VW Golf Sportsvan Concept Debuting in Frankfurt

Sections: Chassis, Powertrain

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Volkswagen Golf Sportsvan Concept Press Photo

Volkswagen is debuting this, its new Golf Sporstvan concept, at the Frankfurt International Motor Show (IAA) with a range of what it says are efficient powertrains and several available driver assistance technologies. (Photo courtesy Volkswagen)

Volkswagen is debuting its Golf Sportsvan concept vehicle at the Frankfurt Auto Show. Fans of small people-movers (but not necessarily just small-people movers) are watching with interest — us included.

Volkswagen said in a release (press credential required) that the Golf Sportsvan debuting at the International Motor Show (IAA) in Frankfurt will “complete the Golf family at the middle of next year” and described the concept as a “compact minivan.”

The release said the Golf Sportsvan has a rear bench seat that can be adjusted fore and aft seven inches and more than 53 cubic feet of cargo space, presumably when the rear seats are folded. Additionally, VW says the Golf Sportsvan will feature Automatic Post-Collision Braking System, air conditioning, seven airbags, an electronic parking brake, a 5-inch touchscreen, variable cargo floor, and a cargo cover even in base form.

Other driver assistance systems that will make their way into the Golf Sportsvan include Blind Spot Monitor with Rear Traffic Alert, a feature that is being implemented in a Golf for the first time, according to VW.

“While driving, the Blind Spot Monitor warns the driver of vehicles in the blind spot. When reversing out of a parking space, the system also recognizes cross-traffic approaching from behind the car that can be difficult for the driver to see, and it warns the driver in case of a hazard. If a collision is imminent, the system automatically activates an emergency braking function,” the release said.

A list of other technologies to be made available on the Golf Spotsvan included DCC dynamic chassis control, the Front Assist with City Emergency Braking surroundings monitoring system, Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC) and a lane-keeping assistant.

Finally, Volkswagen said the Golf Sportsvan will be available with six powertrain options, from an 84-horsepower unit to a 147-horsepower unit. All have standard stop-start technology to help them be up to 19% more efficient, VW says, and all will conform with Euro 6 emissions standards. The automaker said a 108-horsepower, 1.6-liter TDI engine in particular would help the Golf Sportsvan achieve fuel efficiency of 3.7 liters per 100 kilometers, or roughly 63.5 MPG in European testing.

With the stats out of the way, can we just say how cool this vanlette is? In an era of not-so-mini “minivans” that ply American roads, we hope against all hope Volkswagen sees fit to move the Golf Sportsvan into our market if and when it makes it into production. It would be a nice way to get Volkswagen back into the people-mover business here in the ‘States without any of the shame of slapping their logo on a Chrysler Town and Country and calling it a German-sounding name, for starters, and would (not a moment too soon, in our estimation) provide a counterpoint to the raft of bloated U.S.-spec minivans. Its cornucopia of driver assistance technologies would be a welcome bonus for techy people like us — and we’d be lying if we said VW’s Fender Audio package wouldn’t be a cool add-on (wink-wink, nudge-nudge to our friends in Wolfsburg.)

Of course, our luck says it’ll be one of those cool concepts that makes production in Europe, but never reaches our shores. Pity if that’s ultimately the case.

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