automatic transmission. It also gets a lowered sport suspension and electro-mechanical steering to enhance its on-road behavior.
The 7-seater SUV Concept is a very interesting proposition. This is all-new SUV will be built grounds-up on the MQB platform to be sized between the Touareg and the Tiguan. The idea is to offer a cheaper, 7-seater alternative to the likes of the Ford Explorer, Honda Pilot and Jeep Grand Cherokee.
Volkswagen's current flagship SUV, the Touareg, is only a 5-seater despite sharing the Audi Q7's platform. The Audi Q7’s extended wheelbase accommodates a third row.
Sadly, this is going to be a US-specific model and Volkswagen has indicated that they have no plans of selling it elsewhere in the world. That’s certainly an opportunity lost for Volkswagen India which could have benefited from a cheaper 7-seater SUV.