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News of  October 17, 2001


The Volkswagen Project D1 – An upper class car in a modern dimension

Project D1

Photo: VW

  • A unique luxury saloon with pneumatic suspension as standard
  • Progressive design combines unparalleled dynamic character with superior aesthetics

Wolfsburg - Volkswagen breaks new ground. From spring 2002 this successful German car maker will add a luxury class saloon series to its product range. From the first look at this saloon, internally named Project D1, it is clear that it continues the clear and precise Volkswagen design line. The arrow-shaped contours of the bonnet with a low-swept chrome grille and striking headlights combine to yield a confident front design. The rear design achieves an equally powerful effect. Even at night the luxury saloon is instantly recognizable thanks to the structured LED units in its tail light clusters.

Elegance and harmony characterize the bodyline flowing from front to rear. The layout of the third side window stands out as distinctive and independent, giving the product another identifying feature.

The superlative overall technical concept reflects the great potential of this 5 055-millimetre-long and 1 903-millimetre-wide luxury car.

The engines: outstanding torque curves are a common feature of the high-performance petrol and diesel engines. The following engine levels will be available at the launch:

3.2-litre V6, power output 177 kW / 241 bhp and max. torque 315 newton metres 6.0-litre W12, power output 309 kW / 420 bhp and max. torque 550 newton metres

These will be followed by the most powerful passenger car diesel engine in the world as the third of a total of five engines: an extremely refined 5.0-litre V10 TDI, power output 230 kW / 313 bhp and a tremendous maximum torque of 750 newton metres. Volkswagen is also introducing a completely new six-speed automatic gearbox in the V10 TDI.

The running gear and drivetrain philosophy: all versions of the new saloon feature a state-of-the-art 4-system pneumatic suspension with stepless mapped electronic damper regulation. This suspension will be combined with 4MOTION four-wheel drive, either as standard (W12, V10 TDI) or later on as an option with certain engines.

The body: steel body parts are fully galvanised. The doors, boot lid, and bonnet are aluminium. The doors are a technical work of art in themselves: using a system of laser-welded diecast aluminium, they have been manufactured to a rigidity which far exceeds any structures implemented before.

The interior: in this area the luxury saloon redefines air conditioning with a completely new system - the 4-Corner Climatronic.  This unprecedented, absolutely draught-free system supplies indirect flows of air to defined zones of the interior via automatically opening and closing vents.

The interior design itself is characterised by its unique handcrafted feel. Hartmut Warkuß, Head Designer at Volkswagen AG: "Through the selection of materials and the way they are worked, the textures, and the accentuated design, we have a achieved a new balance between progressive and luxurious flair."

However, Volkswagen has avoided cluttering the interior with controls. All technical equipment available to the driver and passengers remains logical, understandable, and intuitive. Technology for the benefit of the customer was the supreme development objective.

As a result, the functions of the new standard infotainment centre with a seven inch 16:9 colour display in the centre console are completely clear for the user. Depending on equipment specification, these include audio system with six-disk CD changer and concert hall sound, navigation system, TV, on-board computer, telephone, and air conditioning.

The interior has a luxury fully commensurate with its class and sets new standards for space in a range of dimensions for the front and rear occupants.

The highest level of passive safety is built in as standard. This includes, for instance, xenon headlights with a completely new headlight washer system, a "coming home function" to illuminate the surrounding area using the headlights, rear lights, and two additional lights in the exterior mirrors, front airbags, side airbags in the front and rear, and window airbags.

The name of the Volkswagen's new luxury class car will be announced at the opening ceremony of the Transparent Factory in Dresden towards the end of this year. Volkswagen is investing some 365 million marks at this location. When production has started just over 800 people will be employed in Dresden to produce up to 100 cars per day.

(Oct. 11, 2001)

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