Fleet News

New Sharan cuts a dash for Volkswagen

VOLKSWAGEN revealed its new Sharan MPV - built in the same factory as Ford's new Galaxy which also received its world premiere in Geneva - and will go on sale in the UK in May about two months ahead of its rival. The two new vehicles - SEAT's new Alhambra MPV which also rolls off production lines at Volkswagen's AutoEuropa factory in Portugal has yet to be revealed - will be the final collaboration between the two manufacturing rivals.

When the Sharan and Galaxy were originally launched, Volkswagen had responsibility for design and development, while Ford took production responsibility. However, 18 months ago Ford sold its 50% share in the plant to Volkswagen which now builds the Galaxy for its rival. The relationship will end in 2004.

The new Sharan will only be available as a seven-seater when it enters UK showrooms, with the six and eight-seater options available presently being dropped. The vehicle will be powered by a choice of 115bhp 1.8, 2.0 and 204bhp 2.8 V6 petrol engines and 1.9 TDI 90bhp or 1.9 115 TDI PD diesel engines when it goes on sale.

Prices and specification have still to be finalised but vehicles will be badged S, SE, Sport and Carat and ABS brakes and twin front airbags will be standard. A six-speed manual gearbox is standard across the range with a five-speed automatic box also available and the manufacturer's electronic stability programme is a standard feature on the V6.

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